I was avidly listening to the talk, presented by a gray-haired, well-manicured lady, with my mid-teen friends. She was talking about clothes and fashion tips and we were hanging on her every word as she was passing on some tips she had learned at Modeling/Finishing School. A place many of us had only dreamed about, and still dream about attending.
“What are some of your favorite colors to wear?” she asked, brightly smiling at the charges half circled at her feet.
Typical colors were thrown out until she pointed to me.
“Orange,” I said.
Her hand stopped moving around the circle. Holding still, we heard an intake of air into her posture perfect lungs. She made one quiet tap with the toes of her well-heeled pump. We sat expectantly, knowing some wise pronouncement would follow. Words to live by, and by which to arrange our sorry teen lives. “Orange is not a color,” she said, emphasizing each word.
I stared at her. Shocked. What about my favorite orange sweater I enjoyed wearing and even got compliments on? What about pumpkins? What about oranges? What about . . .?
Without thinking, I blurted out in defense of my favorite color, “It’s in the crayon box and the rainbow.”
She stared at me for a moment. Her well-modulated voice announcing, “Of course it is. But it is not a fashion color. Ladies do not, nor should not ever wear orange. It is a color of clowns and . . . nature.”
Some of the girls teetered.
And that is how I found that orange is not a color to wear.
I never did enjoy wearing that orange sweater much after that life-shattering announcement. Funny how small comments can shape our choices and direction? For years I didn’t buy anything orange. I believed the color lie.
And then one day I realized that I still liked orange, and out of defiance, I bought an orange shirt, then a skirt with an orange pattern. And since then, who cares what color is announced in or out, to exist or not, I wear what I like and what I want. And in protest, I eat as much orange-colored pumpkin pie as I can manage on Thanksgiving.
To live life unwrapped, don’t listen to all that silly advice given by well-meaning, and not so well-meaning, people who populate and wander through your life. Ask: Is this true, good, and right? And if it is not a sin or harmful, go ahead and wear orange, read on the toilet, and make pairs of mismatched socks.
Be careful of the lies you believe. Lies from others. Lies in your head.
Saying orange is not a color did not take it out of the clothing color scheme. In fact orange is having quite a day currently as a home decor and clothing color.
People use this strategy of saying something is or isn’t to make it true or believable. But in reality, proclaiming something as true has no barring on its truth, unless it is already true. We need to be careful of what we say, listen to, and the lies we believe.
I can laugh at how I quit wearing orange, but some lies are not so subtle. Like believing we are of no value. That we need to be perfect. That we never measure up to others. That we need a house and two dogs to be successful. That we should sit down and shut up and never state our needs.
We need to be careful of what we say to others and our self. We need to be careful of who and what we listen to. Because we say all sorts of half-truths and lies to our self. And we hear all sorts of half-truths and lies.
We can say anything we want, but it doesn’t make it true.
Saying God does not exist, does not do away with God. Nor does saying I am brilliant, make me brilliant.
We need to be truth seekers. Truth reminders.
When we remind ourselves of God’s truth, now that is powerful. We can change our way of thinking and acting by reminding ourselves of God’s truth. It can make us courageous, kind, forgiving, and so much more. When I feel discouraged and I remind myself I am of value as a child of the King, now that is truth that changes me.
So, tell yourself the truth, God’s truth, on a daily basis.
Live Life Unwrapped and wear orange, or any other color you want.