I’m a butterfly!

I am a butterflyA lot has happened since I last wrote so in the guise of a new beginning I have to tell you about a dramatic change in my life.

I had been growing my locs for five years and I really loved the way my hair moved, being able to walk through the streets of Jamaica to the sounds of people calling my name ‘Empress’, to exchange knowing glances and nods with people who share my identity and to look in the mirror and know who I am. Yes my locs made a statement!

Now if I my antics with mr lupus to the mix, then a battle ensues and my scalp and my locs are at war. I have to admit I had watched them fight for a while, felt every punch and kick and chosen not to intervene, but it was Christmas and I had to ask myself the question “how long are you going to allow a battle to rage around you without doing something about it.” I ignored the question but it just seemed to get louder and louder until I had to say “enough already” (yes I am having heated conversations with myself, but don’t pretend that I am the only one!)

And in the moment a decision was made.

I then spent weeks making and unmaking that decision, listening to other people’s opinions and crying my way through the process. I read somewhere that there are actually 38 toxins in each tear so I was detoxing my way through it all. (Nothing like a good detox to keep you going.)

I had decided to cut off all my locs. I hear you as you exclaim OMG!

Sitting in the hairdressers I had a glass of red wine in one hand and a prayer in my heart. My conversation with God was simply to help me through the challenge of the moment and show me a way to move forward and then there was the snip snip sound of the scissors as my ‘identity’ fell on the floor.

The first thought was who called the ‘cease-fire’? The torment on my scalp had been immediately relieved but I dared not look in the mirror, I didn’t know what had been lurking beneath.

To my surprise it was not as stark and painful as I thought it would be so I thought why not give it some colour so I dyed it red (don’t worry it was a non chemical dye), as you do.

When it had been shaped and slicked back I took a long look in the mirror and was amazed at what I saw.

I was fairer in complexion than I remembered, my eyes were brighter and I looked amazing. I discovered a beauty that had long since been hidden and actually felt ready to face the world and knew that the wigs sitting at home would not get much usage at all.

I am a butterfly

  • I am sharing this story with you because in a twinkling of an eye I learnt some valuable and powerful lessons:
  • Thinking about cutting my locs was far more painful than the act of doing it. The fear that gripped me could so easily have prevented me from reaping the benefits. We so often talk ourselves out of things just because we are scared.
  • Other people’s opinions are useful but the decision to take charge of our lives has to be our own.
  • Making a decision (whatever it is) is a powerful position to be in and you can only move forward from that place.
  • Holding on to things past their sell by date hinders your progress and keeps you away from the light. You cannot move forward with them. You are either dragging your feet or going around in circles.
  • Letting go of things, people, situations etc that no longer serve you or the journey you are on is vital as they often keep us preoccupied and prevent us from getting going or keeping moving. Imagine sitting at the traffic lights and each time it turns green the person/thing next to you keeps you occupied so that when you look at the lights again it is back on red.  How long are you going to allow this to keep happening?
  • Who you are is not a measure of the length of your hair, the size of your hips, the car you drive, the work you do etc. they are simply ways you choose to display them to the world. Who you are is that inner something struggling to make itself known.  I lost my locs but it actually made room for me to shine through. One of the comments I have had is about ‘the glow’ that is now present.
  • People see what we show them. Everyone I have come into contact with has commented on my beauty and how much brighter I look. They can see this because I can see this and am embracing this.
  • One successful thing leads to another. My new look has made me examine my wardrobe and there are some clothes that just have to go.
  • Embracing change is the key to success. We hold on to things or stay in places often because it is familiar and we are fearful of the unknown. In order to move forward we have to take a leap of faith and ‘trust’ that it is going to be okay.

It’s been two months since this momentous occasion and although I can’t say it has always been easy I keep reminding myself that mr lupus didn’t do this to me I chose to cut my hair and as long as I can keep remembering the choices I have the journey will be easier.

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About Carole

I am a fun loving woman of a certain age who believes that living with lupus is more than just about symptoms, medications and treatment. Laughter and a positive mental attitude are the essential nutrients in my daily diet and I just want to share a word or two to contribute to yours. And I am a certified Laughter Leader!

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