Acknowledging Who We Aren’t

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I finally got my hair cut–a long bob, which for me was a big change. It was inevitable with the massive amounts of hair I lost every time I showered or brushed my hair. So finally it had to be done. And I really, really like it.

This haircut got me thinking about my previous haircuts. I was talking with a friend about our tendency to believe that we will actually walk away from a salon with changed hair. You know what I mean; we expect that they can not only change the cut or color but also the texture, the amount of hair we have, and even our face shape. So when we bring the picture of the celebrity that we admire, we are shocked that we don’t look like her even with the same haircut.

This is one of the first times in my haircutting experience when I have been honest about the hair I have and used that to dictate my cut. So when she was finished cutting my hair, I was pleased with how it looked.

I recently finished Bittersweet. There’s an essay in Bittersweet where Shauna Niequist talks about how freeing it was to finally make a list of not only what she does do but also what she doesn’t do. Like Shauna, my inherent tendency is to have as my goal: Be better at everything.

It takes a lot of time for some of us to acknowledge the hair and face shape we have. It also takes time to feel comfortable with the personality and talents and interests that we have. For example, no matter how much I try, I generally don’t care to spend a lot of money and time on decorating. I love a beautiful home, but I don’t have an innate talent for creative decorating. I’ve always wished I did, but I just don’t. I’ll settle for clean and organized.

I mentioned in one of my faith story posts that I always wanted the perfect Christian family; I felt like there was something wrong with me because I didn’t have the legacy of faith or consistent family devotions. I had this picture in my head, and I was always trying to make my family measure up. But I eventually found freedom and insight in accepting my family and my story.

This has been very important in determining my goals and vision. I have a picture in my head of who I think I am, but it often doesn’t line up with what I really care about. I can’t have celebrity-looking hair and also be free to just wash it and go. I can’t have a perfectly clean house at all times and also be the patient mother and wife I want to be. And when I’m honest, I’m not the neat freak I always thought I was; I am okay with occasional clutter and chaos.

This is why it’s important to not only think through what we want in a year (what we are saying “yes” to) but also what we don’t want (what we are saying “no” to). And the things on the “no” list might not be inherently bad things. For example, I am saying “no” to things that make me feel stressed which includes too many days out of the house and trying to make an over-the-top meal every time we have company. I’m okay with more days at home and tasty but simple company recipes (like this one!).

I didn’t want to give up this vision I had of myself with long hair; I didn’t want “mom hair.”  But I’m finding so many benefits (and so much freedom) in having short hair. The same is true as I think through what I don’t do, who I am not, and what I am saying “no” to in this season.

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One thought on “Acknowledging Who We Aren’t

  1. Pingback: Making Clothes as a Way to Teach Healthy Body Image (Post 1) | Pilgrim Sandals

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