“To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is trying it’s best, night and day to make you everybody-but-yourself is to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight – and never stop fighting.” – e. e. Cummings
Yesterday I put copper highlights in my hair. Today I am writing a post on authenticity.
God loves that about me. The way I live in seeming paradoxes and breathe apparent contradictions.
He loves my beautiful brown hair too – and the fun red color I added this week, just because.
Would you believe me if I told you that He cares about the new fall boots you desperately want? And those skinny jeans that you’ve been eyeing in the catalog – He thinks they would look great on you too.
Sometimes we think that the problems in the world are so big that we don’t have time to be ourselves – to invest in ourselves, to nurture ourselves. We think that resources are so scarce that we can’t afford to buy that beautiful piece of art that makes our heart leap – because the orphans are starving! (I should know they used to be my neighbors.)
But is that all we really want for those parent-less children, food? Or do we want them to get an education and new shoes and a hug? I mean there are a LOT of starving children in the world so we better keep these gifts functional. And what is functional, anyway? Three pairs of pants and four shirts and some white socks and underwear?
If you’re like me you want to buy every one of those little African girls a beautiful red Christmas dress and sparkly shoes to match. And truth be told I don’t want to just buy a red dress I want to take that little girl to the store and let her pick the exact dress she wants – even if it has pink flowers all over it and doesn’t look like Christmas at all. Because what I really want is for her to know she’s loved – to know that her heart and her desires matter. That what she wants is important – because she is a unique expression of the heart of God. And that no one will find her more beautiful than I will, in her pink Easter dress, on Christmas morning.
So I’m finally learning that it’s okay to dye my hair, buy those moccasins and try out some new lipstick even though I really don’t need it. My hair dyeing
is an act of creative courage – a statement to myself and the world that I AM WORTH IT. I am shouting loud and clear that there really is room in the world for fun, joy, experimentation and exploration. That beauty is more than a quiet and gentle spirit, it’s chevron stripes and polka dots too. God Himself personifies beauty and He asks us to partner with Him in bringing more of it to earth. It’s a particularly special job for us women – the ones who were so beautiful that perhaps Satan himself was scared we would outshine him when he targeted Eve those millenia ago.
We can dress up to hide behind a facade of fashionable clothing. Or we can put on those skinny cords and that jean jacket because it is so us that it makes our spirits light up and smile. We can color our hair to project an image of what we think we should be. But we can also color our hair to say, “this is me. A little glimpse of more of who I REALLY am. Bright, bold, beautiful.”
Never let the world convince you that you aren’t simply stunning. And never let yourself convince you not to invest in your own radiant beauty. God loves it. The world needs it. It really is an act of everyday heroism.