Getting rid of idols + security blankets

Kokoon-156

When I was a little girl, probably in the 2nd grade, my mom cut my hair above my shoulders and I cried the entire time.  In college, I went to get my hair cut and the stylist I had been going to for years who knew I loved my long tresses cut my hair right below my shoulders – I put my hair in a ponytail until it grew out and never saw her again.

Of course I think as humans we all have preferences on how we prefer we look – but sometimes you have to think, Is it really because I look better this way or Is this an unhealthy security blanket?  I found security in my hair, I can’t explain it, it sounds ridiculous and it wasn’t this way all the time.  Or perhaps it was, but I never realized it because I always left my hair long.  Security turned into an idol.  Now not all women who have long hair idolize their hair.  But for me, deep down, I knew there was something wrong. I kept looking at photos of myself and thought, it just looked too long, but why couldn’t I seem to cut more? Why was it giving me anxiety that even when I went for a trim I’d come home and declare, “It’s too short!” ?

I’ve had many idols in my life.  Some were things, vanity, other times it was a person, or a goal.  My idols have changed and lessoned as I’ve matured spiritually and come to acknowledge them.  I know people who have idols of things that I particularly couldn’t ever imagine  idolizing (at least it’s not for me at the moment) – idols change and they hold different weight depending on who you are.  None of us though are ever free from them.

I had never cut my hair short since that accidental college chop I mentioned earlier in this post.  But then I did it this summer – you may or may not have noticed and if you didn’t, you may be thinking I could’ve gone shorter to really make a point.  The cut was a cut, one I would have never done before and two months later, I went back and cut it again.  I actually walked away disappointed my hair wasn’t shorter – such a change.  Something happened after that.  There’s a feeling of freedom – I can cut my hair and I can grow it out, what-ev-er.  It’s just hair, it’ll grow back. Honestly, I’ll probably let it go long this fall because I think I my fall outfits will look better with longer hair, and I may cut it when it annoys me again.  That’s just one recent example of my latest idol.  Hair – so silly.

There’s something about letting go and realizing you’re still the same person with or without your idol.  Your idol is just a temporary fixation making something more important and bigger than life and God.  It’s putting too much weight on something that won’t last forever – beauty, a thing, person, job, car, home, you pick your poison.  How do you know if you have one?  What creates fear in you if you suddenly lost it?  What can’t you give up right now?  There’s your answer.

Once you admit it, do something – let it go in your heart, cut the ties.  It’ll be so freeing.  Chop chop.

Have you ever realized you had a security blanket/idol? What did you do to free yourself from it?

{Photo by Melissa Louise for Kokoon}  Outfit:  Kokoon top / Free People denim

Diana Elizabeth believes if you idolize something, you can let it go in your heart and still have it in your life – with a different perspective.  Getting rid of an idol doesn’t necessarily mean you have to say goodbye physically, but other times, you may.

Trying to decide what to write to make myself sound interesting.

6 Comments

  • Mailinh

    I’m totally right there with you, Diana! My stylist knows me so well that when I want to go short, she looks at me and goes: “are you sure?” I took about three inches off this time and layered it a bit, but a couple of days later I felt like I could have gone for the four inches instead of three. I was willing to go five, but we meet in the middle with three.

    It’s interesting how you want to try something, but you take a step back because you’re unsure of the outcome.

    • Diana Elizabeth

      I’m ready to grow it out, but also looking forward to cutting it again next summer :) We are always scared of the unknown, or unfamiliar, just humans being humans ;) Or, girls being girls!

  • Angela

    My friend Diana, I think this post was meant to be, as I sat tonight contemplating the painful loss of my once thin, tight, and fit body. It’s been more than 10 years since I’ve looked in the mirror and felt “comfortable”. I won’t expand on details, but will share how grateful I am for your post. makes me realize that whether it is hair, muscle, skin, or …whatever…..this is not WHO we are, it’s only superficial. The inside is all that matters, and THAT is what I am going to concentrate on when I look in the mirror. xoxox

    • Diana Elizabeth

      My dearest Angela, I love when you share your heart with me! While I didn’t know you during the time you enjoyed your body the most, I know you now and I love your heart. I was just telling a friend of when I thought I was in my prime, years ago and it made me realize if I dwell too much on that, the future will never look bright. So I try to embrace every stage for what it is – there are things we have lost, but also things we gain as time passes so I try to concentrate on the things gained – keeps me hopeful. ;) Love you! xoxo

  • Carmen

    Hi Diana,
    When I was little my dad would cut my hair short – almost like a boy. So embarrassing! So while growing up and taking control of my own hair I let it grow long. And I’ve been wearing my hair long, but in layers for many years.
    I cut off about four inches of my hair this summer because it was getting ridiculous. I couldn’t manage it the way I want it to, being that my hair is curly/course textured. I wanted to cut it shorter than what it is right now, but my hair dresser asked if I was sure… I honestly took a step back and let fear take over lol so we also met half way. (My story kinda sounds like Mailinh’s) haha.
    I feel like I have to cut 3 more inches cuz it is still long and kind of annoying! But my husband doesn’t want me to. As women, I don’t think we idolize our hair (I mean, I could be wrong). But it makes perfect sense that the apostle Paul said that long hair was a glory to the woman, and is given to us as a covering. Maybe that is why we feel awful, sometimes guilty about chopping it off? Idk, just food for thought.
    xx
    Carmen

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Hi Carmen! Ah, interesting on the hair! Mr. Wonderful would prefer I don’t cut it either, he was not thrilled when I did it – I think men also want something completely opposite of what guys looks like ;) That would be SO interesting and would make sense if that’s why we feel guilty, I enjoy hearing other people’s thoughts on it. I always thought that I looked ugly with short hair but realized that was a self esteem issue hidden behind hair and I never that good of hair days with too long of hair. Now I’m like, short, long, whatever looks good but I’m still me, so that was so freeing! All this to say now that this fall the weather will be cooler I cannot wait to have my hair a little longer and not feel hot and sticky! ;)

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