If you we re to describe yourself in three words what would they be? Asked another way, if you saw the words as your “primary colors”– the yellow, red or blue in you – what would they show the world about yourself?
Now that I’ve asked you the question, I asked the same of myself, letting my answers arise without thinking, quick as a fish to a fly. Humor, love and introspection are fundamental qualities that color my essential self. They bring me into the light.
Let me take you through them. Yellow is my humor. It cuts through trouble faster than a streaking dolphin.
Last week I walked into my husband’s and my bedroom to find five men setting up a TV at the foot of our bed. They surprised me. Without thinking I said, “Well, I’ve never had 5 men in my bedroom before!” They squirmed, not knowing how to react to the woman of the house, but I laughed and the comic relief helped to get me through an unusually pressured day.
The color of my bedroom, as I wrote two weeks ago, is red trim with yellow walls. That’s as far as I’m taking you, except to say that when I wake up to see orange and red maple leaves outside my window streaked with gold light, I am sometimes overcome by beauty. Red is the color of love and gratitude. It can sooth a furrowed brow, or a trembling lip. It opens my arms, even to strangers.
Blue is often associated with feeling lugubrious (I could say sad, but I love this word,) or vulnerable, but to me it’s also the color of introspection. Going inside grounds me and reveals insights. Like all things, it contains a paradox: The darkest night reveals the most number of stars. Are we willing to go deep enough to let the stars in us shine brightly?
Three weeks ago, when I wrote about yellow, I could sense an essay lurking inside on “primary colors,” like a fish that hides in the shadow of a rock, waiting to snap an insect from the surface. Finding our essential self is like this. We have to have patience, but we also need the courage to look.
Voices that tell us not to stray from the pack mutter ominous warnings: Don’t be too different or you won’t belong.
I say, stay with yourself. Regardless of your background, experience, or any kind of “differentness,” feelings are universal. The uniqueness in each of us is being called toward the light.
Another paradox: We need the presence of black. It makes us grateful for color. The absence of color is like the night sky. It allows us to sink fully into ourselves. This is how we find the unique colors and meaning that arise from our essence. Yet, blended together all colors create the presence of white. White light is the color of oneness, where we all belong.
May we each let our primary colors shine both separately and together. In this way we will find meaning, oneness, and belonging.