It was after I bought the purple skinny jeans.
I started noticing purple everywhere. It wasn’t just Maisy’s favorite color anymore; purple had taken on a life of its own.
There was Maisy in her purple outfits, entreating me to join her in her delight with being a girl. But there was more—for Maisy, all of life involves this kind of delight. Her only priority is play. She is fully present to each new moment, utterly free and spontaneous, immersed in simple joy.
“Perhaps there is no gift more precious than the gift of spontaneity, the ability of certain [people] and animals to act straight and fresh and self-forgettingly out of the living center of who they are.” (Frederick Buechner)
For Maisy, purple was on the inside too…and she was drawing it out of me…out from under the grown up layers of preoccupation, plans, and perfectionism.
And then there was my therapist in his sometimes purple sweater, listening me along the precipice of my own depths. We peered over the edge, and there was purple…shimmering under layers of anxiety and worn out coping mechanisms.
Purple became a poignant symbol for me of the place inside where blue and red come together, where a well of deep feeling and deep power sloshes and gurgles. The reservoir of our truest energy.
I began to wonder, what would it look like to live all of life from these rich depths, with passion splashing?
It scared me some, because it’s wild and unpredictable down there. And somehow along the way I’ve gotten the message that it can’t be trusted.
The refining of what’s inside us is a necessary part of maturing into
adulthood and growing in our spiritual journey. Unfortunately, this process can leave many of us pretty disconnected from our purple.
It’s easy to live from a more surface place where responsibility, expectations, and tired striving prevail. Sometimes we’re more comfortable there anyway because our deep feelings can be too tender and our own power scares us.
As mothers overwhelmed with duties and the needs of others, how can we afford to make room for what’s deep inside us?
Yet how can we afford not to? To live otherwise is like trying to drive with the engine turned off.
All the heart, strength, and instincts we really need for life and mothering are in the purple well. So is the lovely energy of our own inner three year old—the straight and fresh vulnerability and trust, the self-forgetting confidence and joy. How desperately we need that!
“You must become like little children…” (Matthew 18:3)
No doubt, accessing
and living from this place inside will be messy and painful at times. But all the best of who we are is in there. And I believe this is the very place in us where the love and strength of God reside as well.
What is in your purple well? What feelings and longings? What impulses and gifts?
© 2012 Standing on Peace