Two Arrows is a non-profit project started by Laura Casey of Lady Lo’s Custom Tattoos, with the intention of offering free consultation and tattooing services to people bearing physical scars as the result of self-harm. The hope of this project is to help transform these potentially painful reminders into beautiful pieces of art to help reflect the healing, growth and transition that these incredible people have been going through. To find beauty and healing in pain.
The name of the project is derived from the Buddhist parable of “the two arrows,” which is about the nature of suffering. There are many tellings of this parable; here is one:
Imagine a bow with two arrows, one of which has already been released. This first arrow is a difficult life event, challenge or issue. It could be a death, end of a relationship, losing a job or conflict. The second arrow, which is in the bow—ready to be released—is your judgment, self-criticism and negative thoughts about the first arrow. It is self-blame, self-pity, shame, beating yourself up or sliding into a victim mindset which allows the inner critic to take over and run the show. When the second arrow is released it inevitably lands in the wound of the first. It deepens that wound, making it more painful and preventing the first wound from healing.
The first arrow can be unavoidable, but the truth is that you don’t need to shoot that second arrow. The pain from the first is enough to deal with. Instead of shooting that second arrow, we can choose to begin healing. We can choose to treat ourselves with compassion and the same empathy that we would provide someone else.
There a small gallery in place for those that wish to see what is possible. However, for some, the before images may be shocking or may evoke stressful feelings. As such, only view the gallery if you are certain you wish to look.