Never Ask Me If I Dye My Hair. Ever. / by Dana Bergstrom

Hair color is a sensitive topic for this genetic mutant. The shade of my locks changes pretty radically with sun exposure, so this is an occasional query. My initial response is always the same. The ol' inner bully gets triggered and I want to give the questioner a piece of my freakin' mutant, red hair covered mind.

NOOOO! I AM A NATURAL REDHEAD! I'VE ONLY DYED MY HAIR TWICE IN MY LIFE: ONCE TO PLAY MARIA IN MY COLLEGE'S PRODUCTION OF "WEST SIDE STORY" AND ANOTHER TIME I GOT HIGHLIGHTS FOR MY SALON'S HAIR SHOW! NOW...NEVER EVER EVER ASK ME THAT QUESTION AGAAAAAAIN!

WTH? It's a totally innocent question! Why does my inner bully go completely mental each time that it's asked?

I usually just respond with a "No", but it always comes outta my mouth with a bit of an edge to it. My attitude and judgment towards this question indicates that my ego/inner bully is totally identified with my hair color. I know it's lame, but because I've gotten mostly positive attention my entire 46 years on planet Earth for having red hair, it has turned into a big, fat part of who I think I am.

After my favorite blogger and friend, Marian, asked me if I dyed my hair, I came clean about how my inner bully really wanted to respond to her. And although it was embarrassing to admit, it was so helpful to bring my ego garbage out of hiding and into the light as I explained what was happening internally.

It's pretty typical for human egos to think that they are a thing. "I am an artist!" - "I am an activist!" - "I am a lesbian!" - "I am a mother!" - "I am a good provider for my family!"  - "I am a Ph.D.!"  - "I am an entrepreneur!"  - "I am a Democrat!" - "I am a Buddhist/Christian/Whatevs!" You get the gist. We tend to have our human identities wrapped up in our belief systems or in something temporal. But because our bodies don't last, these identities aren't anything real at all.

What is real? I'd love to know. One of my favorite quotes from A Course in Miracles goes like this:

"Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God."

Mmmm. Chew on that non-dual goodness about our immortal reality and oneness with All That Is, if you're so inclined. I just love to sit with those yummy words. For me, they cut through all of the hoohaw.

And in the meantime, as my hair fades with age from red to blonde to grey, I may decide to color my mane after all. You are welcome to ask me if I dye it, if you want. Test out my totally human body identified inner bully and see where she's at. Live on the edge! Depending on my perimenopausal hormone cycle, you could get a boatload of defensive, expletive-filled nonsense or you may get a simple and easy answer. I kid. The nonsense is always saved just for Pauly.

I do know that my desire while I am in a body is to be as fully present as possible with who I am as energy/spirit. I learn more about that each day through the helpful contrast of both my inner bully and my inner being. And no matter what I'm experiencing, simply having the opportunity to be in these amazing human bodies is pretty fantastic.