So here I am on my quest to become what the African-American community has termed “natural.” I’m only at nearly 3 months on my journey of growing my relaxer out. And while I had previously considered how much effort and work it would take to make this transition, I never once thought about how much adversity I would meet as a result of this personal decision to go “natural.” A couple of weeks ago, I got my very first “transitioning style” and to be completely honest it took a few hours for me to get adjusted to my new look. But I think that’s a normal reaction to change in general. Now what took me a little longer to get used to was all of the negative reactions that I received from people in regards to my hair. If you know me intimately, you know that I am an extremely sensitive individual. With that being said, I often take harsh words spoken to heart and let them mull over and over in mind until they become like a deadly cancer slowly killing every ounce of positive esteem that I harbor. Now here I was thinking that I looked HAUTE and I had a few individuals who made comments and facial expressions making it very clear that they were in utter disapproval of my new look. Honestly, all of the naysayers literally made me feel ugly and discouraged. I even had people tell me that I couldn’t or shouldn’t do this. It wasn’t until I met all of this adversity about me going “natural” that I realized that I often focus on what other people think about my decisions and sometimes I even let them deter me from my plans .
I thank God for His Word because he has something in there for everything that I could ever feel or experience. In His first love letter to me, Genesis, He explicitly states that I was made in His image (Genesis 1:27) so I, like David, will praise God because I am fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14) I realized that in the grand scheme of things, when all of the smoke cleared, the only two thoughts that really mattered were my God’s and mine and we were both in approval of this new look. In fact, my Daddy in heaven was so much more concerned with the other parts of me that no one could see but Him. For man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4
I literally heard Him whisper to me, “If you let me beautify you on the inside, it will reflect on the outside through your smile, your confidence and your overall demeanor. So whose report do you believe?”
In every decision that YOU make in YOUR life (and there are so many more important ones than my hair!), know that you are going to meet opposition, nay sayers and doubters. I believe that this is usually the sign of a great idea or plan. The important thing is to push past the people who tell you what you can’t or shouldn’t do. I remember this profound line from Chris Gardner in Pursuit of Happyness: “You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.”
Oh and what I failed to mention was that for that handful of people who made disgusting faces or rude comments, I had at least 4 handfuls more who showered me with compliments. Many of them came directly behind a derogatory comment. Isn’t that just like God to send encouragement in the midst of adversity just to let you know that He’s still there and He still cares!
Here are three principles to enact every time you meet adversity on your way to a goal or promise:
1) Focus on your goal, not the negative things that people have to say about it. I realized that the only comments that I was repeating were the ones that didn’t align with what I wanted to do. I was busy telling everyone all of the harsh words that were spoken about the situation. Please don’t make this mistake. Spend your energy completing your task and only play positive, encouraging comments over in your mind.
2) Celebrate the support system that you do have. For many people, it’s just you and God. Celebrate that! If you have family and friends that are genuinely interested in seeing you get to your destiny, consider yourself blessed and celebrate that! Quit worrying about who you don’t have in your corner and focus on that faithful few who are cheering you on.
3) Never let others action affect your great character. It’s so easy to become the very person that you despise. It doesn’t take much effort to take the negative words spewed in your direction and send them to another person aspiring to do something great. For every negative word spoken to you, find someone else and speak life into their dream for their family, business or life!
Sometimes I’m affected by the things that people say about me and I thank You for letting me know that this is a completely normal reaction. I know that You love everything about me, flaws and all. May you teach me to see the beauty in me and all the things that you are leading me to do even when no one else can see it. I thank You for Your 20/20 vision that is better than any natural eye. Continue to beautify me from the inside out! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Today, choose to love and EMPOWER yourself and what you are pursuing even if you don’t have ONE physical supporter. Know that your dreams are attainable and you and God comprise the loudest, biggest cheering section that you could ever imagine.