Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day #57 & #58: Black and white and all shades in between

I have learned one very important thing over these past few month-you cannot live life in black and white. It was once written that "life is like a rainbow. You need both the sun and the rain to makes its colors appear." Life is one big techno-color dream. A groovy, trippy, out of this world existence. Some choose to marvel at the colors, while others work very hard with their pink eraser to get rid of them.

I'm really starting to enjoy the colors. I wish I could say that I've always lived life in some beautiful 64 count crayola box. Sadly, I lived many days in a a very divided state...things were either black or white and absolutely no other possible shade of gray. Few things in life are concrete and perfunctory. Sure, the engineer or the physicist might argue with you on this point. I remember my lab rat days laughing at psychology majors thinking...."ha....that's a soft science (i.e. not a real science)." Now I'm starting to realize that there is real truth to the psyche, and that a healthy psyche is anything but extreme. I've come to this conclusion, looking at life from extremes is dangerous.

How is it dangerous? Well, think of all the energy needed to fit everything into a nice little box, labeled either black or white. Tough, right? It's like trying to force the round peg through the square hole. It's not going to work. Yet, so many of try and try to do it to no avail. Joseph Collins wrote, "By starving emotions we become humorless, rigid, and stereotyped; by repressing them we come literal, reformatory, and holier-than-thou; encouraged, they perfume life; discouraged the poison it." It's so much easier to allow the waves to crash than to hold them up with bare hands.

Life needs to be lived like a rubber band, not a fixed piece of wood. Sometimes you will need to stretch yourself a little further, or retract, or find equilibrium. Either way, you need some leeway. The other problem with living a black and white existence is that it leaves no room for the spontaneity of life. Spontaneity is the stuff that life is made of. Every heard the old quote, "We make plans, and God laughs." We have to allow for the surprises in life. I've yet to meet someone who followed a dream, moved to a new city, met the love of his life, and then ten years later griped and moaned about the whole experience.

So, I am now enjoying my crayon box. I'm even throwing in some vibrant oil paints and dainty watercolors while I'm at it. I'm going with the flow and enjoying the ride. Gone are the days of black and white. Hello color!! Besides, I look better in a rich shade of pink then a dull black sweater any day :)

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