On Frizzy Hair, Triggers, and the Cross at Mid-Lent #Lent2017

holy crossMy Orthodox friend, Lia Roussos Douglas, used to be a member at my parish here in Memphis, Saint John Orthodox Church. I was so sad when she moved back to her beloved Gulf Coast, although I completely understand her wanting to be there! It’s been wonderful keeping up with her on Facebook, and yesterday she posted something that touched me on many levels. I have asked her permission to publish it here. As we move into the second half of Lent (and prepare to celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation—March 25—with a liturgy and potluck at St. John tonight) my spirits are good. I’m not all down and out like I sometimes get during Lent. At the beginning of the season I said I was going to make this a Happy Lent, and so far, that’s working pretty well. Even though I fell and tore a ligament in my ankle. Maybe that’s just part of my cross this Lent.

So, today’s post is from Lia:

My sweet Em Lani was sharing with me last night all the good nuggets she has been learning at yoga teacher training this week. She was sharing about beliefs, for example “Why do I believe I need granite counter tops?” or “Why do I believe frizzy curly hair isn’t beautiful?” and are these actually universal truths?? Also, who molded my belief system? ALL this has to do with my happiness. She also was sharing about “triggers” we have that make us feel a certain way and how to make a conscientious effort to take note of why we are feeling that way. For me, for an easy example, I notice any time someone comments on my hair I get this dreaded feeling. So my hair is a trigger.

Anyway I digress, today in my spiritual reading, (somehow it ALWAYS ties into my life) I read THIS and it struck me as so profound friends. This week as it is midlent for me, half way there to the end and the Resurrection!!! My Church, my faith gives us THE CROSS. The cross of Christ to focus on and meditate on….. pick up our cross and follow him:

As always, St. Paul puts it very distinctly: “I am crucified to the world and the world is crucified to me.” So often, my burdens come from the fact that I judge myself by the standards of this society. The world defines what is necessary for happiness and I believe it. The world defines what is beautiful and what is not, and I believe it. The world tells me what is moral and what is not, and I believe it. The world tells me what is rich and what is poor, and I believe it. The world tells me what is brave and what is cowardly, and I believe it. The first work of the cross is to crucify me to this worldly propaganda and lunacy.—Father Barnabas, Orthodox on Purpose

Such wisdom!!! Why should I allow the world to form my standards of what makes me happy?? Why do I believe such bull crap at times?? Today, I chose NOT to allow FB or the world or some idiotic standards placed on me to define my happiness! We ALL have our struggles in life, our cross to carry if you may. Just make sure you’re not putting these struggles on yourself from some dumb standard you allowed yourself to believe! Don’t let your struggles carry you through this life but you carry them strong and with the knowledge you will be ok! You are ok and all is as it should be!

There’s a lesson in everything if only we care to open our eyes and just LOOK. Sorry this was so long and if you stayed with me til the end! Well! Thank you! Happy Thursday! I love you!

 

4 comments


  • Mary Zimmerman

    Thank you for this piece.. I needed it so badly right now.. Read it to the end..

    March 25, 2017
    • Hi, Mary. Thought about you last weekend when I was in Little Rock… wishing you had been closer and could come to my event at WordsWorth. Cheryl Lilly Simmons was there… first time we’d seen each other since high school! Hope you are well.

      March 25, 2017
  • emma

    all my life I have believed I have the worst hair in the world (curly, dry, frizzy, brittle). When humidity is low, I can wear my hair smooth and frizz-free, or naturally curly with lots of ‘product’ to weight it down. But when the humid South gets hold of it, I look like a yellow brillo pad is growing from my head. No matter how I feel about my hair, or what I think it looks like, there is always someone with board straight hair who tells me sincerely how lucky I am, how pretty my hair is, or some other compliment. I’ve never believed them fully. The world has fed me a standard [propaganda] and I have bought into it for most all my life. Yes, I am who I am and my hair is very unmanageable; however, it makes me who I am. If I had straight beautiful hair, I would not be me. Glory be to God on high that she made us all unique, each with wonderful gifts and talents that make our worldy flaws seem like nothing.

    March 26, 2017
    • I had no idea that frizzy hair would be the theme in responses to this post… check out the Facebook replies! You are so beautiful… including your hair, Emma! Love you.

      March 26, 2017

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