We took a family trip to London a few weeks ago. Maybe you saw some of the personal pics on my Facebook fan page. It was so much fun – my first time in England, and my first time back in Europe since living there as a kid. One night, after going to the West End to see the hit musical Wicked, I was tired, but knew if I didn’t do my hair before going to bed, I would regret it the next morning. My hair is as light as cotton, so no style survives eight hours on a pillow – even a satin one. Despite how tired I was, I stayed up, washed it and then stood in the mirror twisting my hair. My husband, already under the covers about to drift off to sleep, looked over curiously and asked if I would show him how I twist. I did. He twisted it. The next morning I untwisted it and loved it. I declare, that man can do anything!
As he brushed out my tight curls to make sure they were as smooth as possible before twisting them, he said, “I just love your hair. It’s so pretty, so soft.” I felt an unexpected wave of emotion. It wasn’t the first time he’s told me how much he loves my curls. But I guess the combination of him doing my hair and genuinely appreciating its beauty felt like salve on an old wound. Caught off guard by the tears I felt welling up inside, I said quietly, “I know you will probably never understand why your words about my hair feel so good, but thank you.”
To be honest, until I was 35 years old, I really didn’t like my hair at all. I did all that I could to make it look different than the way it grows out of my head. I didn’t think it was long enough, straight enough, thick enough, pretty enough. What I was really saying to myself is that my hair wasn’t acceptable as is. When I finally went natural in 2008, I was shocked to see that my hair, without chemicals, is hair that I like. More than acceptable, it is authentically me. And to have that punctuated by Jeff’s compliment as he cared for my hair that night was a beautiful thing. Being fully accepted and appreciated just as you are frees you to fully be you.
Words are powerful and healing. The words you say to yourself, the words you say to others and the words you ingest from others. This week, I invite you to affirm someone in your life for the authentic beauty you see in them. Don’t keep your thoughts to yourself. Share them. Be genuine. It only takes a moment to bless someone with your words. Whether it is your spouse or your child or a co-worker or friend, your words just might be the healing salve they need that day – the words God uses to speak truth to their soul.
My challenge to you this week:
Affirm the beauty you see another that they may not see in themselves.
Who needs your words of affirmation this week? What could you genuinely say that would be meaningful and even healing to that person? What are you waiting for – when will you say it?! Leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you!
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