To say the words “I am getting older” scare me sometimes. There are so many things I always wanted to do and wasn’t allowed to and now I feel a big part of my life has been wasted and there is so much to catch up on. But when I look in the mirror and see more and more gray hair appear on my head, I can’t deny it any longer: I am getting older. But isn’t it nice when we can color our hair and give ourselves the illusion that we can stop time for a bit? And change is nice. It also has been a long time since I had a haircut. So last weekend I decided it was about time to change it up a bit.
Getting a hair cut and coloring my hair may sound like the most ordinarily thing to do but in “The Message” we weren’t allowed to cut our hair or coloring it. Some would maybe color it but it was always a sign you were backslidden and your fellow believers would point fingers at you and whisper about it that you still had the longings from the world in you. From the pulpit you would hear over and over again that cutting your hair is one of the big signs that Satan has his influence on you. They even teach that the Bible says your husband can divorce you when you do cut your hair. It is one of the biggest lies I can think off. And where is the unconditional love, partners should have, in that?
They praise Mary Magdalene for drying Jesus feet with her hair. The pastor would make fun of the women with short hair saying they had to stand upside down to be able to do that. And me with hair that only grows about 0,5 cm a month and doesn’t get longer than on my shoulders, (though I didn’t cut it) it made me stressed. It was one more reason to hate myself and feeling worthless. After every sermon the pastor held with women’s hair as topic, I would cry that it was so unfair that my friends had their nice long hair. Some of them had it to their knees and even longer. I even went to the doctor a few times to ask why it didn’t grow that much. And when barbers and doctors would tell me I should cut it, that it would become more healthy it was blown away as being a conspiracy for making us cutting our hair.
I remember my mum wanted to cut my hair when I was 8 years old and I screamed like she was killing me. In one way they praised me for being so religious as a child even though my hair was a pain. Anything my mum would put in my hair would slide right out again. The neighbors would comment my hair and the kids made fun of it but I was more scared of the cut and the doom that would follow than the bullying I had to face.
Leaving the cult behind didn’t mean I was free from the burdens automatically. Some fear got their roots so deep inside me that I was wondering if I ever would get totally free and would have the courage to cut my hair or do other stuff I was never allowed to do. So after some weeks, when I was ready to go to bed, I got this impulse. I looked in the mirror. I grasped the pair of scissors, twisted all my hear around in a ponytail and put it between the scissors. I was so nervous. My hands were shaking. Asking myself “am I really going to do this”. I closed my eyes, took a big breath and just did it. I think I even screamed a little because of the nerves. I stood a minute like that. With closed eyes. The scissors in one hand.. the hair in the other.. my head pulled between the shoulders. I am not sure what I was waiting for. Maybe to be struck by lightning or was expecting at least something as a consequence of cutting my hair. I opened one eye at the time and looked in the mirror. Then I started laughing. How stupid can one be, feeling so nervous just for a haircut. I couldn’t stop laughing. I was just so happy. It was like a big burden that had weighted heavy on my shoulders for so long, and now it was gone. I felt so free. It was one big step to my freedom.
Sitting in the barber-chair and let someone else cut my hair still give me chills. But this time the good ones. Because I am free. I can do what I want without doom, hell and judgement hanging over my head. I look in the mirror, with eyes filled with excitement and feeling so happy with the result.