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on Acceptance

Growing up, I hated my curls.

H-a-t-e-d them.

They were temperamental, difficult and unruly.

My feelings about my hair were compounded by the fact that I had two sisters with bone-straight blond hair.

And then there was me.

Tumble-haired, curly, wild and unyielding, my hair refused to be tamed. I spent most of my time in braids and ponytails, wishing I could wear it down and swinging like my sisters could.

It wasn’t easy growing up as the younger sister to two blond bombshells.

Especially when you looked nothing like them.

Humidity?Β  Kapow – you’ve got hair with ‘tude.

Wind?Β  You’ve got tangles up the wazoo.

To this day, I wear it layered, use expensive products to manage it, and fight with it in summertime.

Then, I caught a view of something recently that completely changed how I feel:

2 1/2 year old Grand-daughter MJ's glorious curls ..

And as I listened to her mother, complain about this beautiful child’s gorgeous mane and how hard it was for her to manage, something in me shifted.

It occurred to me then that there was a reason I was given all that I was: I believe I was given these crazy curls to help a precious little someone understand that she’s absolutely perfect just the way God made her.

If I refuse to honor what He gave to me, how can I hope to foster self-acceptance in her?

I know one thing for sure: she’ll always have an ally in her Nana, who knows a thing or two about curls.

Me .. after an long day & a workout - yep- still curly!

And, just because her little face makes me smile, here’s a shot of wee MJ from the front:

"A grandchild is a gift from above; one to cherish, one to love." -Anonymous

Is there something about yourself that you’ve struggled to accept?

Β 

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Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Growth, Love, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , | 41 Comments

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41 thoughts on “on Acceptance

  1. Me… stick straight hair always, always wanted curly hair!!! I totally permed it a bunch of times as a young adult, but did the same as you, accepted my straight hair and grew to love it!

    • Isn’t that funny how we always want what we don’t have? My sisters used to complain of curling their hair as mine bounced by. I’m older now and have learned how to manage it .. but only recently did I actually accept it. And it was seeing baby MJ’s hair that did it πŸ™‚ Cheers MJ

  2. I know how you feel about the curls! Now I love them and FINALLY know how to take care of them. Enjoy being a curly girl!

  3. Lovely post! Your granddaughter’s curls are beautiful. AS ARE YOURS, you silly lady. Your hair is dancing all day long.
    Hugs, thank you for this smile.

    • Thank you, Marion. She’s a little doll; having grand-children is like having your heart walk around outside your body. I’m a gushing Grandma πŸ™‚

      Thank you for your sweet words; my hair has it’s own zip code some days but it is what it is … Hugs to you!
      MJ

  4. She is adorable!! Beautiful post, MJ!

  5. She is a cutie and your hair is beautiful πŸ™‚ I have a 2 year old granddaughter with amazing curls too. She gets them from my son, not my daughter-in-law. My son has kept his hair cut short for so long that I had almost forgotten how curly it once was.

    • She is adorable and yes, her Daddy had curls like that as a wee boy but, like your son, he’s had his hair short for so long that I nearly forgot the loop-de-loops his hair did as a boy, too.

      Thanks for weighing in; aren’t grandkids great? πŸ™‚ MJ

  6. It took me 50 years to appreciate my curls. We have so many styling aids and appliances now that weren’t available when we really needed it (teenage angst). Your hair is beautiful, as is little MJ’s. So glad she has you for camaraderie.

    • Good on you!! And I agree, so much more available than we had as girls; I’d braid my hair wet and the braid would take OUT the curl (most girls do the reverse) ..thank you for weighing in. I’m glad I am in her life and can be a force for a good self-image; I don’t ever want her to feel “less than” because she looks different. She looks different in a good way πŸ™‚ I wish I’d heard that message, too.
      MJ

  7. What an important lesson, and what a darling granddaughter you have!

    I’m afraid I’ve fought with my weight my entire life, but I’m learning to accept it and do the best I can as very short person on whom every pound shows.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend, my friend!

    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • Thank you, Kathy. I read a great quote and it fits here, “When we deny who we are, we deny the Creator too.” Powerful!

      I can relate to you; I’m short and every lb shows … 10lbs on me is like 30 on someone else. But .. I’m getting better at appreciating all my body can do and starting to pay it back instead of taking it for granted.

      Hugs to you … when’s that bday anyways??? πŸ™‚ MJ

  8. MJ, I am right there with you. My hair is and has always been a nightmare – curly and prone to the summertime frizzies. Now – I kind of like it. I have learned to wear it curly when the humidity is high. Why fight the inevitable? And your curls are beautiful especially on that precious little granddaughter. I keep saying that I am going to take up Irish dancing since I have the hair for it. Care to join me?

    • I’m in – sign me up for Irish Dancing πŸ™‚

      Yep – just like you – I’ve learned to let it go it’s own way in the summer; I have slightly more control in winter … and she is darn precious, I could just scoop her up and keep her with me always and life would be grand.

      Cheers! MJ

  9. Aw, she is sweet! I’ve always tried to hide my curls. They are corkscrew curls and frizz with any humidity. I still straighten my hair with a gel. I am slowly starting to let it go natural. It took me years to let my hair fade to my natural color, so this is progress! I agree, love what God gave you.

    • Yep – I hear you on the corkscrew & frizz — mine is super fine. I have lots of hair and lots of curl but it’s not thick … so as the humidity climbs, the layers increase otherwise it begins to resemble a broomstick :).

      I love your hair .. in your picture it looks very Veronica Lake-ish. Thanks Darla .. happy Saturday to you!
      MJ

  10. Hated my natural curly hair even my kids have the same attitude about their curls!
    But I’ve learned to live with it and I’ve accepted I can’t change my hair
    I’ve accepted I am short, chubby and I know it – I told my hubby when I pass away place an ad in the paper and say I was 89 lbs when I died – everyone’s last thought will be “she must have been so thin!” (ha-ha)
    Prayers for your day

    • You are too funny = 89lbs- ha! I like your sense of humor – always keep ’em guessing πŸ™‚

      Good that you’ve learned to accept it — I’ve learned that I want to be an example to her and I want Miss MJ to always feel beautiful, fabulous, competent and daring … and to never hide behind anyone πŸ™‚ Where’s my cape? hee hee Super Nana to the rescue!
      MJ

  11. Funny because I love my curls. That’s the one thing I always liked about my hair. My daily struggle is my well-endowed chest. I wish I was smaller in that area. Every day I struggle. Oh well!

    • Good for you, Leah – you must have had someone who championed them with you, I’m thinking? And I see Sophie has your curls — beautiful! I know what you’re saying about the “girls,” – that’s something else to manage, but it is what it is. Probably why I don’t enjoy clothes shopping too much πŸ™‚ MJ

  12. “I believe I was given these crazy curls to help a precious little someone understand that she’s absolutely perfect just the way God made her.”

    What a perfect thought that is, MJ! I’m sure, with you guiding her, she’ll grow up loving her curls!
    And your hair is GORGEOUS!

    • Thank you, Dianna. That’s it in a nutshell. And just yesterday – YESTERDAY – I ran out of the house with damp hair pulled back … first time in my adult life. Not kidding. I smiled about it all day and thought of her. That epiphany really has shifted something inside – yep – I’ve moved in a big helping of self-acceptance.

      Cheers to you!
      MJ

  13. Back in the 60’s having red hair was not cool…it was unusual so you stood out…I was called Carrot Top or Red…one cool aspect of it now is that so far I have not found any gray! Seriously…my kids (who had blond hair until they were 6-7 and then it went to brown) have gotten a few gray strands in their 20’s…today I LOVE my red hair and often wonder about everyone that now colors their hair red….kind of funny…mine is the real deal…and I would love your curls…mine is stick straight…just a wave or two…but mostly straight…back in the 80’s I used to get spiral perms and since it was so long they had to use piggy back rods….I love your curls and you look like you have red hair too…a bit darker red than I…mine is fire red but with blonde streaks if I go out in the sun….so kind of both. I love your hair MJ…I feel like you are my sister:) And your granddaughter is beautiful:) She will love her curls as she can look at her Grandma and see her heritage:) To me that is everything…and it will be to her too.
    Hugs,
    The Other MJ Also Known As HRCG:)

    • I think your hair is so beautiful, HRCG, but I know the struggle you speak of. Feeling acceptable in those tender years pays a price on a young heart.

      Thank you for the compliment; yes, my hair has a lot of red in it, but I do get it highlighted and I have my share of greys – there’s a cornucopia of colors in there most of the time. The more sun I get, the more the red comes out … Mine is more of an auburn red, though.

      My hope is that my darling grand-daughter will learn many things from me, and I want self-acceptance and empowerment to be on that list πŸ™‚

      Thank you sister friend.
      Cheers!
      MJ

      • Your hair is beautiful and so is your granddaughters…she will learn many good things from you…she is blessed that God chose you for her Nana:)

  14. Your little MJ is so beautiful!

    Why are we never happy with what we have? While you were busy hating your curls, I was busy hating my stick straight hair. I always longed for more body and lift. And when straight hair came into style years later, my own straight hair still wouldn’t behave so that it looked like the “in” styles looked.

    In my high school years, I hated my height. I was 5′ 9″ by 13 years old and ALWAYS taller than everyone. When others marveled at my height, instead of hearing the admiration in their words, I longed to be a more “normal” height like everyone else. I was always “skinny” and I longed for curves. Only recently have I begun to realize how fortunate I was to inherit the genes for height and “skinny-ness.”

    Like you, I try to convey acceptance of myself. I never wanted my beautiful daughter to feel less than acceptable because of how she looked.

    • I guess that’s what my Mom meant when she said to me, “In time you will learn to love what God gave you.” I didn’t know what she meant then but I sure do get it now!

      May we champion for ourselves as hard as we do for our daughters & grand-daughters!! MJ

  15. This is a wonderful post. I have to get out of town before I can get to your blog! My home computer is on the fritz! So love the photo of that precious grandchild of yours!

    • Thank you, Lissa. Sorry to hear about your computer – eek!! Hope you have a great day and yes I think she’s pretty special, too. MJ

  16. Oh…I’ve seen your “problem” hair before. I see it when I roll over towards Connie, in bed. I feel it on my face whenever I hug Connie or one of our daughters. In photos I can usually tell if it was a summer photo or winter photo (big hair verses “normal” hair). It’s a blessing and a curse for them….I love ’em either way it’s worn.

    I just completed my Men’s Retreat. I’m not planning on writing about it..but it was AWESOME. My “talk” went over extremely well (I used a wireless mic for the first time and it allowed me to be real active in front of them). The guys we served were lifted to the Lord. He is GREAT.

    • That’s right, you have a house full of women and now I know curly haired women – products, blow dryers etc. I feel for you, Rich ;).

      So glad to know your retreat went well … I know you had some trepidation about your talk, but I just had a feeling it would be OK and it was — yay! You are so right, He is Great! Cheers to you my friend,
      MJ

  17. I have hair halfway between straight and curly. So kind of ideal. It can go either way depending on my mood. I have a friend with curls who also uses expensive products to get straight hair but personally, I love her curls!

    • You are fortunate to have it “right in the middle!” I’ve let my hair be itself more of late and have rec’d more comments and compliments than I can count – funny.

      Cheers for your day!
      MJ

  18. Your little granddaughter is beautiful with her curls, and lucky to have you to help her know she’s special. I remember my mom complaining about my thick, curly hair that she couldn’t even get a comb though it. I tried everything over the years to straighten it, but in the end it’s always curly. The only difference is now I kind of like it.

    • Thank you for understanding; I remember comments like what you describe, mostly about it being difficult and a child cannot help to take that personally – mostly, it was from my sisters. Now I know there was a trace of envy there but I didn’t know it at the time.

      Now, I love my hair πŸ™‚ MJ

  19. Oh, I have curl that goes on forever, and I spend a fair amount of time, when I’m in the mood, to straighten it. You can always tell how much time I spend getting ready by whether I’m in natural mode (culy) or my more styled look (somewhat straight…can NEVER get it as straight as my stylist does when I get a cut!). ~ Sheila

    • Hey! I never thought of it like that but I’m the same – you can tell how interested I am in messing with it by how curly it is πŸ™‚ The funny thing is that my stylist blows out the curl then uses a curling iron – huh? I’ve taught her how to “do” my hair and she uses my moves on others and calls it the “Marilyn.” Crazy!
      MJ

  20. PS…meant to add…what a great example you are setting, planning in advance to help little MJ to love her hair and her look. Should be easy, she’s a little beauty! ~ Sheila

    • she is beautiful – she has her Mom’s pretty eyes and her Daddy’s wide smile – and my curls! πŸ™‚ Thanks, Sheila
      MJ

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