Tangled

What is the deep conditioning treatment for the soul? What do you apply when your soul is like a big balled fairy knot? Which product has amazing slip but is strong enough to prevent you from sliding in to the pit?

I’ve been a naturalista for almost ten years. It’s been an interesting journey. I’ve tried everything from dreadlocks to an afro to a tapered cut. ‘It is just hair, it grows’ is the mantra that I live by. When I moved to Mombasa, I cut my hair. It was so freeing. I could swim everyday without worrying about how my hair would look. ‘Wash and go’ was the order of the day. Coco Chanel said a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life. In my case, I found it too stressful to find a good hairstylist who understood why I didn’t want my hair blow dried before it was plaited. I opted to find a barber, hubby’s barber was an answer to prayer.

As a young girl, I loathed my hair being done. I was the classic example of the child who caused drama at the salon. My poor mama. She had to put up with my tears and tantrums. In my defense, there was nothing fun about the hot blow dryer being about one centimeter away from burning my ear. While rejoicing that my ear was still intact I had to put up with a hairstyle being done twice. ‘Pussy cat’ was the the most redundant hairstyle in my opinion. I hated having to be plaited the same thing twice. Undoing it was even more tedious.

Then God gave me daughters, two little girls. He truly has a sense of humour. I’m figuring out how to handle mine and now I have two more under my care. One who has the softest hair, so protective styles barely last a week. She loves to swim, so the chlorine has tinted her ends. And another little girl, whose hair is still on the way. It still fascinates me how two babies can be so different. God is amazing.  From His reserves of grace, He knows that I will somehow be able to do their heads of hair. I pray that none of them will be like me. (Mum, if you are reading this, again I say, I am sorry.)

Wash day humbles me. I’ve been protective styling for the last couple of months. It’s my new thing. Every time I take down my braids and detangle my hair, I am amazed by how the knots fall off. What blows my mind away is that God still knows how many strands of hair are on my head. He keeps up with the progress as I finger detangle my mane and sometimes I lose tens of strands.

Tender loving care is what my hair needs, I can’t rush the process. I learned the hard way that I shouldn’t comb my hair when dry. Somewhere in the discipline and routine lies the secret. If I neglect the process I end up with a matted mane. Fairy knots fused together, that cause lots of pain.

My soul care practices are not very different from hair practices. Sometimes I’m great at detangling my emotions, others, I walk around with my emotions in knots. Not knowing where to begin. Which product to use. Wanting to take short cuts, to avoid the hours spent pre-pooing, deep conditioning and moisturizing ( journal-ling, reading my bible, praying, reflecting and loving on myself) . “There are no short cuts.” I’m preaching to myself as a member of the microwave generation.

When I neglect my emotional well-being, I wake up shocked when everything is matted together. When the emotions that I’ve bottled up are tearing me apart, eating me on the inside. Corrosive and explosive. I’m a ticking time bomb feeling as though I could implode , yet I don’t know what the trigger is.

When I marinate in my thoughts and the darkness and confusion of my emotions, that is exactly what I spew. It’s ugly. There is nothing pretty about being tangled. Unraveling the knots is first for me, and then for those around me. Unless I allow light to penetrate the dark room, darkness will be all that I know.

Last week, at my lowest, I went out and had time by myself. I prayed “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139:23-24). Then and I sat and wrote. In those hours, I got a peek into my soul, and it hit me, that unless the lamp shines in to that darkness, I’ll never fully know the contents of the room.

Detangling of the soul is done in the stillness, away from the chaos of life. In the quiet, when His light shines you are able to see what lurks in the dark, and easily entangles you.