I'm just going to get this out there. I'm going gray. It's true. I'm tired of spending enough money on my HAIR every year that I could easily save for a trip to Hawaii or, more valiantly, put a child in a 3rd world country through college. I'm tired of having to drag myself back to the hair salon every six weeks because those pesky little white hairs start showing around my scalp making the whole universe feel like it is out of balance. But mostly - I just can't honestly answer the question my husband has been asking since the day I began this color-processing habit - "Why are you doing this?" - with integrity any more. My answers, up until this point have sounded something like this:
Because I'm too young to be gray. Maybe when I'm 50.
Because I've always had dark hair, it's just who I am.
Because it's fun to take three hours and pamper myself.
The reality is this: I wanted to blend in. To look like everyone else. Or maybe I thought that by the sheer act of dying my hair I could accomplish the Eva Longoria factor - you know - the long, flowing, shiny brunette hair that turns heads. (ummm....maybe its more than her hair that turns heads?) The hair that everyone wants but no one can have? The hair that is ON EVERY MAGAZINE AND EVERY HEAD OF EVERY PERSON ON TV OR IN THE MOVIES!!!??? (the only gray-haired cover girls are on AARP. Nothing wrong with that, I'm just saying...)
So over the past several months, I've been gradually stepping into the world of authentic living. Many of you have commented - and been very gracious I might add. Many of you have just glanced at my head briefly when you were talking with me. (insert wink) Some of your kids have said things like - "Did you know you have gray hair?" Or called me "Gray-haired lady" (you know who you are :-)
But here's the thing. I FEEL FREE. I know that sounds super cheesy. But just this little act of putting myself out there - of showing who I REALLY am, of unveiling a piece of me that few people knew - has felt authentic to me in a way that I can't explain. I mean, I can't count the number of times I have said to someone who needs encouragement or extra confidence - "God created you perfectly and beautifully". Or the number of sermons I have preached that have encouraged people to love who God created them to be so they can love others fully and truly. Or the times I have ranted and raved about 'judgementalism' all the while doing things so that others wouldn't judge me or, worse yet, so I wouldn't judge myself.
It just feels like a little act of grace. A little gift to myself that brings me farther along on the journey of actually believing that God created me in God's image. Not that I've been doing lip-service all of these years. But let's be honest - we are all on a journey.
OK - I'm not saying that everyone should do this. Not advocating that we abandon the hair salons of the world. Not saying that if you choose to color your hair you are shallow or unfaithful. This was MY issue of authentic living.
And I know we all have those issues. What is yours? Is there a place in your life where you could let down the veil and reveal to the world who you really are? Is there something that is keeping you from living an authentic life? Think about it.
If we all started taking off the veils that cover up things we don't like about ourselves - what would happen? Maybe we would all begin to realize that we are in this thing called life together; that we are all simply and beautifully created to shine God's light in this world - the best we can.
So - even just for today - lift up the veil! What's that I see? Gray hair? It's BEAUTIFUL!