By: Katie Runnels
Last week I got my hair chopped off. I was fed up with my tangles and bored with my color. After hours of grazing Pinterest looking for cute short hairstyles, I decided on “the look” I wanted. I would become a “Frenchie.” So, I did the unthinkable. I not only shed over a foot of hair, but I also dyed it darker. Much darker. I wanted to look like Audrey Tautou. I wanted to be glamours.
However, to my utter amazement, the glamour never arrived! The hairdo was a botched one–looking nothing like the pictures I showed the hairdresser, and the color looks extremely unnatural.
For someone like me, boasts of being “all natural,” this is not good. Or, “no sta bueno” as my uneducated grandfather would say…
I am not sure which is worse: to not like who I am or to not know who I am. Before this little hair experiment, I was not liking who I was.
Now, I not only do I not like the reflection I see in the mirror, but I do not know her? Who is she? This loss of self started with a gradual loss of self acceptance. As I compared myself to movie stars, super models, friends, and Facebook (I mean “Fakebook) pictures, I slowly began to think I was not okay. Comparing is a killer. It never satisfied. Think of all of the Hollywood starts who are addicted to plastic surgery! So many of these poor women looked so much better before they started, “changing” themselves.
In the back of my mind I kept thinking, “I have to change this…and I have to change that….”
So, yesterday I could not kick the feeling of depression. I did not know why I was feeling so down. As I sat with my feelings and looked inward, I realized that my discontent with myself only led to more discontent with myself. Just like love begets love and fear begets fear, so discontent begets more discontent.
When I think of the times when I was truly happy, it was when I made the conscious choice to accept myself with unconditional love and compassion. Acceptance leads to love. And love is true beauty–at least in my humble opinion.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I don’t believe perfection exists. So why do I (we) continue to strive for physical perfection? Why do we think we need to change ourselves in order to be acceptable? Why did I want to be a “Frenchie” instead of just being Katie?
The answer is this: we (in this broken world) are guided by illusions. Our entire society is guided by a false idea of perfection and achievement. Deep down, below the surface of smiles and success and small victories, I think many of us suffer from this feeling of, “it could be better.” And “it” could be anything. Maybe it is our job, our physical appearance, our parenting skills, our relationships, and so on. We live in a “SELF HELP” society. When we see the truth, that we are truly complete just how we are in this very instant, we start to feel complete.
Then we stop trying to change ourselves. Our efforts to change ourselves–in any way–only create more discontent. Just like my poor little head losing her poor little Katie hair, we lose true Selves every time we try to think that it is outside of us. With every effort to find our indentity and improve ourselves, I believe we disconnect more and more from our authenticity and beauty. Beauty comes with self acceptance. My treasure for this week is to mediate on self acceptance. Let’s see what happens next!