True Colors

TrueColors

Many years ago, I was at Disney World with the kids.  The lines were long.  The heat was strong.  Fortunately, Disney has designed ways to make the waits tolerable.

We were in line for a production at one of the theaters.  I don’t remember which one.  But, I vividly remember what was showing on the TV screens in the waiting area. Cyndi Lauper’s ‘True Colors.’  The video was bright and colorful and creative.  Images of people around the world.  All shapes and colors.  It stirred my imagination.  The lyrics, the music and the pictures touched my soul.

I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show

A couple of days ago, I flew into Vegas and picked up a rental a car.  As I drove to the hotel, ‘True Colors’ came on the radio.  I was touched again.  Five months ago, I stepped away from the Mormon church.  A couple of weeks ago, I decided to step back in.  My return to church would be next Sunday, August 27, 2017.

Today, I go back home to Houston.  As I drove to the airport, ‘True Colors’ came on again. Wow!  Is a higher power sending me a message?  It pierced my heart again.  This time in a different way.  In the wee hours of this morning, I had decided not to step back in…for now.

The original words no longer resonate.  In my Mormon world, these are the lyrics I hear:

I see your true colors
And that’s why I hate you
So do be afraid to let them show

In the past few days, there have been several communications, both with family and with others.  My True Colors are not bringing out love.  Fear…yes.  Resentment…yes.  Shunning…yes.  Condemnation…yes.  Loss of friends…yes.  Loss of business…yes.

Do my True Colors inflict pain on others?  They sure do.

I see our church causing pain and damage.  I see people in pain and loneliness.  My True Colors have been to care and to reach out.  It turns out that my colors are scary, ugly and repulsive in the very community to which I have invested my all…and all my life.  How ironic that honesty and openness are not valued.

Complete Lyrics

You’ll see why they resonated…..until last night.

You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
Its hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow
Show me a smile then
Don’t be unhappy, can’t remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there
And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there
And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors
True colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

P.S.

I have dropped out of Facebook.  I don’t plan to share this particular blog post there. Openness is punished and I’m not feeling like more castigation right now.

Who knows, I may recover in an hour, or a week, or a year and be willing to show my True Colors again.  In the meantime, thank you for following my journey.  Godspeed in yours.

24 thoughts on “True Colors

  1. Basing life decisions on song lyrics doesn’t seem to be the best idea IMHO! If it were so , I would be one screwed up individual……I listen to country music! Love you , Sam. You will eventually make the decision that not only blesses you and your family, but also all those whose lives you have touched. You are missed rather you understand that or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love you my friend. Making life decisions on song lyrics would have been much better than making them on lies, deceptions and distortions. Now I’m screwed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t feel like Sam said he was making life choices based on a song. However, words tend to move us. What way we hear them, doesn’t matter. Good advice is just that. Whether it comes in poetry, from the pulpit, a textbook or music good advice can be accepted just the same. I know you are feeling this deep in your soul, Sam. This particular song has moved my soul in different ways over the years. I feel you, friend.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh Sam. I don’t know what’s happening, but my heart hurts for you. Please stay in MSPC so that we can support you. And remember, your true colors are beautiful. I think you are basing life decisions on your own integrity, which will always be your True North. True Colors speaks to your True North. Please don’t be alone in your despair!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sam, you’re not screeed, I promise. There is life after Mormonism. Those who love you will continue, even if some are challenged anew by your choices. Those who have valued you just for you membership in a religion will find new heros, and that’s all the better for you. All my love, my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My Dear Sam!

    I am deeply touched by your heartfelt post.

    Although I was supporting you fully with your decision to return to Church activity, I was curious as to how that could possibly work out for you . . . knowing that your beautiful core values clash head-on with the core values of The Brethren.

    How curious that Cyndi Lauper did a far superior job at communicating WWJD (what would Jesus do) than an entire herd of Latter-day Salt Lake Suits. Apparently, Cyndi understands more about the teachings of Jesus than the entire collection of General Authorities (including 70’s) laid end-to-end on the head of a pin.

    Thank you, Sam, for modeling authentic humility. To be humble means to be teachable. To be teachable means being open to allowing your familiar perceptions and beliefs to be deeply affected and ultimately changed for the better … at any time and when you least expect it … even by a song on the radio what was recorded in 1986 and then resonated in your heart 31 years later.

    Years ago I figured out that no matter what’s happening in my Life, I only truly need know ONE THING and ONE THING ONLY, which is . . .

    THE NEXT STEP

    We are brainwashed into believing it’s a good idea to plan our entire lives out ahead of time. As Mormons, our lives were pretty much pre-scripted by The Brethren before we were even born. Some of us discovered along the way that allowing Salt Lake Suits to guide our lives was maybe not such a good idea after all.

    When we tune into the wise and benevolent, unseen influences who love us dearly, and allow our NEXT STEPS to be nudged in directions that sometimes surprise us, our lives become an amazing, exciting and unpredictable adventure.

    Especially for Mormons who thought most everything was DIALED IN: Life is what happens while you (or The Brethren) are making other plans.

    Thank you, Sam, for allowing others to see into your beautiful heart … which is worth its weight in diamonds. (And that ain’t no exaggeration.)

    ========

    Curious, Sam, that you just blew through Las Vegas. I am flying to Vegas this next Wednesday (returning Monday). Sorry we missed another facetime Home Teaching opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laid end to end on the head of a pin…oh that is funny and I’m laughing hard. In fact, I’ve read over my comment several times. It keeps getting a laugh.

      There’s only one thing you need to know…the NEXT STEP. I laughed at that one, too. At the simple and great wisdom in those few words.

      Home Teaching? I love your HT visits. I sure hope one of us is reporting it to our quorum leader.

      I love you my friend!!!!

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      1. Hey, Sam!

        I’m glad to see you hopped on to respond to recent replies.

        I was feeling a bit worried about you writing, “Now I’m screwed.” Not sure what all is behind that sentiment. I think maybe the scariest risk with transitioning from b.i.c. to d.o.c (die out of the covenant) is the potential effect on marriage relationships.

        It’s just so paradoxical that the Church that purports to be all about Families with its PR campaigns is in actual fact very much destructive of Families when members start to wake up and smell the Postum.

        A thought I wanted to share with you, Sam, is about mirrors. You are surrounded by mirrors of variable optical quality when it comes to reflecting the True Sam back at Sam. A word of caution is for you to check the clarity of the mirror before taking a look at your reflection. Many of the mirrors around you were cleaned and polished by The Brethren. Someone should give them a heads-up to use shoe polish on shoes, not on mirrors. When your reflection looks kinda brown or black, Sam, good chance the mirror is not only not very clean, but dirty on purpose. Pay no heed to your reflection from a tainted mirror, Sam.

        That was a strained metaphor, but one I’ve never heard before. Maybe it’s a bit useful in spite of the dubious literary value.

        Another way I like to say it is this: Never accept ANY incoming messaging at face value. First, calibrate the source of the message. In some cases, you will need to invert or reverse the message to make it worth letting in.

        Here is a crude example: If someone looks at you and says, “Sam, you are an assh*le!” FIrst you calibrate the source of the message. If the messenger is himself an assh*le, then he is actually saying, “Sam, you are just like me!” In that case, you can receive the message as a high compliment!

        It’s late, so I’d best cease and desist trying to write anything worth reading.

        Tomorrow morning the Total Eclipse of the Sun starts right here at my house at 10:17:51.5am and will last 43.7 seconds of blackout. The moon’s shadow will traverse the ground at 2,356 miles per hour. I’m only about 3 miles inside the north edge of the path of totality. 30 miles south they will get 2 minutes of darkness. I will have a video camera set up to record the proceedings. It will be exciting, to say the least.

        Godspeed, Sam. Tomorrow morning, God’s speed will be 2,356 mph. Pretty damn fast, if you ask me.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Sam. How my heart breaks for you. I was worried, too, when you stated your intentions to try to return to church activity. How would other people react, since your disaffection has been such a public one? Would they embrace you with Christlike love? Or would they reject your attempts to love them in spite of themselves? I’m so sorry the answer wasn’t what you were hoping for.

    Weather the storm, my friend. Those who truly care for you will still be there when the rain stops falling. There are more of us, I suspect, than you know.

    Just an aside, if it were me, I’d just drop into Sacrament meeting or Gospel Doctrine class unannounced once in a while, no warning, just to keep them on their toes! You get to maintain connected (partially) in the community, and remain engaged in their “Mormon”conversation. Be Hurricane Sam; blow through unexpectedly and leave them wondering what hit them.

    Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I, too, many years ago, saw the same Cindy Lauper video at Disney World. I believe it was at Epcot while waiting to see the Muppets? Not sure. But, I have never forgotten it. It was so powerful. The entire video spoke to my soul. I probably had tears in my eyes as love for my fellow brothers and sisters exploded in my heart. I love music and I’m a very visual person so this had a great impact on me. Little did I know at the time that my youngest son is gay. He was probably 7 or 8 at the time of our Disney visit. I totally love and support him. It is a blessing to have a gay child! I know that this song is/was a bit of an anthem for the LGBTQ community. As I look back at this time I think it left such an impression on me because of what I would later find out about my wonderful son. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I wish you well.

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  5. Sam, I am so sorry people are threatened by honesty and questions. It’s heartbreaking, and you are in my prayers.

    Thank you for the song lyrics, they gave me goosebumps.

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  6. Sam, I’m so sorry you’ve had to pay such a price for doing what you feel is right. The depth of emotion you are having to deal with daily while you are forced to walk the line between in and out of the church and trying to maintain relationships with your loved ones and community while not compromising your own integrity is grueling, to say the least. I don’t think I would be able to maintain it, personally.
    I want to encourage yourself to prioritize your own emotional well-being as much as possible. I know you want to stand for those who are being victimized within the church, but please don’t forget that you are a victim of the institution right now and deserve some self-care. I have not had to go through your same situation, so maybe I’m not in a position to give really useful advice (or maybe you don’t want or need it, which is also fine), but I’m going to recommend taking care of yourself first and foremost right now. You don’t have to throw yourself back into the church if it’s an emotional gauntlet.
    I’ve had to figure out how to remove myself to a point where I can get to a more peaceful place inside, and THEN slowly let myself be exposed to things. I go to sacrament meeting with my son so he’ll have some support there, but I figured out I just don’t want to deal with going to the other meetings and not be able to openly say what I feel. I could say it, but right now, the reactions I would get from people that I care about and used to connect with would be too damaging to my heart. I may or may not ever be in a place where I can do that and still feel okay when I walk out of there. And that’s okay. It’s like the airline rule – put the air mask on yourself before helping others. I’ve given myself permission to take care of myself so I don’t have a complete breakdown.
    I SO admire your bravery, and you’ve inspired me to stand up taller because of your example. I voted opposed to the first presidency and quorum of the twelve in a ward meeting because of the Nov. policy. That was scary and difficult. I want to do more, but because of a personal family situation, have decided to limit my outspokenness in other ways for the time being. That’s MY situation, and it’s not YOUR situation, and my situation may not be relevant to yours. Only you can decide what to do in your own situation.

    Anyway, I mostly just want to say – hang in there. You’re an inspiration to many. There are people who “get” you. Take care of yourself and love yourself, even when others won’t or can’t. And thank you for sharing your experiences and feelings so openly. It is and has been a help to me and many others. *I* see YOUR true colors. And they’re beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is your situation relevant? Absolutely. Most everything you said resonates with me. Putting my oxygen mask on first is particularly relevant. Thanks for your concern and suggestions. I count myself lucky that you and Dario are friends. All my best to you!

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  7. Greetings from Durban,South Africa.Great song,great post.Hang in there,brother.I have also come off Facebook.Kind regards Hasler

    Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

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  8. To use another song lyric…”I will always love you”, Sam. You are a special person. I also know your family loves you. To me, that’s what counts. But the biggest one is that you love and be true to yourself. That is in all facets of your life. I think that is what you have been trying to do for these past couple of years. You have taken a giant step that some agree with and others don’t. None of that really matters in the long run. The idea that you have been trying to help people who are struggling, and obviously hitting a nerve, is the whole point. You have let yourself be vulnerable to all sorts of arrows: Some are supportive, some are questioning, some are fearful, some are loving, and some are condemning. (There are also a few that are , I think, seeming to agree with you, but condemning others who still find comfort in the church. They are just as judgemental as the ones judging you for bring out problems you see on the church). All you can do is stay true to yourself and remember that life is too short to allow toxic people to take up space. (And I hope that I am not one of those people)

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  9. Very vulnerable words, Sam. Your beautiful true colors feel threatening to some. Many here have given you sound advice and words of encouragement. You are loved. Your feelings of sadness, abandonment, and frustration are normal and may linger for a bit as this is a tough, tough journey but you’ll make it through.
    Just be you. Best regards.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sam, I just want to say you’ve been an inspiration for me. I also know something of what it’s like for family members to reject me for who I am and what I stand for. Keep on swimming!

    Love you bro!

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  11. I’m not in agreement with some of the paths you have chosen to follow, but 100 percent behind you following what’s best for you! While I wish you had made different choices there are people that say the same for my choices, lol. What I guess what I am trying to say is the same thing I have said at various times in Sunday School classes, “In the end we are ultimately responsible for ourselves. We know what is required, and what is required is our best that we can do.” Is that how you quote yourself? Ha ha ha. Either way my best is known by me, Jesus, and Heavenly Father, not my critics OR my friends. Keep up the good fight. Still hope to see you at random functions, and I always look forward to seeing your pics with your family! Keep on keepin on my friend.

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  12. Sam, unfortunately when we deal with individuals we quickly realize the fact that all have sinned and come short of the glory of god. In spite of the ones that may scoff out there, I know for a fact there are many more in the church, in your ward, your stake and outside your stake who love you and appreciate you for the person you are and pray for you to continue to abide with them. We all have our own paths, may you continue to follow yours until it brings us all together again. P.S. tell Patty how much she is appreciated as well.

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