With friends like that...
A friend of over 20 years came to visit me last weekend. It had been 2 years since we had last seen each other in person. We love each other very much and are more sisters than friends. Which is why it hurt so deeply when she was critical of my decision to grow dreads.
Of all the people I thought might give me a hard time, I never would have dreamed it would come from her. As my one representative in life of unconditional love, she devastated me by being so negative. I struggled with her criticism, even after she left, wondering why it had affected me so.
After having turned 40, I decided I was finally going to be a grown up. I was no longer going to live my life for others. I was going to live my life for me, allowing others to be in charge of their own happiness rather than trying to do the job for them. I was no longer going to feel like a failure because I could never live up to the typical standards of beauty that our society has set. I was going to love myself and see myself outwardly as a reflection of my inner beauty. Obviously, I have a way to go yet.
I guess that is why the universe brought me that interaction with her. I had to see that there is still much healing to be done besides simply making the decision to heal. There have been several years of feeling inadequate, for many different reasons. Even now, after having accomplished so much in my life over the past few years, there is still that shy, sad, insecure person inside me.
"It's just hair." Yet the awakening as a result of it has been nothing short of amazing. Finding this site, seeing so many people with their different stories, many very similar to mine. Knowing that there are so many ways to be and feel and live and love, and so many ways to be truly beautiful. Finding simplicity in this chaotic world by giving things over to nature and knowing that all is well. I know that I am on the right path, and I will emerge from this chrysalis with not only a whole new appreciation for the world, but a whole new appreciation for myself, and my role in it. I can only hope my friend will grow dreads of her own one day.
I thank you all for your blogs, discussions, photos, advice, and for sharing so much of yourselves.