So I shaved all my hair off yesterday as a way to support mum with her hair loss and the reaction I’ve had online has been amazing! So much encouragement and love from all my online friends. However I had a different reaction today when I took my shaved head for a test drive to my local Westfield shopping centre in Liverpool. The reaction from people was fascinating. I’m pretty observant of what’s happening around me: I’m curious by nature and love watching human behaviour, so I was able to pick up on the difference in attitude today that I received.
Let me say that I am no head turner when I walk into a room (this is not a ‘tell me I’m beautiful and shower me with compliments’ invitation. Considering I’m a pocket size Lebanese chic with more hair in my eyebrows than most people have on their entire body, I long ago accepted that supermodel, I am not. And for the record, I’m fine with that). I’m not that chic that makes people stop and stare with her beauty however today I was seeing that reaction from people. They weren’t so much stoping, but they were staring, which I found weird because Liverpool has a broad population of people. My curiosity got the better of me and I started to observe (discreetly) people more closely and I found that the looks I got fell into two of a few categories: pity or open curiosity. It was fascinating! It was fascinating to note that I got more people smiling at me today, and it wasn’t because I was smiling at them, they initiated it! I should also point out that most of the looks I got were from females (way to go sisterhood!). The looks of curiosity were from a range of ages but of those that were looking at my head with curiosity, most would either smile of quickly look away. But the pity looks were something else all together. Goodness me, I don’t know what some people we’re imagining when they were looking at me but the one that stood out the most was this one lady who was probably in her 50’s that looked at me like I was dying. You know that look people have when they are in the presence of someone who is terminally ill? The ‘my heart breaks for you but I’ll try and act like you’re fine even though I can barely make eye contact with you’ look? Yea, she was looking at me like that. I kid you not, when she made eye contact with me, she could barely hold my gaze but I saw the pity in her eyes shine so strongly. She looked at me again, put the head down and walked away slowly. I didn’t know how to respond to it. It was a little nuts.
But I suppose that’s something that a lot of cancer patients (or people with a visible illness) would get on a regular basis, isn’t it? And that was the reason I wanted to shave my head, because I didn’t want that to happen to my mum. Now people can stare at both of us, not just her. People will think what they want to think, but I do wish people would look past a persons appearance and not make an assumption on their life. It’s something I’ve been guilty of doing, and still occasionally do, and I hate it. I get irritated with myself when I catch myself doing it. I regularly pray for God to give me His eyes so that I can see past the face and see the heart of a person. I so desperately want to love like Jesus and be someone who doesn’t see your body or your hair or your clothes, but sees your heart. Let me say that I’ve got a way to go to get there, a long way to go. And I know this all sounds really mushy but I don’t care because if we could just look past the outside, look past the lifestyle, look past the attitude and see the heart, I think we would all act a little differently. I see myself as a child of God, loved endlessly by my Heavenly Father and when God looks at me – at all of us – He sees the heart, not the shoes or the hair. And that’s how I want to be: someone who just loves people and sees their heart and their worth as a person. Your choices are you own and not my responsibility to make, my only responsibility is to love you unconditional and treat you the way I would want you to treat me. And truth be told, I just want to be loved. We all do.