The above definition, courtesy of Father Hardon's online Modern Catholic Dictionary, is the lesson of the weekend for me.
Saturday I went to Great Clips in Modesto, at Village One Plaza, to get my bangs and hair trimmed. 30 minutes later, in a total state of shock, I walked out with a butchered layered cut that looks like I am a member of a 1970's punk rock band. I look horrible. By the time I got home the shock had worn off and was replaced by sobbing. Hysterical sobbing.
I do just look bad, I look horrible. I have had to flat iron, curl, tease and trim myself to come up with a look that will not scare little children when I walk down the street. I may start going to the Traditional Latin Mass at St Joseph's because that will allow me to wear a veil.
I am joking, but I am devastated.
Looking good is important to me. I don't think I am alone in this particular area or unusual in wanting to be attractive. Apparently, however, I am a tad too attached to looking nice, as evidenced by the churning stomach I have experienced since first looking in the mirror yesterday.
St Catherine of Sienna, a noble Dominican woman, cut off her beautiful hair to make herself less attractive to men. She did this so that she would not be tempted to sin by her own vanity. Apparently, she was so stunningly beautiful men just followed her down the street. That does not sound like a problem I am going to have, with or without a good haircut.
The reality is, I am not comfortable enough in my own skin yet. I am comfortable enough to stay sober and I am comfortable enough to not have to eat my way through four or five bags of potato chips AND M&M(s) to get over the shock of losing all my hair in a scissor accident. I am not comfortable enough yet to be able to shrug my shoulders and say, "It doesn't matter. What counts is my inner beauty" when it looks like I should be wearing a red leather jacket with padded shoulders while playing guitar with Susie Quatro.
I think I am making spiritual progress and then BLAM this happens. I guess my spiritual director is right - this is not going to be something I will have finished by next Tuesday. I am going to be dealing with my own shortcomings and sin every day of my life.
With that in mind, I turn to humility. I ask God to help me accept that which I cannot change (yesterday's idiotic decision to run into Great Clips for just a trim) and give me the strength to not just take money I don't have and go have it cut shorter.
Because I do not want shorter hair.