Appearance and Identity: what I’m learning about letting go
One of my staples about myself growing up was my curly hair. Of course, I always wanted it to be straight and blond – and everyone always told me they would kill (or pay a lot) for my curls and dark, natural red highlights.
I eventually grew into my hair, and I grew to love it.
So when I noticed a few months ago – after having my first child – that my curls were starting to disappear, I felt like I was losing some of my identity. Who is Heather Hammond with STRAIGHT hair? And, how the heck do I style my hair if it’s not curly. Seriously – can someone show me how to use a round brush or a curling iron?!
More than just my appearance, I felt like I was losing a part of my identity. On the one hand, I knew this was silly – afterall, it was just my hair. But on the other hand, I felt like this one aspect of my appearance defined ME.
The truth is, no part of our appearance defines who we are – whether it’s a good feature, like curly hair, or it’s something we’d rather not draw attention to (like those extra ten pounds or extra-large feet). I’ve started to focus on who I really am and what expressions of my personality define my identity – highlighting ones that don’t have anything to do with my appearance.
It’s difficult to separate the two – appearance and identity. But accepting who we are physically allows us to embrace who we are as a person as well.
I’m letting go of my curls and embracing my spirit. Is there something you need to let go of about your physical appearance in order to embrace the fullness of who you are?