I’ve finally begun to work on me, and it’s been quite a journey. I always thought working on “self” rather than putting the focus on others was a selfish act. I’m finding that God intends for us to be who He wants us to be and sometimes we have to work at that.
“Practice loving yourself,” someone said, and I realized in order to love myself I needed to become someone I could love. Someone who didn’t give in and bend to everyone else’s whims. Someone who was true to self and stuck with that no matter what.
Mentally I went over every aspect of my life. Most things were in order. I have a good relationship with God. I have a wonderful marriage. Going down the list I checked a lot of boxes. But I often don’t speak my mind, deferring instead to the people around me. And I tend to “look like” others want me to look. In my childhood and young adulthood that was my parents. Now it’s my spouse.
The clothes we wear, and our jewelry and hairstyles, often reflect our “group.” My group is extremely conservative. For example, I’m always telling hair stylists to go crazy with my hair, and it ends up in a nice, safe bob tucked under. They see that conservative outer shell, even though inside I’m an artist, musician, and writer. Sigh.
I’ve recently re-discovered one of my favorite hobbies, sewing. I thought about the clothes I wear versus the ones I’d really love to wear, and that was the day I became Boho. Bohemian, with a modern flair. To me that means layers and lace and flowers. Soft colors. Flowy.
I started making that sort of clothing. Some are completely made from scratch, feeling my way along. I bought a few pieces, since it’s not possible to make a whole new wardrobe overnight. Most of those were inexpensive since (1) I’m going to lose weight and (2) they’re stand-ins for the wardrobe I’m sewing.
If you’re’ changing your wardrobe, you’ve got to change your hair – see the Great Dreadlocks Debacle. And buy new shoes. And of course, once you’re a dreadlock-wearing, flowy, middle-aged bohemian you realize you can’t be uptight anymore. Enter yoga and meditation.
As Christians we want to reflect Christ’s love so all that Zen translates into projecting love to others. So now I’m wearing dreadlocks, flowy clothes, and lots of love of course. Hopefully love that spills over onto others — effortlessly.