I put on my wig today and decided I like myself better bald.
This story is not about hair but the miraculous property of transformation that is begging to be discussed.
We mistake transformation as something we manipulate and devise.
When I was first diagnosed, I crafted this impressive plan containing all the lessons I was certain were on God’s list, believing I had been granted six months to get everything right in my life.
But, transformation has a plan of its own.
It sneaks up behind us and catches us off guard.
The depth of its intention is impossible for the mind to detect—the outcome of its Divine Intrusion depends on how far we are willing to lean in.
Even as one who is so awfully careful about choosing words, I have made the terrible blunder of describing certain periods of my life as a season of “going through.” To say we “go through” things is really missing the mark. Instead, we gather little bits of our experiences like dirt from the garden on our shoes. There, what is nurturing and necessary takes root in the hollows that grief makes and grows into something delicate and strong like daisies and sequoias.
It is not our resiliency that should be celebrated, but the willingness to be transformed.
The truth is, and it is sort of uncomfortable to say, I will miss the intensity of this bald chapter just as a mother yearns for the time of sleepless nights when they inevitably come to an end.
I have learned that in all seasons, I am a warrior, not because my body is strong but because my will is mighty.
Looking at me now, you would imagine this is the hardest thing my body has ever been through…but I remember vividly an excruciating 28 hours of difficult labor pacing like a wild animal in the garden through the night. The laboring, no matter the work, is the most extraordinary part of who we are. Transformation requires a series of hard moments which, strung together, we define as a season in our lives as if there will come some hard stop, some end.
Yet, Spring depends on Winter thaw. There is no season isolated to itself, no end or respite between it all. There is only the sound of cracking ice and melting waters streaming over and through. Spring is as much a part of Winter as SNOWfall.
In passing the other day I shared something surprising with Ron that simply popped into my head, “I must use this baldness while I still have it to somehow transform lives.” It is in our weakness that we are granted the most power. By nature, we are drawn to the unfamiliar and we pause to take it in. Even the FedEx carrier is forced to interrupt his frenzied cadence to ponder what he’s just seen.
Head shaving is symbolic of letting go of material things and the nature of the self-obsessed ego that is preoccupied with things that block the transformation process.
So, what is blocking your transformation process? You can feel it there, can’t you, this organic nature of creation that is working its way in? It is, after all, inevitable and is already likely to be going on right now. How will you know? —
Real transformation isn’t an act of will but an organic shifting in the disposition of the heart that quietly alters not only how we think but how we are.
Real transformation releases the necessity to fall into alignment with what others think we should or should not be and demands this all-encompassing urgency to be more of ourselves in every situation, to pour more of ourselves into everything we encounter.
Look at that bald head. I am light as a feather. I am unmovable as stone.
I am ready to fight to hold on. I am free to let it all go.
In every cell there is a story being written that is my own,
and I can’t wait to see how it ends.
NOTE: Five hours after this writing I received a call from my oncologist sharing the results of my post-chemotherapy CT scan—