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Why I Modify--A Search Within

People have different reasons for everything which they do. It can be as little as why you wear green socks to as large as what religious affiliation you have. Everybody has their own reasons for the actions they perform. A large place where we come across this is with body modifications. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me why I received this piercing, or why I have this tattoo, I could retire a rich person. Though I do not have a million dollars, I consider myself rich due to the fact that body modifications are a part of my life; they are a part of me.

Growing up I always wanted my ear pierced. I had no idea that the vast world of modification existed; I just knew I wanted my ear pierced. I had my reasons, mainly because I liked the way that they looked. Little did I know what a large par of my life this would turn out to become. My parents never allowed me to have this done, and it is probably for the best.

I am a recovering cutter. As of this month, March, I have successfully gone 3 months without cutting. This is a huge personal success. My cuttings were not ritual or for aesthetics. They were acts of desperation due to depression; they were Para suicidal behavior. Piercings first acted as a crutch to cutting, now, I realize, they are completely different.

I received my first piercing at 18, when I was legally allowed to make my own decisions. I received a 12 gauge orbital in my left ear. I loved it! I was hooked for life. I quickly started receiving more from a local shop here in Columbia, Body Rites. They have nurtured me and helped me associate myself with my piercings and other modifications.

I thought that this was it. Wow, piercings, they look great. I started researching on bmezine.com into other forms of body modification. Some of it scared me, some of it I found interesting. I started to ask myself, "Why would a person do this?" I found out that it changes from person to person.

As far as tattoos are concerned, I came into the two I have with a religious mindset. I have a Celtic Cross on my left arm and a triquerta on the center of my upper back. The Celtic Cross represents my binding tie to Christ and the burden that he bared for me. The triquerta is complicated. It has 4 colors. They are black, red, green, and skin (white). The black represents the fact that I am separated from God by sin, the red represents the blood which Christ shed for me, the green represents the growth which my life has began since I became modified, and the white is the cleanliness my soul has now that I have found my savior. The symbol itself represents the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All three are within me.

One thing I hold close to me is my religion and politics. I am a Christian, though I do not associate myself with a single sect of the church. I believe that all bodies of people are corrupt in one way or another; therefore, I do not attend. My belief is that my body is a temple for my higher power; he is all around me and in me at once. I am by no means perfect, by no person's means at all. I sin everyday.

Indulging deeper into modifications, I found suspension. This was a very interesting topic for me. I was amazed in learning why primitives and modern primitives at that suspend and perform other rituals. I was at the point where I had to see it in person.

I talked to Kelly, iam spineshank, about suspension due to the fact that she is from my area of the country. She told me about a group that she was active with called HCS or Holy City Suspensions based out of Charleston, SC. I talked with the leader of HCS, Trevor, and he told me all about suspension. We decided that it was time for me to take on this task and suspend. We decided for my first suspension to do a suicide.

Over the next month I looked within to my morals. I am a conservative person who votes Republican and prays to the Christian God. I feel that this makes me unique in the body modification world. During that month I started to think, "Why am I doing this?" I tried to say it was for fun, or for the thrill. Though these emotions came into play, it was truly something spiritual. I did not fully find this out until I first was suspended off the ground.

Within the days before my first suspension I prayed many times. I feel that God does not look at body modifications are bad unless you do them for the wrong reasons, as I believe he does for all of my life. This was a personal experience to a magnitude that I did not yet understand. Now I realize that I would not do this without him in my life.

After going up, it was almost like I was enlightened. I am by no means a mystic or someone who thinks that actions can change their spirit, but I understood many more things after this. Everything from the pain, to the conquer of my fear of heights; to the fact that I made it back down was made to the glory of God. I would be lying if I say that I did not find it physically exhilarating. This is not why I suspend or modify though.

My modifications, especially suspension, have nothing to do with the world around me, but the world within me. God knows that it would be easier to go through life without mods, but I feel that he has chosen this life for me. I choose to modify though it has caused a large rut with my friends and family. It is not a selfish thing or a defiance thing. It is a personal thing.

Through this essay I encourage you, no matter who you are, to look for the meaning behind your modifications. Life holds so many things that we are not aware of and it is our responsibility to step forward and understand why. Since my first suspension I question most every action I make. "Why am I going to smoke this cigarette? Why am I eating this hamburger? Why am I going to sleep? Why am I receiving this tattoo? Why am I suspending?" These are all questions that I ask myself to become more aware of myself and my surroundings.

Every aspect of my life has been influenced by my modifications. I would not be the same person I am now without them. I have conquered my physical world through them, and now they help me understand my spiritual world. Life is tangible, but the spirit is not. Enrich your life, and you will enjoy it eternally.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 18 March 2005
in Ritual

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