How I learnt to love myself.
About five years ago, after closing the sale concerning one of my books, I asked the lady “how would you find me next time if I don’t show up here”. She said ….”that’s easy, there are not so many people in this area that have white eyebrows like yours”. I said ok but left the place with mixed feelings. I was happy about the deal concerning my books but felt sad that she referred to my eyebrows as a means of identification.
She had touched a sensitive spot without knowing. I knew she didn’t mean it not as an insult to my person but ..”how I wish she didn’t refer to my eyebrows”.You see, what she didn’t know was I didn’t like the way my eyebrows look like. I don’t mind it being bushy, it’s the turning white that I was bothered about. That was how the whole day or better still, part of the day went downhill for me. Why do I have white hairs on my eyebrows? My Senior sister who is much older than myself does not have a single white hair on her head. (at the time of this event). I have it thick on my brows, my beards are turning grey-white and the struggle I had most is, dealing with balding that became worse the older I got.
All these started as soon as I approached my 40s. The truth was, I didn’t like it. I mean, the thick white brows and the balding matter. My father-in-law is over 70 his hair is jet black, my wife’s hair is all black. Every time I look around I see people with black and full hair.
After worrying secretly about it for some years, I had to take a decision. I decided against putting the dye on my hair to make it black instead I would repackage my appearance. I would barb my hair completely- skin style every other week that way if it remained scraped off nobody will see the balding aspect.
This suited me for awhile but there was a problem. I hated having to go to the barber and I hated the extra attention it demanded to keep it scraped every other week. It was difficult shaving every two days and now the extra burden of paying attention to my hair. Besides, why should the barbers charge us (the balding folks) the same price with the men with full hair? That’s a matter for another Blog day. Is that that not a human rights affair? After all, the hair had already been half cut before the Barber is invited to cut the rest…..Okay, I am just joking. but I have given it a thought more than once. Anyway, so I went and bought me 4 sets of fedora hats. I was happy. I had discovered the elixir of life. Put the fedora on, balding gone. (Some Ad. agencies can use that and pay me later).
Good idea for a while but the problem was, what of the places like the Church where I had to remove the hat throughout the duration of the service. (A man may deceive himself but reality will always reveal the truth). I am a Preacher, so all eyes are on me and my……. throughout the preaching period.Maybe I should try ha transplant. I can’t afford it. I am in Nigeria, where do they even do such things. Besides, with the kind of person I am, I will continually feel in myself that the hair is not real. Now hair transplant is okay and I have seen it work for some people. It won’t just work for me. Not that it’s wrong or bad.So one day, I had to deal with myself. I called for a board meeting of me, myself and I. I mean everyone must attend this meeting. Something big was about to go down. I was tired of repackaging. I mean, hide the balding aspect with the Fedora, and using sunglasses to hide my brows.
An Executive order was signed that day. No more application of palliatives, no more psychological encouragement and repackaging. I don’t want to experiment with science and drugs. No more avoiding mirrors in the restroom. I had suffered silently enough through the years. Not that my wife or friends or anyone were making jest of me. Not that they ever even complained. I had to stop concentrating on what I felt was wrong with my appearance.
Had to get real with myself.
So I started with the mirror. Yes, I avoided mirrors tactically. I stood before the mirror and had a long look and talk with myself. Something like,“this is who you are boy. This is what people see every day. Hate it, like it this is you. This is the you that is going out now and coming back later, so accept it”. I said other frank words to myself and that was it. I took the Fedora and the sunglasses off, kept them aside and went out that day walking tall and staring everybody direct on the face. That was it. Just came to terms with myself and boom. I am ok.Does the pressure still come? Yes, but I have learned to deal with it. I am happy with my looks, with myself and suddenly realized that my wife of over 24years loves me the way I am. Do I still wear the Fedora? Yes, but now it’s more for fashion than repackaging of my appearance. Do I still wear sunglasses to hide my brows? Yes, but it’s just a fashion statement now.
Are you out there and you feel you are too fat, too thin, not shapely enough, your nose is too big, too small etc, you can do whatever is needful but the truth is, you also have to accept that this is who you are. If plastic surgery can help you, no problem, that’s your personal decision to make but first accept that this is who you are before you attempt any corrections. Accept who you are while working on who you want to be. Refuse to be depressed or cast down. There is always someone out there who loves you the way you are. One must find peace within him or herself first. You must be comfortable with yourself if not, nothing out there will be strong enough to comfort you. Maybe you are in your middle ages and feel you are not as pretty as you used to be. Honestly, that is not true. You are still you. Your beauty is still inside there. True beauty is on the inside. Maybe as a lady, you feel being slim is what you want, go to the gym, do whatever you feel is right for you. But the truth is, be comfortable with yourself because “you, is all you have got”. Whether plus size, supermodel slim, be happy with who you are. If you are in your menopausal years and your body is experiencing a lot of changes, try and be comfortable with yourself first before you attempt any form of solutions acceptable to you. My personal advice is, don’t try to look or be someone else. You are you and they are whoever they are. Everyone is not the same. Fair, dark, plus size, slim there is always someone out there for everyone. Carry yourself with dignity. You are important. See yourself like that. You are fearfully and wonderfully made the Bible says.
Don’t avoid the mirror.
Maybe you have a disability. You are still who you are. Don’t hide behind the closet or run from mirrors the way I did. Don’t hate taking selfies like I did before. Step out there and go and be someone great. Feeling sorry for yourself or being unhappy with yourself won’t change anything. This is you. You are special. You have to learn to love yourself.There is no one like you and there won’t be any like you after now. You are unique. Love your being different and live your life. Okay after giving birth to say, three kids, your tummy is not the same anymore. Do whatever is needful, use a girdle, exercise frequently etc but don’t hate yourself. This world and the people in it can be unkind at times. The best you can do is to be kind to yourself.
I don’t know if this has helped you. How do you feel about yourself. Have you fought internal battles like I did? Share your feelings and experiences with me in the comments section below. Also, subscribe to this blog if you haven’t.
I have a short video concerning this post on my YouTube channel which you need to watch by following this link.
Till next time, learn to love yourself. And remember, it’s good being you. Thanks.