Not Again!

Let me start by saying I got a new hairdo yesterday.

A summer-friendly, easy-to-wear pixie was what I asked for. And I guess that’s just what I got, so it’s not fair to bad-mouth the stylist.

But the result was not quite what I expected. Enough to say, I texted my husband before I headed home to warn him. Even then, the shock on his face was telling, though he looked me right in the eye and, kindly, lied. “It’s, um, fine! At least it’s not as short as it was when we went on our first cruise!”

That was supposed to help, I’m sure. But here’s the thing: a couple of days before that first cruise, in June of 2002, we arrived in Florida where I finally took off the wig I had been wearing all spring. It was hot, and, since no one knew me, I decided to go ahead and expose the white fuzz that graced my post-chemotherapy head.

So, not helpful, Hubby. 🙂

Truth be told, it wasn’t the first time Hubby struggled to say something encouraging about my hair. Any one of my honest friends will tell you I have hair issues. (One friend simply laughs every time I get a cut. Not sure why, but…)

hair dryer hair style hairstyle hair
Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

If I had a therapist, she would probably say my issues stem from my youth, when my dear mother tried her best to encourage my scraggly early-teen self to look as well-coiffed as my three older sisters. “Why can’t you keep rollers in your hair at night? Your sisters do.”

The “sisters” were made of sterner stuff than I, or simply didn’t think wet-from-the-pond hair, drying windblown from the tailgate of my father’s truck on the way home late on a summer’s afternoon, resulted in lovely curls that didn’t need brushing out.

In retrospect, I might have been the only one on Earth who thought that that tangle was beautiful! 😀 

But, then, maybe my imaginary therapist would tell me that my hair issues, which on the surface might appear to be a search for illusive perfection, actually stem from a need we all might share. The need to be liked, to fit in, to be approved…all of which add up to a need to feel good about ourselves.

“If everyone is happy with me, then I can feel good.”

Mind you, Miss Therapist might continue, there is nothing wrong AT ALL about wanting to feel good about oneself! Or for wanting to be liked. The opposite is unhealthy. But it becomes self-defeating and soul-killing if fulfilling that need becomes the main reason for making any decision, especially big decisions. It might not even be a problem if we are talking about something as unimportant as hair.

But, apparently, I don’t stop there.

The other day, during coffee with a friend, I told her about a decision I was struggling with. I went back and forth, back and forth, with why I should do this, or maybe that, and why I shouldn’t, or maybe I should. After listening patiently for some time, she told me, “You need to just put your big-girl panties on and make the decision you already believe is the right one, whatever that is.” And then she added, “No matter what anyone else thinks.”

Ouch! I hated how right she was! She hit that ol’ nail right on the head! I was thankful for my straight-talking friend, but embarrassed that, in my heart, I knew what to do and that my waffling came from not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings or disappoint them, and, perhaps even more, not wanting have someone disapprove of me.

grayscale photo of woman in striped dress walking on hill slope with snow while looking back
Photo by Orest Sv on Pexels.com

What a shame to spend your life looking around to see how you are being seen, evaluated, valued! Always needing to receive positive feedback on whatever you have done. On your work, your home…your hair.

The conversation with my friend brought to mind a children’s chorus we used to sing:

“Oh be careful , little ears, what you hear.

For the Father up above

is looking down in love,

so be careful, little ears, what you hear!” 

I know, it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with this post. But bear with me: I’m not sure what I thought it was saying back then, but now I think it has a whole lot to do with making decisions in life. About listening for the wisdom and direction a loving Father is more than willing to give. Whose eyes, we are told, run “to and fro” in the earth to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is for him, whose hearts are listening. Listening to follow through.

I chose “Not Again!” as the title of this post, probably because yesterday I disappointed myself one more time by allowing my hair issue to steer me wrong, and for fixating on it after the fact, giving it so much weight in my life! Disappointed that I can so often revert to a wrong perspective and make decisions, or put them off, while I’m there.

But maybe I should have called it “Yet Again!” because yet again, like so many times before when I have been in a deep funk about such a trivial thing as a haircut, or even something much more serious, the Lord, with a comforting voice, says, “Joy is not found in perfection, Fay. In my presence is fullness of joy.”

“In His presence” can be a nebulous concept. Might I suggest it is a place where we choose to live, on purpose? Taking time to reflect on His love, His care, His kingdom within. Searching for His wisdom in the scriptures. Listening for His still small voice. Voicing our thanksgiving often, even for the little things. In these little things, we train our minds to focus on Him and His faithfulness, so that the eyes of our hearts see Him, first and last.

An honest look back at life shows us that focus is everything. So much depends on it. Our future flows from it.

“Oh be careful, little eyes, what you see!”

So if this resonates with you today, dear reader, how about we refocus. Let’s find out what is important or, better still, what is right. Then, let’s put our Big-Girl Panties on and act on it. For the only reason that is right.

And embrace messy hair, or lack thereof. Whatever that might mean to you. 😉