Is it Me?
by Amanda Petersen
This past week I held a wig party with some friends. We had 8 wigs to choose from and a lot of laughs mixed with an aha or two. I have wondered what I would look like with different color hair. Whether it should be longer or shorter. Would it change my personality?
Here is what I noticed. When I saw myself with a different hair style, how I felt about myself did change, especially with ones that didn't work. I would peer in the mirror and ask "is it me?" There was a sense that maybe there was a lost me waiting to be discovered. Maybe who I have been really isn't me and by having a brown bob I will discover her. It was a very fun way to stretch myself and explore some what-ifs about my hair and my style.
How often when observing another's life do the questions "is that me?" or "why isn't that me?" come up? We compare, imagine and yearn all the time. Some feel comparison is a bad thing. I think when fueled by not enough it is. Yet, when it is a nudge to grow it could be an opportunity to try something new, grow in a different direction or confirm that where one is at is just right. The most common way one even knows about a different direction is by seeing someone else practicing it.
The contemplative practice is to make it play and not envy. To use it to listen deeply to the movement behind the desire to compare. To practice risking trying something new even if it doesn't work. To be open to the whispers of the Spirit and moving in a new direction. This may lead to something beyond anything one could imagine or it may lead right back to where one started with a renewed sense of completeness. The practice is to being willing to explore.
As far as hair goes for me, the comment I kept hearing was "we like your real hair the best." I may play with wigs again, yet this next time the statement in the mirror will be "It is me, wearing a wig."