Our first and last Love is….Self-Love (unknown)
I wanted to share something that I realized a while back when I started my natural hair journey. Well actually, this realization did not occur at the outset, it occurred when I realized that I accepted my natural hair.
I realized FREEDOM.
My father always used to tell me, “you are free when you live within the rules”. Hearing this as a rebellious teenager didn’t make much sense to me. I thought he was just trying to justify my curfew…but as I got older, my dad’s words seemed wiser than I had ever known.
There will always be rules and boundaries within society, schools, work and of course ourselves. If I accept the laws and rules of society etc and live within them, I am free. If I accept the universal law of attraction (be it positive energy, finances, happiness, companionship etc), I am free. Living “outside-the-box” is a great perspective to have and there will be consequences, but as long as you accept the consequences you are still free. I do believe that I can be anything that I choose to be therefore my boundaries are not limiting-but they exist!
In relation to myself, my beautiful black skin will always be this tone. The sun (or lack of sun) may play a role on my skin tone at times…..but the range of “darkness” to “lightness” it receives is unique to me. My smile will always be big; my height will generally be tall.
As far as my hair was concerned, it took much longer for me to realize that if I accepted it, my hair (and mind) would flourish. My height was something I noticed as I got older AND in comparison to others. Comparisons are deceiving. If you realize that it is just an observation that’s ok but once a comparison is made in order to place a value (or lack of) on yourself (or another)-that can be detrimental.
In my youth, I did not notice my hair in comparison to another because my hair was just like every little black girl I knew. As I got older, my hair (being permed at this stage) still resembled the accepted norm. It wasn’t until about 6 months into my natural hair journey that I realized I was an “other”. I was no longer sporting a perm that flaunted my length, it didn’t flow, it didn’t really move and the height was obvious.
This change affected me but not drastically because I did not compare myself to anyone else.
Having no comparisons to judge myself by, I persisted with my journey and what naturally occurred was an acceptance of my new image, which is my true image. Since accepting the rules or boundaries that I have within myself, my body, my hair and my characteristics-I have experienced a freedom that is peaceful.
I accept my hairs lack of defined curls, I accept its shrinkage, I accept its growth spurts and the challenges that come with it, I accept that my hair grows upwards and defies gravity; I accept that it takes a long time to dry and set a twist-out.
I live within my boundaries, accept them but do not allow them to limit me-my hair will not be silky straight when I wake up, but it can be. My hair will not grow 10 inches over a four hour period-but I’m ok with growing about 6-10 inches per year….and not having to remove it afterwards. My hair will not stay in a permanent state or style, humidity will affect it-AND it should! I am a breathing, living organism and humidity is a natural occurrence-so since nothing wrong is happening when it frizzes or puffs up-I am ok with that too.
And by accepting all the characteristics of my hair, I am free. I am free to live; I am free to find better things to think about, I am free to experiment and know its going to come right back to me. I am free to run in the rain, wash my hair all the time, I am free to scratch my scalp whenever!
This calming freedom, that occured with my self-acceptance, was my biggest gift to myself and I hope that it is just as big of a gift to you!
MeyAlso featured on iHEARTmyhair.com