The Word Weaver
Deb Weaver ~ Communicating God's love, grace, & truth
When a Haircut is Much More Than Just a Haircut
by The Word Weaver, Deb on September 21st, 2017

​The thought of superpowers thrill me.  I’m not talking about web-slinging or flying at hyper speed (although I’d absolutely treasure either of those abilities!)  I’m referring to those incredible, unique gifts that impact the world for good in small or in big ways.  We all have them whether we recognize them yet or not. 

(I didn’t recognize mine for a long, long time.  If you don’t know your superpower yet, let me encourage you.  You will discover it.  Keep showing up to your life, learning and growing, and I promise you will eventually begin to see and embrace your unique skill.)

I have one.  Are you ready for it?

I see people.

That’s it.  No, seriously.  It’s one of my purest contributions to this world.

At first glance, this might seem insignificant.  You might even be thinking, “Big deal.  Most people can see.”

          But do they?

When I look around, I perceive two predominant tendencies in our culture:
  • People silently (&/or not so silently) screaming—desperate to be seen—to be noticed and recognized for who they are, what they feel and experience, and how significant they are

OR
  • Individuals skirting the edges, avoiding eye contact and hiding—terrified someone will actually look closely enough to see them, their pain, their weaknesses, their fears, or even their strengths.

The world is used to not being seen. 

And it’s difficult for us to pay attention and actually see others.  I get it.  It’s scary to look out and receive the raw messages that people unconsciously telegraph.  Many times it’s easier and feels safer to close your eyes and keep striding past rather than create connection. 

Many things prevent our sight—fear, anxiety, preoccupation, crazy schedules, the rapid pace of life, exhaustion, heavy responsibilities, our own pain and needs, anger, bitterness, depression, awkwardness, apathy, or the cacophony that constantly surrounds modern life—all of these things can blind us. 

 So, honestly, I believe that seeing—really seeing—is a rare and sacred gift.  

​Perhaps I see others because I know what invisibility feels like.  It has been an enduring theme in my life. 

I grew up a watcher.  I was quiet and, for the most part, happily blended into most backgrounds. My second grade teacher warned that my “extreme shyness would severely inhibit me throughout life.”  At the Halloween party, the third grade teacher told my Mom she often forgot I was there.  Daily during seventh grade, in the crowded hallways of our middle school, I fervently wished to become invisible. 

Early when I was in high school, my Mom had a paralyzing stroke and had to relearn basic skills.  Many months later as she held onto my arm, slowly walking down the street, she expressed her great emotional pain and overwhelming fear that her disabilities were glaring and were all anyone else could see of her.  
Terrified that she had irrevocably become invisible.

These painful experiences--and the isolation they triggered--shaped me with sensitivity and compassion.  This perspective alerts me to the body language, tone of voice, and feelings of others.  
Instinctively, I’m able to read between the lines and to see what one may be unable to speak aloud.  I see those who feel invisible and those who wish they were invisible. 

It’s forged a deep passion within me to notice others and communicate with them in ways that underscore that they are seen, welcome, included, appreciated, and honored.
It’s my gift to the world around me.
 

So imagine my surprise...

​Yes, imagine my surprise when I realized ​that I had faded into invisibility. 

It happened subtly, over time.  
Oh,  I wasn’t completely transparent, but I could no longer see myself wholly or accurately. 

I could clearly still see my failures; those were hard to overlook.  I had wrestled enough with shame and regret over the years that I didn’t need to pinch myself in order to know that I was still here. 

Most vividly I saw those “nice, responsible girl” qualities that I and others had come to expect from me.  Though these wonderful qualities are definitely part of my personality, they’re only a part of me. When they became my focus, I faded away.
 
The most important, essential parts—those parts that make me wholly me—things like creativity, pondering in solitude, laughing aloud, playfulness, being a noticer and worshiper of God—must stay clearly in focus or I lose my vital significance and perspective.
​The journey back to 20/20 vision has been long and winding, full of stops and starts.

It takes time to discover who you are in a new season.  To focus on new possibilities.  To adjust to the new prescription lenses. 

I’ve begun to really see myself again and to discover that I like being me!  My skin finally fits! And there’s room to grow!

Which brings me to the topic that the title of this post suggested:   

A much-needed makeover...

​The night before I was scheduled to get a haircut with a new stylist, I read portions from Staging Your Comeback ~ A Complete Beauty Revival for Women Over 45
​by Christopher Hopkins. 

Hopkins posed an important question:  “If you could list five qualities you’d want someone to know about you, what would they be?”   In the quiet, soothing space of my home office, the question resonated and reverberated within me as I considered the answer. Shortly later, I settled on my list of what I value and know to be true.

In another chapter, he introduced a quiz that helped me understand my basic styles and the words to communicate my needs to a hairstylist. I discovered I gravitate toward Casual-Romantic. 

Had I not read these chapters, I’d have showed the stylist a folder of pictures and probably would have walked away with a decent cut.  Instead I entered with information and confidence, and I floated home with a precious gift.

As Kalla, manager and stylist at NewStyle Salon in De Pere, WI seated me, we smiled and made brief eye contact.  Then I took a deep breath and said,

“I need you to know these important characteristics about me: 
I am friendly, approachable, and kind.  I live with a sense of wonder and gentle fun. 

Some words that fit my style include:  comfortable, down-to-earth, easy care, soft, charming, and pretty."
 
If she was surprised by my lists, she didn’t show it.  I felt safe; Kalla was listening, understanding, and tracking with me.  Her open response enabled me to dare even further. 
 
With tears crowding the corners of my eyes, I offered these naked truths: 
  • How I was emerging from a long decade of ignoring myself.  Of questioning myself.  Of hiding from people behind helpfulness, cheerfulness, and busyness. 

  • How the shift in roles from Hands-on Mom to Empty Nest Mom has been an intense, lonely, emotionally-upheaving, rocky transition. How God is transforming me from the inside out during this hard, necessary, significant journey of discovery.

  • How I’m finally cherishing who I am, not just what I do.  How I’m valuing and expressing my thoughts, feelings, experiences, desires, and preferences.

  • How I’m learning that when I feed my soul and heart with rest and creativity, I’m better equipped to feed others.  How much happier I’ve become as a result.

  • How I’m emerging from the struggle in passionate, strong, beautiful ways.

  • And lastly, how I now love my skin but hate my hair.  How keenly I wanted them to match.

Kalla tenderly peered behind the heavy, outdated, unevenly-colored curtain of hair I was sitting behind, and she saw me. 

She really saw me. 

Then with tenderness and skill, she clipped away the layers that no longer fit and found a way to help me express my real inner self to the outer world. 
​Sometimes a haircut is just a haircut. 

But sometimes--in the right hands and with the sacred, supernatural gift of sight--a haircut is MUCH, MUCH more than just a haircut. 

Sometimes it’s a celebration unveiling hard-won victory and inner radiance.  
I am profoundly grateful.


Posted in Celebration!, Hope & Healing, Life Transitions, Sacred Moments    Tagged with Haircut, Makeover, Identity, Value, Sight, Transitions, Makeover, Season of Life, Valuing self, Empty Nest, Superpowers


26 Comments

Dianne from High School - September 21st, 2017 at 3:35 AM
True words that are heart spoken!
Deb Weaver - September 21st, 2017 at 6:31 PM
Thanks, Dianne! The things our hearts speak matter, don't they?
Pam - September 21st, 2017 at 5:45 AM
I love you.
Deb Weaver - September 21st, 2017 at 6:32 PM
XXOO
Debbie - September 21st, 2017 at 7:58 AM
Deb, this always comes when I need it most. I think of you often and whisper a prayer for you. You look great! Love your new doo. It's very becoming. Take care and please know you made a difference in my life. I thank God for you and pray for those you will touch in His name wherever you go. %u2764%uFE0F
Deb Weaver - September 21st, 2017 at 6:32 PM
Thank you for your encouragement, Debbie!
~Karrilee~ - September 21st, 2017 at 9:01 AM
Oh sweet friend... I love everything about this! I have seen the truth of it through you... and have benefited from being sen by you... and I am walking this road with you!
Deb Weaver - September 21st, 2017 at 6:33 PM
HUGS, my friend! I'm grateful we're journeying together! Miss you!
Big brother - September 21st, 2017 at 9:27 AM
Sis,
True beauty is what God has put in us. It seems we spend a lifetime trying to hide it. So happy for your precious discoveries and your ability to communicate them! Larry
Your favorite little sister - September 21st, 2017 at 6:42 PM
Thank you, Larry. God is a patient, gracious pursuer, isn't He? He makes all things beautiful in His time.
Carolyn H Smith - September 21st, 2017 at 11:02 AM
The cut is beautiful and you are the same inside and out...Miss seeing you down here
in South Carolina..with a broad smile reflecting God's child.

Deb Weaver - September 21st, 2017 at 6:41 PM
What a thoughtful thing to say! Thank you.
Kalla - September 21st, 2017 at 12:35 PM
Thank you so much for your kind words.
You are a very talented writer!
This brightened my day :)
Ps. Love your bike picture!
Deb Weaver - September 21st, 2017 at 6:45 PM
I'm so glad that my words (and bike!) brightened your day! You made such a difference.
Deb Weaver - September 21st, 2017 at 6:45 PM
I'm so glad that my words (and bike!) brightened your day! You made such a difference.
Lisa - September 22nd, 2017 at 12:12 PM
This is wonderful. I'm grateful you listened to the nudge to put yourself and this out into the world!
Chrissy - September 22nd, 2017 at 7:09 PM
Isn't it beautiful how The Father shapes us through our life experiences....both good and bad. You need to write a book, Deb. You have extraordinary writing skills......by the way, remember who else could "really see people", Jesus. Thanks for the blessing of your pen. %uD83D%uDE33
Deb Weaver - September 22nd, 2017 at 9:05 PM
It is a beautiful, precious thing! Thank you for your encouragement--I do hope to write a book. And oh, yes, the gracious, life-giving sight of Jesus! Where would we be without that?!
Deb Weaver - September 22nd, 2017 at 9:07 PM
Thanks, Lisa. Tears and urgency to share this accompanied me most of the week. I'm grateful that God enabled me to shape it into cohesive words.
Jess - September 23rd, 2017 at 5:11 AM
Beautifully written and so relatable! Your vulnerability is so inspiring!
Aunt Deb - September 23rd, 2017 at 4:15 PM
Thanks, sweetie! Looking forward to spending time with you this next week! HUGS!
Sue Tell - September 23rd, 2017 at 5:47 AM
You are amazing. I love that you know yourself so well. Your words are a gift to even friends you've never met. Thank you.
Deb Weaver - September 23rd, 2017 at 4:17 PM
Thank you for your encouragement, Sue; your words often bless me. Journaling several times a week for over 35 years helps me to be self-aware as well as open to the fingerprints of God in my life!
Andrea - September 26th, 2017 at 9:32 AM
That was lovely. Thank you for sharing. Love your new hairstyle.
Deb Weaver - September 26th, 2017 at 3:57 PM
Thanks, Andrea! I love it too!
Deb Weaver - September 26th, 2017 at 3:57 PM
Thanks, Andrea! I love it too!
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