Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Beard or a Shave?


I was walking on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver this morning doing a bit of last minute shopping when I started noticing that all the men around me had beards.  A lot of these men were homeless and the mall is a safe place for them to sleep and socialize.  It is easy for me to understand that they do not have a place to shave which makes their beards are long and scraggly.  It is the other men that I struggle to understand.

Yes, I have had facial hair before.  I have had all sorts of facial hair from full beards to handlebar mustaches.  I have had crazy long goatees and been called the devil because of them.  I shave roughly twice a week so my 5 o'clock shadow is typically long and unkept.
Beards are just hair on the face.  As a primate, we have very complex brains.  These complex brains have allowed humans to develop a form of silent communication using facial expressions.  While the eyes play the lead part in our silent communication, the muscles around the mouth also relay information to other humans.  Some scientists feel that facial communication is innate in humans and evolved as our brains evolved to become more and more complex.  They use evidence that humans from different cultures can still communication many emotions silently.

What a great way to hide something - grow a beard to hide the micro-expressions around your mouth.  Yes - I feel that beards are used to hide something.  This hiding could be anything from personal insecurities or a crime that has been committed.  Beards (to me) are a way of concealing one's true self from the world.  It also serves to hide yourself from yourself when you look into the mirror.  Beards take away a vital piece of human communication which in turn makes me suspicious of beards regardless of a man's intent.

A beard is also slang for a gay man or lesbian woman who is married.  Their partner is their beard.  They are hiding from their own sexuality.  How did this get the word "beard" associated with this - a strange combination if you ask me?  Again, I believe it is because a beard hides something that you do not want known.

Is all of this true?  If so, then why are there so many beards out on the street.  Are all these men hiding something from the world?  Maybe I am reading way too far into what I beard really is - it may just be a fashionable trent right now.  Regardless, I don't like them. 


Just like the sunrise, shaving can be a new start.  With each stroke of the razor, you remove the old hair and start over with a clean slate.  Your skin is transformed from a prickly cactus that hurts others when you get too close into a surface as smooth as a baby's bottom.  For men, our faces are reborn each time we shave.  While I hate to shave, I love the feeling and look of my cleaned and recently shaved face.

Yesterday I made a short video for my boys in which I demonstrate shaving.  As I built the video, I watched my face transform and thought about this blog.  I then witnessed all those beards this morning and this blog was solidified.  I had to talk about what shaving means and does for me.

Shaving to me is a HUGE pain in the ass.  I wish I could have electrolysis done on my entire face and I probably would except for the fact I would probably look funny without any stubble at all.  Even though I only shave twice a week, it still has a transforming effect on me.\

On the days I shave, I leave the house with a new confidence.  Shaving helps hide the picking I do when my anxiety is high.  Shaving helps keep from picking even.  This in turn helps me focus on what needs to get done which ultimately reduces my anxiety - Win Win.

Shaving also helps me feel attractive.  It hides my double chin and makes me feel thinner.  This is a great boost to my self-confidence.

Shaving is a perfect analogy for what I am going through as I write this blog and change my life.  I am ridding myself of the unwanted things in my life (the hair) and opening myself up to begin real and meaningful relationships (no beard).  I show other humans I am not hiding anything behind a beard.  I can express myself to everyone using my face.

Recently, I received a comment on a selfie that I took during my afternoon bus ride commute.  The comment was pretty impactful to me.  My friend told me that I looked happy in the picture.  I knew that a lot of my selfies show me with a forced smile but I did not know anyone noticed.   In this photo, my friend was able to read the emotion in my face and knew immediately that I was happy.  With my belief that positive energy attracts positive energy, my friend's comment was a perfect compliment to the way I felt and an amazing affirmation of my beliefs about the universe.

The selfie I took that showed some happiness in my face.

So the moral of all of this is that I am not growing a beard during my 40th trip around the sun.  I am going to keep my face clean, my confidence high, my energy positive, and a REAL smile on my face.  I want to broadcast to everyone that I am changing my core beliefs about  myself and embracing the positive energy of the universe.  I will leave you with one of my most powerful positive affirmations that I have ignored for a long time:


No comments:

Post a Comment