I'll never be one of those sleek sophisticated girls who are completely pulled together, gorgeous, perfect makeup, not a hair out of place. Those days when I have to dress up and show up I never quite nail the polished look no matter how hard I try or get professional help. I don't clean up well.
I had a wake up as a teen, in the mirror, attempting hair management as my sister walked by, rolled her eyes and told me to let it fly. I semi recognized wisdom in that and stopped trying so hard.
And over the years, I've almost given up. I made a stab at perfection, because looking like you tried should count for something, but not trying hard because it's never gonna work and it's always uncomfortable.
It's only lately that the mess has become glorious.
Some don't have it all together on the inside, and I've been there myself. Constant emotional pain is messy, but where I want to go today is the process of inner healing type of messy.
Just as when you start a home renovation and it gets worse before it gets better, emotional healing can get similarly messy. Messy like emotions you've suppressed for years breaking free, and being expressed inappropriately because you're new to this. Messy because you have new realizations and find that you have to do life differently from here on out. Messy while you correct how you operate in relationships with others. Knocking down walls brings a new kind of anxiety at first.
We fight so hard to look like we have it all together. Our subconscious fights to maintain status quo. But real, lasting change can't come without you wading through the chaos of your patterns, inner lies, and coping mechanisms.
Messy people don't "pretty cry" either. We have red blotchy skin, snot bubbles and destructive tendencies. I know it seems easier to not go there, but the attempts to cover up the issues usually backfire anyway. The nail polish is on to hide the dirt, because you're not a princess in a tower, you're a warrior in the trenches, but then the polish chips and everything is worse...
Messy has a fair amount of shame attached.
Many of us learn very early on from family the importance of looking "presentable," that it's not ok to be angry, and "stop crying."
Then non messy people have a way of heightening your distinction of your level of messy. ("Why can't I look like this girl," or "that girl?")
I got hugged by a politician during an ugly cry. They wear suits. They aren't messy. All I could think about was wriggling free because snot + makeup + suit = messy. Which brings me to the idea that you'll contaminate whatever you come in contact with. Lots of us withdraw because we're afraid people can't handle our level of messy, and many times that's true, but that's not your decision to make on their behalf. Our messy emotional selves don't always need a witness, but rejecting others before they reject you is lose-lose. Seeing who will stand with you is enormously healing, even though some people might walk.
For all this, I also don't want to set your expectation that healing is always messy because it isn't. Especially with flower essences, lots of times you really do transition effortlessly and gracefully. But if it does get messy, it needs to be ok.
So now for me, the emphasis is on healthy, not tame.
That means no heat styling the hair into something it's not, and no pretending a relationship is fine when it's not. Where the interior meets exterior, I've found a free class called Dressing Your Truth. Its personality typing meets hair and wardrobe. It's also one of the few typing systems that takes into account wounding, and that you can operate as your secondary because you've learned it's not safe to be yourself. The Type 4 girls? Those are the polished ones. The ones with the perfect skin, hair and clothes... But Type 3's? We're messy, we're raw, and we're wildly beautiful. We might as well own it.
Image credits © Can Stock Photo / cybernesco Pixabay/FrankWinkler, Seneca Schurbon