Today she has straight hair, in her natural color. She is as beautiful as ever. And happy as well. My friend, Anna*, is married to a wonderful man who loves her. Together they are raising their children while maintaining the flames of romantic love alive.
I didn't always appreciate Anna as much as I do today. I didn't understand her. I thought she was fickle. When I moved away, I traveled back home once or twice a year for several years. During each visit we would see each other and about every other visit she would be different. Her hair was either long and curly or cut pixie style, dyed in some other color. She listened to rock or reggae...versus the ballads I had known her to favor. She became a camping-hippie or a political activist. It all depended on the boyfriend she had at the time, on his preferences.
I thought she was selling out. Why would she care what the dude wanted? These guys needed to appreciate her just as she was, I thought. And they did. I just did not see the beauty of her gift. She wasn't changing to be liked or out of insecurity. She was pleasing someone she cared for. Her identity remained the same. She was loving and open-minded and none of the apparent changes changed her core. What they did do was expose her to new ideologies, music, art, places, beliefs, thoughts, fashion, reading material and more. She was richer for it. She still is.
Today is a good day to enrich our relationship to others by appreciating their likes and dislikes, opening our minds and hearts to what makes them happy–without judging. Let us feel free to change as a gift of love, disregarding the opinions of those who don't understand. Let us be open to those who love us and adopt some of our preferences as well. As our colors change, our understanding and our love grows.
*I have disguised her name to maintain her privacy.
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