The above picture is one of my tattoos.
Like most people, my tattoo holds personal meaning. “Eigenwelt” is a German word for an existentialist mode of personality development that focuses on the Self. Umwelt, Mitwelt, and Eignewelt are thought to be the three needed levels comprising healthy personality development – one’s “being-in-the-world”. Mitwelt focuses on the interpersonal/social world, Umwelt on the environmental/biological world, with Eigenwelt focusing on one’s inner world and relationship with Self. I have a teleological view to life – that there is a grand design or purpose to one’s life experience. I can relate to an existentialist basis for psychopathology, as for many years I was entrenched in living a life that lacked authenticity, I experienced a failure to actualize my potential, and as well I lacked a sense of engagement in my various levels of being-in-the-world. I mustered the courage to walk away from a life that lacked personal meaning, and while I only drew upon Eignewelt in the early days of journeying to my desired way of being, I had faith that Mitwelt and Umwelt would eventually surface with the level of depth I craved, and they did. My commitment to my journey was really driven by blind faith, for I was very alone in my process – I had an intrinsic belief that I was meant for a better life. Turns out, I was. This tattoo serves as a reminder that when I am not connected to Self, my wellbeing suffers. It keeps me grounded in the same way wearing religious jewellery might for someone else.
What meaning do your tattoos hold?