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Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Colors of Love

How we love and want to be loved

In some ancient cultures the colors of the rainbow represented the stages of human and spiritual development, beginning with the red clay of the earth and rising to the colors of the heavens, fairest violet, white and gold.

Red, the foundation of the rainbow, represents personal identity, “who I am,” “me, myself, and I.”

Red love, therefore, is characterized as loving a person just as they are, for who they are, and is the kind of love everyone of us most seriously wants and desperately needs (approval, worthiness, the right to exist).

In elementary school my Mom told me I had to give a valentine to everyone in the class, not just the ones I liked, “because everyone deserves a valentine.” Was she teaching me about red love? or about John 3:16?

Orange Love is characterized by affection and friendship, relationship and romance. This kind of relational love and emotional intimacy is the love that meets one’s deepest yearnings and overcomes the ache of isolation and loneliness.

Yellow Love is energetic and productive. It is the love of work and those with whom one works, of being satisfactorily invested in something worthwhile, of vocation and avocation. It is the love on which brotherhoods and sisterhoods are built, and on which community thrives.

Green Love, at the center, the very heart of the rainbow, is caring love. It is the pure, unselfish love of others. This generative and re-generative love (the love that gives life) is far more difficult to receive than to give, for it comes only as grace and can never be repaid. Yet, when received, even in times of turmoil, it brings quiet to the soul.

Blue Love is the love of pursuing higher truth together, of listening and sharing. Blue love connects virtual strangers together in their search for and the celebration of grand ideas commonly held. It is the basis of the arts, of public rallies, of civic and religious communities. We experience it as a need when we have strong but unclear ideas and feelings and no way to let them out.

Purple Love is creative, empowering, transforming love, love that sees a vision of something grand and in it finds purpose, structure and order. Purple love is wisdom, like Solomon’s. It is the passion for peace and good will among all, and motivates the high-minded among us—prophets and saints, philosophers, entrepreneurs and world leaders, everyday dreamers—who, having a dream, are selfless and of highest virtue in its pursuit.

White Love (sometimes Gold or Violet) is eternal love, perfect harmony and unity with Christ. It is the grandest of all loves, its need etched deep in the being of every creature, but only momentarily, if ever, experienced until its total embrace is ultimately gained.

In your life’s journey what color of love best characterizes your most pressing need? And what color love needs do others have? Do you need to love in new ways?

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