True Colors: On Embracing the Full “Palette” of Life and Self

Around this time last year, someone close to me whom I thought had learned to care about my feelings as a human being confessed that she thought my life was “sad.”

“I don’t ask you about your life, because I think your life is sad,” were the exact words she said to me. 

As anyone with a shred of self-respect can understand, this person is no longer in my life — and lo and behold, I am happier for it. :)

The problem there, of course, was two-fold. One, that this person ultimately wasn’t interested in the details of my life. And two, that she had her own pre-judgment of what a “happy” or good life should look like. And apparently, I was not living up to her standard.

It made me wonder:  how can anyone look at another’s life with all its ebbs and flows, highs and lows, and paint it over with one sweeping, broad stroke dripping blue tears of paint that cry out — sad. It’s almost laughable.

But for anyone who struggles — as I admittedly sometimes do in this society (and particularly as a woman) — with others’ perceptions in choosing a somewhat “unconventional” life path or being an “unconventional” person, this has been a good reminder to not only be grateful for the full palette of colors of experience in this life, but also to remind myself that life shouldn’t need to look or be any particular way in order to be valuable and good.

It reminds me of an article I read last year that’s worth revisiting again, particularly in this reflective time of year…

“You don’t get to game the system of your life. You just don’t. You don’t get to control every outcome and aspect as a way to never give in to the uncertainty and unpredictability of something that’s beyond what you understand. It’s the basis of presence:  to show up as you are in this moment and let that be enough.”

Let this be a reminder that YOU are enough. Your life is enough.

Please don’t let anyone ever make you feel otherwise.

Rainbows End & Alexander's Dark Band   ,  by Mika-Pekka Markkanen (Creative Commons)

Rainbows End & Alexander's Dark Band, by Mika-Pekka Markkanen (Creative Commons)