No Longer "Looking Good" | My New Mission in Life
As I sat in the barber’s chair and felt the clippers graze my scalp. I knew there was no turning back, but then again, there was no way I wanted to. I was tired of my life. I was tired of having to wear my identity. I was tired of being just another Beyonce’ look alike wanna be. I was tired of suffocating my true potential; I knew I had more to offer the world than just another pretty face and nice shape. This hair cut was the first step in revealing that potential.
Not that Atlanta was completely to blame, but the city influenced my desire to look good. ALL .THE. TIME. Never a hair out of place. Never a fingernail in need of polish. With every fiber of my being, I was determined to look like I was somebody. Whether or not I actually was, was another story, looking like it was good enough. As long as I was dressed to a T in the latest fashions with makeup applied like a professional, getting compliments on looking good and turning heads… my mission was accomplished! So I guess, before I went natural, I did have a mission in life and it was to look good!
I decided to cut my hair off because I was no longer content to just look the part I wanted to actually be something. I wanted to see what life would be like if I wasn’t buying and keeping up with the image that was being sold to me. So, for the first time since high school I stopped trying to look good. I changed my mission.
The first new mission I took up, was getting to know and love me. Without toppings. And let me tell you, this was hard. All that stuff I was letting go of had become my identity. Without it, I didn’t know who I was. I felt naked, exposed, vulnerable and most of all, UGLY. Without my purchased glamour, I didn’t think I was worthy of anyone’s attention, adoration or respect (not even my husband’s).
Fashion, make-up and “stunting” were my identity. Even when it wasn’t economically feasible for me to indulge in the latest trends, I had to do it anyway. Even if it was just in the form of TJ Maxx or Forever 21, I was hooked. Shopping was my life. If I wasn’t working, or sleeping, my friends and I were shopping. Nothing else was as important as spending money keeping up the image. Whether I was buying clothes, purses, make-up, getting my nails done, buying hair or whatever, keeping this image up was my full time job.
(Unbeknownst to me at the time)My self esteem was low and I felt UGLY without my glamorous purchased persona. I would almost never leave the house if I did not have a full face of make up on. I remember once, being in between weaves and having to go to work; my entire shift I felt like a loser. I wouldn’t look people in the eye. I felt ugly! The singular image of beauty had sunk its claws into me taken hold of me and had me hostage. Unless I was picture perfect and camera ready, which took hours every day, I felt like the biggest loser on the Earth. So trust me, getting to know the real me and learning to love the real me was a major undertaking.
But I succeeded. Even without all the clothes and shoes and purses, I learned to see myself as beautiful. I began to find my beauty within. I learned that all the other stuff I had been equating with beauty in the past, was just stuff. As you can imagine, this new way of thinking was exhilarating. In a future post I will go further into the process I went through to get over my addition and how I came to love me. All I will say here is that the liberation I experienced was truly life changing. The person I was before is dead and gone never to be resurrected again. I don’t miss her one bit!
I was so overwhelmed by my change that I couldn’t just sit quiet and keep it to myself. Once the wool was removed from my eyes, I wanted to share what I had learned with other women. I thought, if they could just be told the truth, then they too can put down their obsessions with image and finally begin to walk in their true identities, reach their full potential and actually be something! So my mission for life was set.
I can’t really take credit for coming up with my life’s mission all by myself, because I didn’t choose it, it chose me. After I became free from the prison I was in, in my old life, I became obsessed with the idea of sharing the information with others. It didn’t matter if I could make any money from it, it didn’t matter if anyone in my life thought it was a worthy undertaking or not. All I knew was, I had to do it. I became emotionally and spiritually sickened by my old life and whenever I saw others living my old life, I wondered if they were looking for an escape and I imagined ways of helping them.
As I was shedding my old skin, sadly, I lost friends, I had nothing to talk about with others and I began to feel like an alien. Things other people found interesting and entertaining I found idiotic, pointless and counterproductive. This brought on a sense of loneliness which fanned the flames of my purpose into a roaring fire. I thought to myself, I have to be a role model! I have to be a voice that is saying all the things I needed to hear back in the day. I have to offer up the alternative. I have to be the change I wish to see in the world. I have a physical reaction whenever I think about my life’s mission and that is how I know it’s mine!
But Satan saw what was happening, and through a series of unfortunate events, I found myself not following through on my mission. The biggest trick of the enemy is to keep you from knowing who you are. If he can keep you distracted from yourself you will never reach your full potential nor will you ever learn the truth. So last year (2010) depression, low self esteem, worry, doubt and fear came in and robbed me of what I needed to follow through on my new mission. I was distracted and thrown off course. Instead of being a voice to motivate and encourage women, I was drowning in my own head believing the lies he was whispering to me.
Today I take pride in knowing that the mission I have in life is one Satan does not want me to accomplish. He does not want the thousands or millions of women to hear my message. I am thankful God came into my heart last year, rescued and restored me. Never before have I felt like such a woman of purpose as I do now.
So… according to one of my favorite authors, Napoleon Hill, if you would just decide what your definite purpose (or mission) is in life, write it out, commit it to memory and recite it twice daily, you are well on your way to Mission Accomplished. He says 90% of people are living life with no clear answer to the question: ‘What do you want out of life?’, nor have they begun to think about what they are willing to give in order to receive what they want. He also says that if a person would just decide what they want, how they are going to get it, and put all their energy into it, they are sure to have it.
Without further ado, I share with you my definite purpose in life. And I let you in, a little more, to knowing who I am, what matters to me and what I stand for.
My definite purpose in life:
…is to establish the Natural Hair Acceptance Movement and propel the Natural Hair Acceptance Movement into the spotlight through the work of my brand Peace Love and Sunshine. To educate African American women on the imbalance in our existing hair care industry, to show them that natural hair is beautiful, sexy, versatile ,easy to manage and make “going natural” easy for them. My definite purpose in life is also to make natural hair appealing to more women. I will help drastically reduce the percentage of African American women who are slaves to weaves, wigs, relaxers and hot combs. My purpose is to shift the $9 Billion annually which is currently being spent by African American women (on artificial hair, in Korean owned Beauty Supply monopolies, on relaxers and on other damaging products) to businesses owned and operated by African Americans, preferably women.
My purpose is to bring balance and beauty equality to the beauty industry. I will not rest until beautiful brown faces with naturally curly and kinky hair are embraced and accepted as the norm. Until among the beauty role models our children are looking up to are African American women who do not hide their natural texture or color of hair.
I will accomplish this by
A. Turning NaturalSunshine.com into a one stop shop, a complete, user friendly resource where women can find much needed information, from the moment they consider going natural all the way until maintaining and managing their natural hair is second nature. NaturalSunshine.com will provide education, live events, support and encouragement. I will create such brand recognition that women who aren’t natural nor thinking about going natural already know to equate natural hair with Natural Sunshine!
B. Providing simple, effective, affordable hair products via Peace Love and Sunshine Products. By branding shea butter so when you think Shea Butter you think Sunshine. By providng such excellent service and pricing that Peace Love and Sunshine Products is one of the top 5 hair care providers for natural women all over the world. Peace Love and Sunshine Products will partner with businesses in communities that our target market live in so those without internet access still have access to Peace Love and Sunshine. We will expand our team and our territory so our presence is felt in the communities we intend to serve. We will bring Peace Love and Sunshine out of cyberspace and physically touch the lives of our customers.
C. Remaining Natural myself, constantly promoting natural hair, speaking out in defense of the Natural Hair Acceptance Movement. Grooming myself into a key force, spokesperson and motivational influence in the Natural Hair Acceptance Movement. Participating in and hosting events for the purpose of encouraging women to go natural.
D. Establishing Natural Sunshine into a nonprofit service organization that functions like a sorority for the purpose of creating local groups of women who support each other, effect positive change in the natural hair scene in their communities and brings to life the community that exists on Natural Sunshine.com
E. Founding Sunshine Productions, an organization whose purpose is to promote and manage entertainers who are natural and who promote natural hair acceptance through their music and image. Sunshine Productions will also create and make available to the masses, movies, books, et cetera, which promote natural brown beauty.