Why do I like yellow so much!? Hummm… Marketing research and studies don’t lie, COLOR matters! Color has a profound impact on all our lives. It influences how we feel physically, emotionally, mentally and psychologically. Colors have meaning throughout history and in various cultures. We live in color and the color we “live in” makes a difference. During the snap-shot moments of each day, weeks, months and the various seasons of life we trudge through, we tend to float in and out of a vibrant spectrum of colors. For the most part though, there are colors that define who you and I are by way of your demeanor and your personality. What color do you live in? Here are some color meanings of a few colors:
GRAY- Balance, a calmness, neutral ground, stability and authority.
GREEN- Money, health, healthiness, relaxation and growth.
BLUE- Integrity, strength, dependability and trust, peace and tranquility.
PURPLE- Royalty, spirituality, creativity, imagination and wisdom.
RED- Passion, boldness, romance, danger, energy and excitement.
ORANGE- Confidence, friendliness and cheerfulness.
YELLOW- Joy, cheerfulness, friendliness, energy, warmth and caution.
BLACK- Power and sophistication, formality, death and evil
WHITE- Purity, cleanliness, hope, goodness, light, simplicity and freshness.
I have always been a “yellow” kinda of girl. Like everyone else, I have a dash of this color and a dash of that one. But it’s definitely safe to say that sprinkled over my mostly yellow-self, are (BIG) flakes of orange and red. I’m a happy, warm, touchy-feely girl, with high energy, genuine joy and confidence. I passionately love, wear my heart on my sleeve and I’m full of excitement. However, something happened a while ago that changed me. Some dark blue was unexpectedly poured over me about two years ago. Blue is an incredibly strong color but can be associated with sadness, despair and depression. We all face a little blue in life and unfortunately, some people get stuck in a BLUE state for a long time. I have friends who have battled depression and say it’s very tough to come out of a deep depression.
Some of ya’ll already know, in May 2014, I found out my mother had been diagnosed with lung cancer. She was a very healthy, vibrant, beautiful woman. She exercised often, had an active life style, didn’t indulge in over eating (all the bad foods) or heavy drinking. She never smoked a day in her life. She cared about her body and what she put in it. As her treatment began, we watched a roller coaster of ups and downs. Good months and bad months. Then a decline took place. As the days and months passed, her health deteriorated. I began to see and feel the negative aspects of the color RED inside me begin to take over. Suddenly my bright, happy, cheerful, yellow self was totally pissed, confused and angry!! I was becoming angry. Angry at Cancer. Angry and the fact that life was just moving right a long as normal for everyone else, but in my world wasn’t. I was over-the-top angry at the people who carelessly destroyed their bodies with using drugs, smoking cigarettes and abusing their bodies- while my mother, who did the opposite, was the one struck by this unrelenting, demonic disease. During my quiet time of reflection and prayer, I would just fume and talk to God about how angry and sad and scared I was. RED was starting to ooze outta me!
As I watched the deterioration take over, BLUE crept in and I could both see and feel the cloud of despair trying to settle, down upon my shoulders. Sadness and fear of the unknown was constantly hanging in the balance. Depression also made its debut, trying to seduce me into wallowing with it. It’s safe to say, I felt “BLUE.” Although everyone around me knew my mother’s diagnosis, I was trying to be positive, upbeat and optimistic on the outside! Finally, I shared my feelings and emotions with my girlfriends. When I did, it was like I made a call to 911! They surrounded me- all of them, with what seemed like fire hoses filled with powerful shades of yellow that blasted over my mind, body and spirit daily! The blast was so powerful that RED and BLUE didn’t even have a chance! My girlfriends would call, write, email and send me texts. Some even mailed me presents! One day I opened my front door and found something on the porch that changed my life.
What I saw on the porch, touched me deeply. It changed my perspective. It changed my countenance. My friend, Amy had left a “Box of Sunshine” on my front porch!! “What in the world!? For me!? ” I immediately ripped open the card, “Amy, this is some sunshine for you! You’re down, you’re sad, you’re feeling broken, but let this sunshine fill you up. You are loved, friend!” Ya’ll, all I could do was cry! Seriously, for like over an hour, I cried! Every, single thing in the box was YELLOW!! She had shopped for yellow food, wine with a yellow label, kitchen gadgets and cosmetics packaged in yellow, office supplies that were yellow, yellow trinkets and even a bouquet of YELLOW flowers! Bouncing around overhead, was a giant yellow happy face balloon! It was like the balloon face was saying, “You’re gonna be happy dammit!!” I had never seen anything like this! Suddenly, my joy, happiness and cheer was restored… and on a day when I was feeling so low! I felt an instant warmth! YELLOW… it does the body GOOD!
My mother didn’t win her fight with Cancer the way, we had hoped, but in the end, she was declared the WINNER. I’m fairly certain that when she arrived to the pearly gates and met Jesus, he handed her some big, bright, yellow boxing gloves. While here on earth, she did her very best to knock that Cancer out! Her reward: Healing.. no more pain, no more suffering. Because of my experience with deep pain, overwhelming sorrow and loss, I have even more compassion for people than I had before. There are a lot of people who suffer around us. Some suffer from illnesses, depression, overwhelming fear, sadness, trauma and so on. I decided that day- the day when Amy left that Box of Sunshine on my porch, that I too, would be a Sunshine giver.
So, my hubby and I creep around and stalk peeps on Facebook and talk to people all over the United States in order to find out who’s in need. Maybe it’s a friend who is going through a bad divorce, or a single mom who is having a tough month. Maybe a box is made and sent to a very sick, little 12 year girl in Texas, who’s doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong with her! (#FigureItOutGuys!!) We sent to friend who’s home just burned to the ground and she lost everything! I hear about people who tragically and unexpectedly lost a loved one… that’s a tough one, but we send baskets out for them! Almost daily, I hear of women like my mom, who are courageously and gracefully battling Cancer. So, I narrow it down. Then I go buy as much YELLOW as I can find! Every month, I build, fill and create several baskets, bags, buckets and boxes of Sunshine!
Then I ship ’em out. Some of the people my hubby and I don’t even know… never met them. Some we haven’t spoken to in over 20 years. Others, I do know and they call me crying. We just sit on the phone line and cry together. It’s a sweet moment.
Someone recently said, “why do you do this? Isn’t it expensive!?” Yes, like everything gift you give in life- it’s a sacrifice…. it costs something and requires some of your time, thought, shopping, and creativity. But, I do it because I love it. I know how it feels to be the recipient of a Box of Sunshine! It makes me feel so happy inside to know that I did just a little something to brighten someone’s day, week or month. It’s an act of kindness that can make or break someone’s spirit. Try it! Go get a few things that are all YELLOW- and wrap it all up in yellow tissue paper, then toss it all in a yellow shopping bag. Give it to someone in need of happiness or joy and just tell them you got them a “Bag of Sunshine”…. Just because.
I promise you, you will see that person light up with JOY, CHEERFULNESS, HAPPINESS and a WARMTH that’s hard to put into words. You will feel as good as they do!! The color YELLOW, mixed with your efforts, is just that powerful! #PayItForward #JustBecause #Sunshine #LoveOthers.