Updated: Aug 2, 2021
“ I would be given gas, then listen as my scalp was cut and pulled off. The numb areas that received the hair on top felt and sounded like styrofoam when the needles plunged in to plant it. "
At the age of 24, after five years of walking, biking and exercising 150 pounds of weight off of my body, my hair began to fall out. It disappeared here and there, on top and toward the back, as if I were undergoing chemotherapy. I envied the guys with receeding hairlines, and the years they would have to adjust without much notice. I had the hair of a stranger sewn into the back like extensions, and it was painful but it covered the expanding hole. I did this for a few years, worrying when my existing hair grew and it loosened the fake patch. Each day I examined it, touched it, and searched constantly for a mirror. At 32, I began to have six-inch lengths of my scalp ripped out of the back of my skull and pieces driven into sparse areas of the top of my head. I would be given gas, then listen as my scalp was cut and pulled off. The numb areas that received the hair on top felt and sounded like styrofoam when the needles plunged in to plant it. I did this five times over six years, spending twenty thousand dollars. The last time was in Fort Lauderdale, and I overheard one assistant tell the other, “This guy’s wasting his money,” then the doctor chuckled. I thought back to the weight I had struggled to lose, to the painful skin reduction surgery I had endured that took months to recover from, to the ridicule I had endured for having worn so many of my troubles on the outside for so much of my life, and asked the wall: “Why me?” and then, “Please, not one more thing.” Because of the scars of the surgeries, I have kept my head covered most of the time, not in shame of my bald head, but to avoid having to relive the years of torment that accompany my past. Then, a few months ago, I went to the Temple with Om, and as we entered, I asked “Should I take off my hat?” and he smiled and said, “Yes, because you’re so handsome.” I looked up at the altar, and the deities shined back at me, beaming and beautiful with colorful flowers, light and energy. I looked around, to a room full of monks and devotees, many of their heads shaved, arms open in welcome. My eyes filled with tears. I was home, on my planet, with people like me, to purely give and receive love. God has spent half a century trying to teach me of the importance of becoming my fullest self inside, I just didn’t get hint after hint. I laugh to myself whenever I hear about a new “cure” for baldness. I don’t want my hair back. I welcome back nothing that has ever taken a moment of joy from my heart, put doubt in my mind, or crushed my soul. Cure? The diagnosis is pain. The cure is acceptance. The medication is pushing boulders up a mountain. The sun shines, every day, and it shines for me, too. So here I am, a little battered but humble, ready to feel the rays. Let it shine.