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2012-05-02 08:44:36 -0600 asked a question Tattoos and converting to Sikhism

I am a 28 year old man and throughout my life I've acquired almost 35 tattoos all over my body. They are on my hands,knuckles, neck, tops of my feet, arms and legs. I am currently receiving treatment to have the tattoos on my hands and knuckles removed because they are the most visible but cannot afford to get all removed. Some of these tattoos are of a subject matter not consistent with Sikh life. For example, I have a couple of tattoos that are of skulls and one of a dagger with a banner around it that reads "Revenge" while the rest of my tattoos are less "evil". I've come a long way in life and want nothing more than peace and love and a deep connection with the divine. I am looking very seriously into Sikhism and I believe that that is where I belong and foresee a conversion in the near future for me. That being said, I am worried about being accepted as a Sikh when i have mutilated my body in such a way. In my area there is a Sikh center and I very much want to become a part of it and do all I can for the Sikh community but I find myself afraid to make that first step into this religion because of my tattoos and the fear of rejection. Is there any advice you can give me regarding preexisting tattoos and what I should expect? Bless you and thank you for your time.

-Chris