Why I Choose Not To Dye My Hair

Several years ago I had to take a step back and evaluate some things. Physically speaking I was in great shape, and I looked GREAT (on the outside). I went tanning, I had my nails and toes done, I always had my hair dyed, and I lived in the gym. I plucked, shaved, and tweezed meticulously, and I bought all the latest makeup trends, cleansers, toners, eye creams, etc. I also contoured every. single. day.

And I’ll be honest, it was exhausting and never in my adult life was I more self conscious than I was at that time. I hated myself. If I skipped the gym I would berate myself for not trying hard. If I ate fast food I would literally tell myself how worthless I was. The hate I had for my own being was palpable. I wished for more will power, I wished I couldn’t eat certain foods, I wished for just another 5 pounds to lose. Maybe then I would be happy.

I thought I had to maintain a certain level of physical perfection for people to like me, to be wanted, and to be loved. I thought that if I didn’t stand out physically, I had nothing to offer, and I would be alone. I would spent HOURS after work working on my appearance. Even remembering this time in my life really breaks my heart. I was so lost.

I was also critical of everyone else if they didn’t put in the same effort and at the same time, I hated everyone who DID put physical appearance on such a high pedestal. I called them shallow, I glared at them, I told them they were what was wrong with society. Yet, I was their queen. I despised every single person who sent me a message or told me I was pretty. I would get mad that that was the only thing they noticed about me, yet that was all I focused on too.

Working so hard on my outward appearance didn’t leave much time for internal work. I refused to slow down, I needed to do more. And then one day my entire world came crashing down. I got sick. My body wouldn’t allow me to use all the products I had used previously. No makeup, no tanning, no hair dye, no more gym.

All of the things I had wished for came true. I couldn’t eat anymore (other than like three foods), I lost close to 40 more pounds, and I had developed incredible self control because if I slipped up, I could end up in the hospital. I was so scared. For the first in my life I was forced to slow down. I had to deal with all the stuff I had been running from. When you’re used to being busy, there is almost a cruel torture in not being able to do anything. Like the mental pain of having to deal with the quiet was excruciating; when you’re alone with your own thoughts.

Here is where the healing comes in though. I started to realize that no one else really cared or noticed that I didn’t have my nails done, that my skin wasn’t as tan, or that my hair was turning grey. I wasn’t treated any differently. I also realized that God loved me for who I was and was much more concerned with the state of my soul, which I am still in the process of healing almost four years later. The more I have healed, the more I’ve realized I still have to heal.

I can use makeup again, I can use nail polish again, I can eat a few more foods than I had when this started, but none of that stuff is as important to me as making sure I am right with God. Slowly, the trauma from my drug addiction days have healed, the abuse from my first marriage has healed, the mental torment from being involved in the occult for a while (when I was an addict) has subsided, the pain from the things my children had to experience because of my choices has gone away and little by little I am able to open up without being transported back to that time and feeling ALL the emotions that were involved.

All of this was made possible by being forced to slow down and see my worth; to see that I was a daughter of a king and that I am made perfectly in His image. Proverbs says, “Beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.” Our looks are only temporary. You can only reverse the clock for so long, and then what will you have to show for your life? Will you go into the grave with a perfectly sculpted appearance? Or will you go to the grave with a legacy left on earth?

So why don’t I dye my hair? Sometimes I get caught up in my appearance again and start taking a lot of selfies or getting sucked back into those beauty standards but it is only for a moment. When I see my grey hair, I am reminded that I am perfect just the way I am and focusing solely on my outer appearance leads to destruction. Vanity (pride) is one of the seven deadly sins after all. Actually, I believe it is listed at the number one of the seven.

*These are not recorded in the Bible, but have been traditionally taught in Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholic circles.

Anyway, I know it is unheard of in our culture today for a 35 year old woman to let her hair go natural, but I think it is beautiful. I love my grey hair. I love that I am no longer bound by physical constraints and beauty standards set by society. I am blessed that I have been able to understand the importance of rest, and the importance of health.

I still have a ways to go. There was a lot of deep seeded trauma I had been avoiding. So many things I allowed to go on in my life that I thought were normal, but contributed to a slew of depression diagnosis and crippling anxiety. I never would have realized that the anger I felt towards myself and others, the physical perfection I was trying to obtain, and the inability to SLOW DOWN, were all due to the things I hadn’t healed yet and was avoiding.

What do you use to cope? What are you avoiding?

God can’t flow through clogged pipes. Pipes that are unaligned leak water everywhere. Or put in a biblical term that I recently heard, a bleeding Deborah can’t be a healing Deborah. If you want to step into your calling and help others, take time to clear out past trauma and realign your soul. You can’t and won’t heal until you do.

My grey hair is a sign of healing, progress, and a show of pride (different form of pride than vanity) for how far I have come. I am loved, I am valued, and I am in line with what God has for me and every day I look in the mirror I can smile as I am faced with that reminder.

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