Friday, May 17, 2013


A couple of weeks ago I was talking with another woman who has dreads about what a big commitment they are. I described it as almost making the decision to marry someone, especially for us women who can be much more attached to our hair and appearance than men tend to be. If ever I decide to get rid of my dreads, I'd either have to suffer through hours of brushing them out (and who knows if my hair would actually survive that) or just cut off my hair altogether which would completely alter the way that I and everyone else views me, at least on the outside. For women especially, dreads can be a big deal.
I don't have a full head (yet), but what I do have, I cherish. Having these dreads helps me to value commitment and patience and as odd as it sounds, it makes me appreciate my hair that much more.
With each dread, there's a story and memory attached to it, as I've been dreading my hair for the past three and a half years. They're sentimental and that makes me that much more attached to them.

A problem that I often run into though is how much emphasis and value that I put into appearance, that of my own and of others. It troubles me how much I rely on the way that I look to define the person that I am. It's only natural that (at least in our Western society) the way we dress reflects the interests and values that we have, but it's always been an exhausting battle that I've struggled with to prove myself or impress others with the way that I look instead of the way that I treat them and the way that I live. Dreads then, can become a big problem for me, especially since I live in a city that widely respects and embraces dreadlocks, piercings, tattoos, etc.

I'd like to be a woman someday whose beauty extends beyond her appearance. I went to a conference a few weeks ago and I listened to a speaker talk about true, biblical femininity. He said something that convicted me and I haven't forgotten it since. He talked about women's specific abilities to embrace and nurture others and then went on to talking about Mother Teresa and how highly respected she is but not commonly thought of as a woman who possessed beauty. We see a popular actress on television as beautiful, but not a woman who deeply cared about humanity.

I'm sure that there are those who don't identify with this way of thinking. I'm sure there's plenty of people who regard Mother Teresa as purely beautiful, but I also know that many of us have fallen into the habit of putting way too much emphasis on the fleeting beauty of the exterior and we often miss out on ours and others interior beauty, which instead of aging and decaying, when properly nurtured,  constantly grows and becomes more beautiful with time.

I just find it interesting how often I consume myself in such an exhausting habit as adorning my body with jewelry and obsessing over my hair, yet I can hardly find the energy to let go of my idolatry of self and let God give me a beauty that extends beyond the way that I look. I'm sure that there's a lot of freedom there.

Just throwin' this in here because he's cute, I like his sass face
and we've been "officially" together for eight months today.  

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