When I read this topic, a conversation I had with someone through the comment section of my post came to mind.
The man who commented was from Africa, and he was confused that people would be negative towards me for my hairstyle. So, I took a whole day to really think about how I would respond.
The tricky part was that I wasn't sure! Why would I assume the worst? What about my culture had built that programming in?
Then it hit me...
In the culture I grew up in...dare I say the American culture...success is based on beauty and money.
After childhood, when I became aware that beauty held power, I worked hard to learn how to dress, do my hair, and wear makeup. Which sounds completely shallow. But it's not hard to see on T.V that the most successful woman were the pretty ones.
When I became an adult, my husband and I chased after money. We wanted a big house, nice cars and dinners out! If we had enough money to not worry, than we knew we had made it.
If we could achieve all of this, than that would be success.
I tried to explain to the man from Africa what success looked like in my culture, and that by dreading my hair I was no longer playing the same game. I was going against the grain, and that makes people uncomfortable.
But what was shocking, was all the women that wish they were brave enough to do it come up to me and shared that bit about themselves.
Looking back on how I viewed success in the past versus now is astonishing!
Now, I know success is having the ability to love the people around me without expectations and judgement.
It's diving deeper into my prayer life, and growing as a person.
It's laughing with my kids so hard that I'm crying.
It's enjoying a cake doughnut without guilt because I've learned how to make conscious decisions.
Money has it's place. But it doesn't dictate the rate of my success anymore.
Beauty has it's place, but it no longer holds power for me.
I was so thankful for that comment by someone from a different culture. Without it, I might not have realized how far I'd come!