I was at a meeting earlier this month where for the first time I felt it. Everyone in the room was uncomfortable with me sitting among them. It was a small group of volunteers and I stopped by to pray and say hello, but I definitely felt they did not know what to say or how to react.
I was wearing a scarf and a fedora.
I was a bald woman.
I was a cancer patient.
And I looked the part.
As I was walking in I was talking to someone who was entering too and even though I have known them for three years it was apparent that either they did not know who I was or they were very uncomfortable with how I looked.
The next week I found myself splurging for a wig with long tresses to look as close to the old me as possible.
Why is it that I feel compelled to make others comfortable even if it makes me uncomfortable?
This experience really brought it home that my appearance affects others. All summer I have spent in a scarf and fedora without this reaction. But I have mostly interacted with individuals not groups. It was my mistake. I have had other group meetings where I wore my short wigs for appearances, but this was a last-minute stop and I knew it would be a small group.
I don’t want anyone, friends or strangers to be uncomfortable. I love to visit and be with family and friends and I want them to be comfortable.
This made me so sad, but I can handle this situation through my large strong support system, but this makes me so sad for others that don’t have the support or means to look as others need them to.
I pray for those that are struggling with self-image through their cancer battle, this should not ever happen.
Why is it that children are so honest, pure and comfortable enough to speak the truth?
One of my earliest blog posts I talked about little Daniel, who prayed I would not lose my hair, because everyone would certainly notice a bald woman. He was right, he knew how people would react. He wanted to protect my feelings.
Everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer, to have this reaction in today world took me by surprise.
I smile and laugh when I think about the pure love of children. Nicolas, my two-year old grand-nephew visited over Labor Day and there were three different times that I put a wig on to go out and he said “no”.
He wanted the wig off.
He was right, it was too hot and I needed to be comfortable.
He wanted to see his Aunt Janet.
He purely saw me for me and not what the world expects me to look like.
We Skype weekly therefore he is use to my bald head as I roam around the house.
He accepts me no matter what my physical appearance.
Children are pure love.
Thank you Daniel and Nicolas for teaching these lessons and being so insightful!
Thank you to all my wonderful friends and family, that see me and love me!
I love you all!
Grace embraced through the pure, total, loving acceptance of all those that surround me. God bless you!
Followup Note: Thank you so much for all your comments and thoughts. I want to clarify that all the volunteers at the meeting are wonderful, amazing people. I respect and treasure every volunteer I work with. They are giving, loving, faith filled servants of God. I think they were just caught off guard. Maybe they did not know what to say, maybe they felt uncomfortable because they should have known I was sick but didn’t. I can’t try to understand what they were thinking…heck…maybe I am totally off and it was the long day I had that caused these feelings. But they are just my feelings, expressed honestly and raw, never judging others or thinking I was treated badly. It is what it is…
I wonder if I have ever made another feel this way, unintentionally.
I think the Lord wants me to experience this, so that I will better minister to others.
I pray He will use me for His glory throughout this battle and throughout my life.
- Reconnected (graceembraced.wordpress.com)