Hippies, in my opinion, get a bad wrap. Hippies were made fun of back-in-the day and they are still made fun of now. People think of funny clothes, drugs, and free love when they think, hippie, and often miss what the hippie movement was about. Some of our ideas were less than sound and some of the counter-morality off base but it was the core values of peace, love, and tolerance that drew me into the movement. Anyone who called themselves a hippie and didn’t practice these values wasn’t a hippie. I took these values quite seriously, as did many of my friends, and I still embrace and live by those values today. At nineteen, I became a Christian but I also still remained a hippie in my dress and in the way I lived my life. I no longer practiced a morality that isn’t taught in the Bible but I still enjoyed expressing myself in my clothing and I lived a life tolerant of others as I practiced love for my fellow human beings, and sought to live a peaceful life. In these values, there was no contradiction between them and my new faith. In fact, they coincided perfectly.I later gave in to pressure to conform and in the process, I became something I was not. My morality is conservative but that is the only thing conservative about me. I don’t live by rules but by faith and I enjoy free expression and new ideas. I love bright colors and loud music. I not only embrace change but seek it out. Church peer pressure, often in the form of deriding remarks about hippies, gave me the impression that if I were a Christian that everything about me should change. I put on a mantle of conservatism and the person that I truly am inside was stifled and I often felt suffocated.
It is impossible to be what you are not and the only way to fake it is by following certain rules through outward obedience. When one is following rules and not the Spirit, it takes a great deal of effort to keep them maintained. It leaves little time for anything else. I was miserable and my misery sought out company by insisting that those around me follow these rules also. I became a meddler. I also had to put so much effort into maintaining this outward “Christian” facade, that I had little time to actually hear God. By living according to rules that enabled me to be what some thought I should be, I placed a wall between me and the Spirit and my life became nearly barren of its fruits. I was no longer tolerant, I was often unloving, and tolerance of others was replaced with intolerance. The hippie chick in me appeared to be gone and there were some who patted my back for running her off; but I and the people who love me most were miserable.
Events in my life, allowed by God, caused me to take a good hard look at what I was doing. I didn’t like what I saw. I was a facade, I had created a false self, and I was not the person that God intended for me to be. Despite all the pressure not to do so, I dropped the facade and went back to being, Me. I lovingly embraced the hippie chick in me. My relationship with God improved and deepened and now the fruits of the Spirit are all mine to enjoy and share. My heart is filled with love over-flowing and I again live a peaceful life marked by tolerance of others. I am still sort of hippie chick but Jesus lives in me also and there is no divide between us. I am who He made me to be and my relationship with Him draws me closer to God and my full, individual potential. Jesus loves me as I am and requires me to be no other.
If you are resisting coming to know Jesus because you believe that you will have become someone else then leave that thought there. Jesus loves you as you are and desires only to enable you to become more fully who you are.