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I Cut My Hair

I was struggling. A lot. There were moments of peace. Moments where I wasn’t feeling completely heavy. Mostly though, I put on a brave face. I walked around and smiled and returned to life as normal…because, well, what else was I supposed to do? 

But there was nothing normal about my life and how I was feeling. I had a million questions. What about our sealing? Do I still want that? Was it all really just mental illness? Or was there a lot of just foul temper in there too? Who can know for sure…they both look so much the same. 

There were days and days of debate within my heart. Hours and hours of wondering if I wanted to be sealed to this man for all of eternity or if I wanted to seek another relationship with someone who would be an actual partner in life. I had dreams about Cory. I had dreams about finding someone who was kind and gentle. Those two dreams were never the same night. It was never Cory who was the someone who was kind and gentle. It was always some other, unknown person. Someone with whom I felt safe and protected but who was also kind and gentle and loving to me. 

I felt certain I’d never again be able to know my own mind and heart.

One day, a couple of years ago, I was reading in Jeremiah and it talks about lamentation being connected with cutting off the hair. And I thought about the tradition which still exists today (although dwindling) in the Hindu religion for a woman to shave her head as a mark of her widowhood. Others also shave their heads as a sign of mourning and, while the widow will never let her hair grow back to show her devotion (even in his death) to her husband, all the others who shaved their heads will be through the period of mourning when their hair has grown back. 

Other cultures and religions practice this head shearing at the death of a spouse and the woman also moves with the rest of her family and loved ones out of mourning as her hair grows back. There are stories of head shearing to remove the ego. Or shaving the head to show respect and admiration for the one who has departed.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to shave my head. The first time I came close was in college. I was sitting in the dorm room of a new friend and we were talking about how hot it was and I was saying that I wished I could shave my head. My friend asked if I was serious and told me she knew someone with clippers. Fast forward a couple of hours and nearly 2-foot pieces of my hair lay on the ground outside the dorms with my very short (but not completely shaved) hair of head being gawked at by those who happened by.

I’ve never been brave enough to shave it all completely off. But as I read that verse in Jeremiah and thought about the many traditions around the world of shaving one’s head after the death of a spouse, I thought there must be something to that. So I began to research.

I was curious as to why it always felt like a weight was lifted when I’d get my hair cut…it wasn’t like what was cut off weighed more than a few ounces. So why did I feel as if a great burden was lifted each time I went to someone to cut my hair? Even when it was just for a trim?

I learned that hair is made from the protein waste in our cells. Our body collects that waste and sends it out in the form of hair. There are a million, million things that can be learned from that alone. There’s so much! But I want to focus on one particular aspect which was called to my attention by learning this. 

Where does the waste in our cells come from? There are several layers to get down to it, but at the end of the day, the waste is produced by the reproduction of our DNA strands within our cells. And what is our DNA? It is the basic structure of who we are. And, I believe, it is not just the structure of who we are physically, but also who we are spiritually. I do not have hard scientific evidence to back up that belief. But I do have personal confirmation from the Spirit that the things I have learned about my body are true. 

Our DNA is pure, at it’s basic form. It is the creative blueprint for who I was meant to be on this earth before I took on the layers that came from abuse, neglect, shame, fear, and all the other heavy and painful experiences this life has offered me. Every time I accepted something about myself that was not true to who I am, as an eternal being, I also accepted a layer encoded over my original DNA which was brought into being within my internal world through my own creation under the direction of Jehovah. Together, He and I created the structure that would determine my creation. 

Those accepted beliefs…or, rather, disbeliefs about myself, altered the original structure. And my spirit helps in concert with the Holy Spirit to bring into my life those experiences I need in order to regain my original DNA composition. 

Now. If this is true, and waste proteins in the cells come from dying off DNA strands as it replicates into a new strand, with little changes as it goes…if this is true, then my hair is made up of those things of which I am letting go. In essence, my hair is composed of my disbeliefs. It may also be composed of my faith and belief if I am regressing and taking on new layers. But I like to hope I am recomposing closer to my original intent with each new cell cycle rather than regressing into a lessor version of myself.

So my hair is made of those things which I am ready to let go and no longer believe. Which is why cutting my hair always felt like such a weight was being lifted.

The first time my hair was cut after this thought occurred to me was indeed a kind of sacred experience. As my friend, Erin, cut my hair in her home, I literally had thoughts come to my mind - memories and experiences which had hurt me or caused me pain but seemed to no more have their hold on me. And I knew the things I had been discovering were true.

So gather all of these experiences together - the scriptures, the mourning rituals of other cultures, the understanding of where our hair comes from, and my own desire to draw nearer each day to the woman I worked so hard to become with God as my mentor. And suddenly there did not seem to be any other question.

Hair trim 2 weeks before chopping

It was late June when I sat in Erin’s home, the need to shear my head pounding on me like I was going to explode if I did not act in that very moment. So I told Er about it. This was all news to her as most of my pondering had been kept very internal over the months and years and she was concerned I was making a rash decision I would regret as soon as it was done. But I had been thinking about this for a very, very long time…and about shaving my head, in particular, since I was a teenager.

So I went into her bathroom to get started. She cautioned me to really think about it again and be sure it was what I wanted. I stood there in front of her mirror and almost could not stand the need I felt to rid myself of all the hair on my head. It had to be gone. The pot was boiling over and this was the day. So I picked up the scissors from the hair kit she brought to me earlier and I grabbed a huge chunk of my hair and I just cut. Short. 

Erin came in to ask me if I was sure, saw what I had done, and asked if I wanted her help. So without any rhyme or reason, we started hacking away at my long hair. We ended up with this.

The next day I went to a barbershop and asked them to clean it up for me and ended up like this.

It was fine for a while. I lasted about a month with touchups here and there. Then, when at the barbershop to get it cleaned up, the woman asked me if I wanted it to look a little more modern. I said sure. And I walked out with a mohawk. That wasn’t me. So I cut it off and ended up with this. 

And I stayed like this until one week before we were to leave for China. I was trimming up my hair and then took off the number 2 so it was just the clippers to trim up the very back on my neck. I set the clippers down to rinse off my head and felt a spot on the very top of my hair, as I was rinsing off, that was still longer and needed the number 2 on it again. Not thinking, I simply picked up the clippers and went to work on that spot, surprised by how much hair came falling off my head. And that’s when I remembered I’d taken the 2 off. So, finally getting what I’d always wanted, I just shaved the whole thing. All my hair was shorn off my head. I was completely bald with only stubs that were barely even in existence on my very pale pate. (This picture is after a few days of growth.)

I looked hideous. I looked completely ridiculous. And as I looked in the mirror, I began to cry. I cried because I finally had done what my heart was telling me I wanted to do for so very many years. I cried because my outsides finally matched the way I was feeling on the inside. I cried because I was spiky and hard and rough and a little bit scary to look at now…which was exactly how I was feeling.

And it felt amazing. I felt free. I felt able to finally just be where I was. I felt the burdens of a lifetime literally drop from me as I rinsed all that hair off of my head and stood looking in the mirror at the most horrific sight I’d ever seen. 

But then my hair began to grow back. Over the course of my five weeks in China, plus the week before we left, my hair grew enough to warrant a trim a couple of times. When I first arrived in China, people would gawk and stare at me. My size, alone, is something they'd stare at…I have more fat on me than any other person I saw during our entire time there. And that’s a lot of people. But then you add my bald head and my very fair skin and I was quite the anomaly. They simply didn't know what to do but stare.

Over time, I was glad they'd stare. It gave me a new confidence in myself that I never had before. I look the way I look by choice. And it didn't matter what they thought - I liked who I was more than ever. Each day I came closer to being the me I desired to be. And that felt amazing.

I also have never felt more feminine in my entire life. That truly shocked me. I thought I would feel very boyish and that I’d be anxious for my hair to grow back. But instead I not only feel more feminine, but I feel more able to wear feminine clothing without it being too much. Before clothes that were decidedly feminine made me feel like I was dripping with it. I don’t know why. Don’t ask me. I just always felt like I could not wear certain clothing (which I thought was adorable) because it just felt like it was too much. Now, with the short hair, I feel like I can wear those clothes and it isn’t overwhelmingly feminine. It’s just the right combination that makes me feel like I am finally expressing outwardly in a very honest way who I am inwardly. And it’s fun.

I do not know how long I will keep my hair this short. Maybe forever. I certainly have no plans for growing my hair back any time soon. This feels good to me and it feels like an honest expression of where I am. 

I am trying to partner with my Creator to bring into full realization in this life the original blueprint He and I designed in some forgotten place at a time unknown to my mortal mind. Perhaps I will one day grow my hair back. Perhaps one day I will feel a desire for long hair…I could see that happening once the layers are off my DNA and I have watched with vigilance until I am obeyed by the creations within my body-world. (See Abraham 4:14-18 to understand my reference about watching until I have been obeyed.)

So perhaps one day I will again have long hair. But until then, I want to keep shedding off those disbeliefs as quickly as possible…removing them from my creation swiftly and keeping my hair short and close. 

I sheared my head in an expression of grief and mourning and loss. But I keep it that way in an expression of joy and gratitude and respect to the creation I am trying to become with my God as my guide.


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