… the beauty of freedom

I love next to nothing  more (besides Jesus) than I love a fresh hair cut.
And, next to no one I talk to (who knew me pre-fade) can hardly comprehend this chop.
But, let me tell you….. It’s been one of the best acts of self care that I’ve done for myself in years.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who pressed me about cutting my hair.
The same responses were given that had been repeated for nearly two years.
This is the thing:
That answer was repeated almost verbatim (mainly because I legit practiced the response) because I knew I’d be questioned, I knew those questions would come hard and fast, semi-judgmental and I wanted to be prepared.

Prepared to defend doing what I wanted for myself.
Defend something that affected no one else.
Isn’t that… interesting?

However, I believe the core of choosing to chop all of my beautiful, long, and thick hair off was dug up and unearthed a week ago.

My hair was cut lower than it had ever been and I then dyed it rose gold.
And, I loved it. The color has since grown out a bit, but I love this look. I love the cut.

I felt beautiful.
I felt free.
Capable.
And, that’s when it dawned on me.

While yes, I cut my hair because I did not have the time nor want to spend 3-4 hours every other week washing/conditioning/twisting | sit for 3 days (super inconvenient) | untwist every morning (15-30 mins every morning) | retwist at night (30-45 mins) | toss in a  puff for a week…… my hair was damaged, breaking, thinning and completely unhealthy and I didn’t want to deal with it anymore.

Not to mention the girls destroyed the house/their room while I was trying to do all of this. It was stressful, induced anxiety, and was insanely frustrating. Combining the the hours it spent washing/braiding/combing Rhy & Lo’s hair, the last thing I wanted to do was do my own hair. While all of that is true…..

I cut my hair because it’s my hair. on my head. that only I have to deal with and I wanted to.

And, I have never felt more beautiful and at peace with who I am or my appearance. 

One thing I cannot do is bend and confirm to another person’s idea and perspective of what is
beautiful, acceptable, or attractive.

Which is one main reason I value my singleness.
When we are married we sort of have to (or it will greatly benefit us to) take into consideration
our partner’s likes or dislikes and if your goal is submission, to fall under their leadership
and go with their final say.

However, as a single woman……
No one else’s preferences are taken into account when it comes to what I like for me (tattoos/cuts/color/piercings), what I need and what is best for me (from the supplements I need to take in order for me to feel my best to a new ______),
or how I choose to do anything.

My body. My hair. My choices. 
Especially since none of these things are affecting/hurting/harming another human.

(This likely isn’t a mindset you should take on as a wife….)
I cannot give someone that much power over me, that much say over what I do for my own emotional, physical, or mental health. I cannot allow someone else to control how I want to wear my hair, and live in their box of what they like or feel is attractive.
I can’t lose or dishonor who I am and what I need for another person.
or their ever fleeting and changing thoughts.

“You can’t cut your hair!”
“That was a bad idea….”
“Why would you want to do that to yourself?”
“You are going to grow it back, right?”
“What are you doing?”

Limiting, short sighted, fearful, and judgmental thoughts and ideas imposed on another person.. for what?

I love the freedom of experimenting with length and now color.
I love the freedom of not being held back by my very own fears or being limited due to another
person’s struggle with what other people will say, think, or feel.
I love that fear does not reign here.
I love that taking chances and calculated risks are a huge
aspect of living a full life of no regrets.

At the end of the day, our lives are about no one but Christ and if he isn’t offended… why are you allowing someone else’s preferences dictate your life?

Join the MLM (they aren’t the devil and we can chat about the best one when you’re ready).
Take the supplements. Travel. Take the kids with you.
Be bold in that space. Have the convo. Take the lesson. Take the job.
Go back to school.Don’t go back to school.
Trust the Lord and do the things, above all else.

“… whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things and the God of peace will be with you…….”
Philippians 4:8

That scripture there is the standard and barometer. 
Do I miss my curls?
No.
Were they absolutely beautiful?
Yes.
And, hot. Also, very hot.

But, that season is over.
I don’t regret a moment of chopping my relaxed hair to embrace my natural hair.
I don’t regret a moment of chopping my natural curls and wearing a fade.

Look at me.
Joy, peace, & happiness rest here.
Fear doesn’t reign.
Boxes and limits don’t exist.
Just freedom.
Embracing opportunity.
Trusting the Lord.
Raising these babies.
Serving others.
And, enjoying each day of this life.
Yes, it’s full of trouble,
but it’s also full of so much grace, goodness, and promises
of comfort, a future + hope, and abundance.

The more I allow myself to step out of my comfort zone, follow the steps the Lord is
laying before me (as confusing and uncomfortable as they may be),
the more I experience just that.

Hey, girl, hey.
My name is Alaina.
I am not bound by fear, limits, boxes, or my own comfort zone.
And, let me tell you, that thing you’re afraid of doing…
isn’t your obstacle.
What’s holding you back is how you think of yourself and who you believe you are.
That’s it.
I love the own versatility.
I love my growth.
My bravery.
Boldness.
That smile.
This season of life.
My openness to change, possibility, and the unknown.
My beauty.
Unapologetic.
Unashamed.
Free.
Fully recognized.
Fully embraced.
Unconditionally loved.
.

Go be great, sis.

“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.”
Song of Songs 4: 7 

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