January 5 – Show Your Hair – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening
“My grandmother told me, “never hide your green hair – they can see it anyway.” Angeles Arrien
From the agonies of kindergarten, when we first were teased or made fun of in the midst of all of our innocence, we have all struggled in one way or another with hiding what is obvious about us.
No one plans this. It is not a conspiracy, but rather an inevitable and hurtful passage from knowing only ourselves to knowing the world. The tragedy is the many of us never talk about it, or never get told that our “green hair” is beautiful, or that we don’t need to hide, no matter what anyone says on the way to lunch. And so, we often conclude that to know the world, we must hide ourselves.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is an ancient, unspoken fact of being that blackmail is only possible if we believe that we have something to hide. The inner corollary of this is that worthless feelings arise when we believe, however briefly, that who we are is not enough.