simply serve 2014 january – why i cut half my hair off

back at the beginning of january i shared with you guys a new series i’m doing on the blog called simply serve. a group of bloggers, including myself, are coming together to bring you some stories of how we’re serving in our communities and giving back. 

i have to admit that when i found out the first theme of the year was “serve yourself” i had mixed feelings. my first reaction was, “well this is going to sound selfish! serve myself? ooookay.” as women we’re told over and over by society that we need to give to OTHERS always and forget ourselves. giving of ourselves is extremely important, but i also feel so strongly that part of being your best self, as a wife or mother or a friend or a daughter or a sister, you have to figure out how to take care of yourself too. how to love yourself and most importantly how to BE NICE to you.

i’m a recovering people-pleasing codependent. i’ve spent much of my life centering my decisions on what others will think and gaining approval of those around me. a few years ago i read the book codependent no more and i am not exaggerating even the slightest when i say it changed my life. if this statement resonates with you, i highly recommend that you read it too:

“as codependents, we frequently dislike ourselves so much that we believe it’s wrong to take ourselves into account, in other words, appear selfish. putting ourselves first is out of the question. often we think we’re only worth something if we do things for others or caretake, so we never say no. anyone as insignificant as us must go an extra mile to be liked. no one in their right minds could like and enjoy being with us. we think we have to do something for people to get and keep their friendships.” 

i’ve spent years of my life feeling this way, like it’s wrong to think of myself and that if only i’d do more for others then maybe i’d be worthy of being loved. i’ve pushed my needs to the side to focus on others, give more, love more, and if i would just do more for everyone else around me then i would somehow find acceptance from them and in turn for myself.

guess what. it doesn’t work! if you can’t find love and acceptance for yourself, from YOU and not from anyone else’s approval, no amount of good-doing is going to be good enough.


i feel like this lesson is something i had to work extremely hard at to find peace, love and acceptance for myself from only ME. not from my boyfriends, parents, friends, spouse, whatever. it has to come from me. and that’s why i actually love this month’s theme of serve yourself. 

if that quotation from codependent no more was a little heavy and depressing for you, don’t worry. there’s a light at the end of that codependent tunnel. 

here’s another excerpt from the book: 

“we must stop now. right now, we can give ourselves a big emotional and mental hug. we are okay. it’s wonderful to be who we are. our thoughts are okay. our feelings are appropriate. we’re right where we’re supposed to be today, this moment. there is nothing wrong with us…we can cherish ourselves and our lives. we can nurture ourselves and love ourselves. we can accept our wonderful selves, with all our faults, foibles, strong points, weak points, feelings, thoughts, and everything else. it’s the best thing we’ve got going for us. it’s who we are, and who we were meant to be. and it’s not a mistake. we are the greatest thing that will ever happen to us. believe it. it will make life much easier.”

so for this month’s serve yourself theme, i decided to do something drastic. i took the advice of two friends who are experts in the beauty industry – cara from maskcara and michelle money from the mm&l show – and decided to cut half my hair off. 


that hair was like dead weight to me. it held years of good and bad times, but lots and lots of baggage. baggage from bad relationships, my former marriage, years of second guessing myself and not believing i was enough. years of feeling like if only i was good enough for someone else i’d be good enough to accept myself too. 

that hair had been damaged and it was time to cut it off and leave my past behind. if this is sounding all-too dramatic, maybe it is to you. but it was real to me. a fresh start was just what i needed. not just a fun new look, but literally a new start. michelle did a beautiful job and i’m so glad i entrusted her with my hair and my big change.


was i nervous? actually no. i was so ready. so excited. totally embracing something new. i knew it was time.

here’s the before and after:


and here’s a picture of the day after my haircut. no hair-cutter’s remorse. no regrets.


if you haven’t already, do something nice for yourself this month. go cut your hair if it’s 5 feet too long like mine was, get a pedicure, go to target by yourself (without kids! yes!), have a long talk with an old friend while you “should” be doing laundry, and if you’re struggling to feel like you’re enough, start treating yourself the way you treat the people you love and admire most. you deserve love as much as they do, too.

to read about what my friends have done to serve themselves this month, go to their blogs:


 
 

be nice to you.

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Comments

Petie:

I love all of Melody Beatty's books…they changed my life, for the better. Your haircut looks terrific.

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mary plus vince:

what a beautiful post! i think it can be so hard for woman to put themselves first, but it is so important. i&#39;m one who has always preached that… but don&#39;t usually follow it! :/ i can be so down on myself, and it is ridiculous. thank you for the reminder to take some time to be nice to myself! <br /><br />and that haircut is gorg! you look great!

Reply
mint arrow:

thanks for your thoughtful comment mary. it&#39;s true, i&#39;m totally guilty of sometimes not practicing what i preach, even though i KNOW better. here&#39;s to a healthier 2014 mentally and emotionally! 🙂

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Haskell's:

I totally needed this! I hate disappointing anyone, I can&#39;t say no, people know that so they abuse it. I think you need to know how amazing I have ALWAYS thought you are! I&#39;m glad you got a fresh start with your new hair and that it was so much more then just a hair cut! You deserve nothing but happiness! You are a beautiful person inside and out! So thankful you have so many great people

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mint arrow:

thanks so much erica! i sure love you! xo

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Bella Vie:

This is a fantastic post! I definitely agree with the first quote, it is all about being the person you can be!! I absolutely love your hair, a great fresh start!! I am excited to travel on this journey with you 🙂

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dani21g:

I adore MMandL and follow them on Instagram, I seen your picture on Michelle&#39;s feed and thought wow that girl went from pretty to absolutely stunning beyond words and so full of life like she was reborn, I didn&#39;t know about your blog until today and read this post and discovered your the stunning girl. I&#39;ll admit your post made me tear up and I must read this book as your words sound

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mint arrow:

thanks so much for your comment dani. if you are feeling this way, please do read codependent no more! i promise it will really help you. and maybe skip the first chapter, it&#39;s a little slow but it gets SO good after that! 🙂

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Rachel Hagen:

you look gorgeous!! (as always) Love the length, it looks so much fresher and lighter! kisses.

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mint arrow:

thanks so much rach, love you!

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Tyler&Kiana:

you have NO IDEA how much I needed those excerpts that you posted. I will definitely have to read that book. That seriously just spoke to me soul and is actually one of my resolutions. Do more things for me and make myself happy without having to depend on my husband, family or friends. Thank you!!<br /><br />PS. your hair looks amazing.

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mint arrow:

thank you! i am so glad it was helpful, even if it only helped one person. XO

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Jana:

I just checked out your blog the other day, and find that I keep comig back for more! This post speaks to me so much. I always do things for my hubby (and others) thinking if it will make him happy, then I will we happy, but time after time it doesn’t work out that way…you’d think I’d learn by now! I am such a hopeless people pleaser…definitely looking into that book you recommended. Thanks!

Reply
Corrine:

jana, i’m so glad it was helpful and yes! you should read that book if what i said rings true for you. it honestly has helped me so much. and just know you’re not alone in how you’re feeling 🙂

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Meagan:

Hi I just found your blog and read this post and it’s awesome it really is. But whenever I try to go do something for myself I always feel guilty for it. It’s almost like I know I shouldn’t be doing it, or just get real down on myself for it. Any advice to help with that? Thanks so much 🙂

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Corrine:

hey megan, thanks so much for your comment. i really love the book that i listed, codependent no more. it helped me so much with knowing how to live my life for myself, and also find joy in helping others, but in a healthy balance. i honestly felt like “what! there’s a better way to live than the way i’ve been living?!” after i read that. i think it will help you too 🙂

Reply
Meagan:

Thank you! 🙂 I’ll have to give it a try!

Reply
Casmin:

My hair is way too long right now, and I can’t seem to let go of it even though it’s more lifeless than a rock, and I hate doing it. This post is easing some of my babyish hesitations!

Reply

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