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Recently, I had an experience...

From the November 1996 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Recently, I had an experience that taught me much about my real identity and individuality.

Throughout my life people always admired my hair for its beautiful colour and fullness. In general I do not give much thought to my bodily appearance and believed that I was free of any vanity. Slowly, I noticed an increasing loss of my hair. At first I was not concerned about it. I expected this loss of hair to stop "naturally," so I made no attempt to correct the situation with prayer or spiritual truth.

A few weeks later I realized that the severe loss of hair had stopped. . . . Very quickly my hair regained its former fullness.

But as time passed I found more and more loose hair in my comb every morning. When washing my hair I had to clean up a good handful afterwards; the small dustbin in the bathroom was filled within one week.

I tried to look away from this false, material picture and to acknowledge that because I was created by God I was therefore perfect, without any loss or lack, complete and beautiful always. But the situation did not improve and began to frighten me. I was very upset.

"What do I identify myself with?" I asked myself. Was I really dependent on material hair? Would people see me differently and not recognize my true selfhood if I had no hair at all?

Seeking a better understanding about beauty, I found the following passages in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy, very helpful: "In Science man is the offspring of Spirit. The beautiful, good, and pure constitute his ancestry" (p. 63), and "Man, governed by immortal Mind, is always beautiful and grand" (p. 246).

Also, I remembered the Bible story (see Luke 7:37, 38) of the woman who dried Jesus' feet with her long hair, and that those hairs were "all numbered by the Father" (see Science and Health, p. 367). I realized that God sustains every single aspect of our real identity.

The woman in the Bible story had shown much humility. Was I really grateful enough for the beauty God had given to me as His spiritual reflection? I decided to claim all my spiritual qualities—such as gratitude, meekness, kindness, grace and joy—and to live these more in daily life. Eventually I stopped being concerned with the material condition, though I still had to clean up a lot of hair every day. And I began to more consistently acknowledge my true identity as spiritual and independent of any material appearance.

A few weeks later I realized that the severe loss of hair had stopped. I was grateful and full of joy and praise to God. Very quickly my hair regained its former fullness. I am very thankful, most of all, for having gained a higher concept of my true, spiritual selfhood.

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