This article was first published on gratitudeandtrust.com. You can view it here as well.
I’ve got a curly head of hair and I don’t like it. As if that was bad enough it’s red too. Curly red hair. Yuck. As a kid I hated it. So much so that I started shaving it off when I was 10. If I hadn’t I would have stood out like a soar thumb. Didn’t want that. Not a that age. Hair be gone!
Over the years my hair came and went. I tried growing it out. Straightening it. Blow drying it. Leave in conditioner. Hair spray. Gel. You name it, I tried it.
Then about 5 years ago I opted to go back to shaving it. Once again, hair be gone! It was easy for me. Manageable. One less part of my life that I had to worry about.
See for me it was always been about how good I could look for YOU. Not me. YOU. I desperately wanted you to like me which meant everything had to be perfect. Hair included. I kid you not I would sometimes spend an hour in front of the mirror making sure each and every curl was in its right place.
It was exhausting. Making sure each curl was just right. It took a lot of time and emotional energy. Seriously if just one curl was out of place I’d freak out. My body temperature would rise. I’d start to sweat. And my emotional state of mind would be off for hours. Okay lets be honest. I’d be pissed off.
So I went back to shaving it. First thing in the morning? Hair looking good. Middle of the day? Still looking good. It was easy. More importantly it was a form of control. Hair giving me a hard time? Get rid of it. So I did. And it helped.
Then I did a bunch of work on me. Emotional work through therapy and 12 step meetings. I got in touch with the part of me that worried about what other people thought. I learned to love that part of me. Nurture that part. Accept that part.
So recently I tried growing my hair out again. And for the most part I’ve really enjoyed it. For the most part because just the other morning I had what I’ll call an episode. Something similar to what I mentioned above. What should’ve taken a minute to do(my hair) ended up taking me 30 minutes. Yes 30 minutes. I was so angry. Flushed from head to toe. Late to wear I was going too. Just like that I was reacting as I had in the past. Just like that I was worried about being perfect.
But here’s the growth which is what I’d rather focus on. What used to be a regular occurrence for me(my hair episode), happened the other day for the first time in months. Yes months. For me that’s growth. Huge growth. I attribute that to the work I’m doing. Learning to be okay with ME. I always tell my friends if I can just be okay with me then everything else will be alright.
It takes work. And honesty. This might sound silly but on the way into work I called a friend and shared my morning with him. He understood which helped to hear. Told me he’s had those mornings himself. Then he reminded me to love the side of myself that was worrying about what others thought. To parent the wounded little child inside me with nurturing and affirmations.
And so I did. And my day got better.