Seeing Red, Changing Perception & Moving Forward
Red has long been a colour I have associated with hate, anger, shame and blame. At first I didn’t make the connection between the associations I had with the colour red and the reasons surrounding it, now I have and have good reason to try and challenge and change my perception of the colour red. My identical twin sister is getting married in February and I am a bridesmaid and am wearing a red dress!
On my healing journey over the past two years I have constantly journalled. Before arriving at Heal for Life the first time, I had a red book. Contained in that book were a chronicle of events, thoughts and feelings surrounding my childhood abuse and trauma. This book was like my lifeline, it was my voice, however the words were silent, it was how I communicated, I had no voice. To me that book and the colour red represented all the self-hatred, shame, blame and guilt I had kept locked up inside for over twenty years. I had invested a lot of tears in the words scribbled in that journal.
Last week I attended at lecture by Dr Wendy Lawson who is a Psychologist with Autism. She explained that her Autism took away the ability to see outward displays of emotion in people, however she saw and attached colour to people based on what they were feeling. Dr Lawson went on to describe each colour she had assigned to an “emotion”….a bit like an aura. This got me thinking particularly about my associations with the colour red and the reasons I have to change and challenge my perception and be more comfortable with the colour red.
Four days before this lecture, I started doodling in another book….not at all unusual for me, however what we unusual was the fact I was using a red pen…..and stubborn me doesn’t like to change colour when I am working with line and shape (it destroys the harmony in the picture). So while listening to Dr Lawson speak I continue to add to the image until a double page is filled. It was not until I was driving home and reflecting on the day’s events and what I had learnt I realized what I had done!
I had created a harmonious image, which was strangely calming for me because it was done entirely with the colour red. It got me thinking….if that’s possible, and then it might be possible for me to take away the negative connotations I have with the colour red and create positive ones!
So far this week I have painted my nails red (and managed to keep it on for three days) and not feel horrible when I see the colour on me……and also wear red lipstick to an evening function. I have never in my life worn red lipstick. My immediate reaction, after putting it on was to reach for a cotton pad and take it off, but I resisted, and made it through the night….and had a great time too!
This week has been challenging in more ways than one, but I know it will be worth it in the end, because I am working towards feeling strong, beautiful and most importantly comfortable in the red dress for my sister’s wedding.
It has just struck me….red could be looked at as an empowering colour…..all that was contained in my red journal was the beginning of my healing journey, and although I couldn’t verbalise and express what was going on for me at that time…written word is another form of communication and is what got me to the place I needed to be at that time, and ultimately to where I am now.
Until next week….big love, peace & happiness,