Been longer than I planned since I updated. It's been a really slow process in terms of changes in my hair. There are, at the current moment, three locks forming quite nicely and I haven't yet taken any photos of them as it's kind of hard to do myself. So, perhaps there's a little metaphor in this part of the journey. Ask for help :) It's really not that hard, but asking for help shows vulnerability, which I have a hard time with. And hence, another reason for embarking on this journey. I want to allow myself to be more open, more vulnerable.
There are certain situations in my life that have given me the opportunity to learn patience and gentleness and respect for the journeys of others. It is easy to look at anyone from your own perspective and judge them and expect things of them based on your own needs. But often, what these people truly need is your tenderness, your ability to put their own needs ahead of yours, knowing that they know what they need and that they will carve their own path in their own way, based on what is right for them. It is not our place to try to make another person *see* what we see, but rather it is our place to hold them gently and caress their tender hearts while allowing them to find their own way. And putting your own needs aside for the sake of another's needs/happiness/wants/preferences doesn't make you weak, nor does it open you up to be a doormat. Instead, it makes you a compassionate human being, and most importantly it allows your friend or loved one to be free. And there is nothing more loving than the freedom to be yourself without being judged or held to unnecessarily binding standards. When you really think about it, most people's intentions are not to purposefully hurt you or make your life harder, especially those who truly do love and care for you. All any of us want is to be happy, and content and confident and independently sufficient in ourselves. How can we expect another person to treat us with the respect for our needs if we don't give the same to them.
Everyone is on their own journey. There are people who can't understand why I would want to let my hair go as I have been. A few have begged me to let them brush it, and yes, I've been told that it's really rather messy looking. Some day, I will brush it. Don't know when that will be, but it will happen when and if I feel it's right, not when someone else feels that I should. In that respect, why would I force my own metaphorical brush upon another?
I also want to take this time to thank one of my longest and closest friends for the ability to have a ridiculously heated, defensive (on both sides) late night conversation about many things we've both needed to let out. One where we both could have walked away from it feeling resentful and judgmental of each other. Instead, a few days later we came back to each other with nothing but compassion looking back on the many parts of ourselves that showed through in that heated discussion, knowing that it in no way impacted our ability to continue to be amazing friends to each other. It is in the worst, most confrontational conversations with those around us that we seem to dig down deep in ourselves and figure out a lot of things that we don't often see or care to admit. And for that, I couldn't be more thankful to call you my friend.
More on the journey to come. And I promise next time there will be pictures.