Lets talk about the “N” word.
Neglect. To pay little or no attention to; to fail to care for or attend properly; to ignore or disregard.
As a hairdresser, I know what it looks like for a woman to neglect her hair: unsightly roots, massive split ends and dull, lackluster color. A complete portrait of tresses neglected. However, even if our professional appointment has been on delay, due to time, finances or what-have-you, at least we all know how to put a brush through it daily, right? That would just be plain silly, to allow your hair to go unwashed, uncombed for weeks on end. There would be no one but ourselves to blame for the dreadlocks growing and the host of unmentionable inhabitants we might encounter.
I have also seen what it looks like for a woman to highly value the upkeep of her hair: frequent haircuts; style-out appointments for no special occasion; expensive oil treatments; high-maintenance color; pricey products, and not to mention the extravagant procedure of “adding hair”. Cha-Ching, Y’all. (Oh the joys of working in a spa, where all of these things are at your disposal, and you leave “work” feeling more fabulous than when you arrived! Sorry, I had to gloat a bit…anyways, I do miss those days).
And lets not forget about the men! I see them on a Sunday afternoon, waxing and washing their precious rides; modern or vintage- either way, that baby is getting sweet-talked , shined up and pampered!
Now, that car was not a rusty lemon when he took it off the lot. It takes years of neglecting oil changes; tune-ups; washes and waxes or even tire rotations, for that machine to rust out and ka-dunk-a-dunk on the freeway during rush hour.
It is what we do with what we have that our belongings take on a new shape – a new status.
Have we, as a culture, lost the accountability and responsibility for what belongs to us, that we become a “victim of circumstance” when these things fall apart?
Our health, marriages, families, and our faith all require a responsibility followed by an accountability for their sustainability and growth. We allow “things” and “daily life” to stand in the way of that nurturing. We say what we believe, but live what we value.
As I stood with clippers in hand that day, I reflected on years of color, hi-lights, haircuts, styling products; every little thing I had allowed to stand in the way of taking care of the most important things in my life. The things I was given, as a gift, yet was not taking full accountability and responsibility for. The things I was letting get wild and unruly, and somewhat unrecognizable.
Shaving it all off, without a second thought, was a statement to myself and to my family. For me, probably much more life-speaking than most, seeing as how my life’s work was wrapped up in the value of hair.
It was a statement of unity. A declaration of laying it ALL down – throwing it down, letting it go, allowing it to fall away and give myself the freedom to walk beside my child from that day forward. To live, authentically; my beliefs, values and lifestyle, for once, all aligned.
What is it in your life that is standing, or sitting, in the way of taking complete accountability and responsibility for the gifts you have been given? What areas in your life are just “okay”, and not “incredible”? What can you take the clippers to, in order to take your stand towards the nurture and purposeful care of those gifts? Whatever it is, do it.
Here’s to a life of FREEDOM to live authentically, today.