The Colors of You - By Tina B. Tessina, PhD

As life develops, many of us have an urge to focus on the deeper issues—our dreams and goals, and our emotional and spiritual development. When this happens, life gradually becomes more about meaning and satisfaction and less about
obligations and accomplishments. As you mature, you can focus on living the life you always wanted to live, tempered by the wisdom you have gained
through your experiences. Up to this point, your life may have been centered around other peoples’ wants, and  the demands of work, home and family, and while those  responsibilities continue, this is the time to bring your personal dreams into reality. It’s time to consider what you want to do for yourself.

You have learned many things about yourself throughout your life.  You know how you deal with success, with work, with financial decisions, with family, friends and with your relationships. But how much attention have you paid to your relationship with yourself? To make your dreams come true, you must turn within to discover what will make you happy.

To me, this deeper look at life is like moving from black and white to color—as when Dorothy steps out of the house after the tornado, and finds she’s in Munchkinland. Suddenly, everything is brighter, more beautiful, and even a little strange.

This new palette of more colors, deeper responses to life, and more intimate knowledge of yourself gives you an opportunity to re-create yourself, to be and do all the things you’ve always dreamed of. If you allow yourself to dream, to aspire, you will begin to plan, and once you have a plan, you can begin taking steps to make it real. Using our limited time on the planet for a purpose: to create something that is unique, special, and feels good to us is both exciting and satisfying.

Whether you’ve always wanted to heal the planet or just have time to walk in the woods, you don’t have to wait to do it. You don’t have forever on this planet, and you need to take advantage of your energy, wisdom, enthusiasm and vitality while you still have them.  Perhaps you want to learn to live more simply, or to get politically active—whatever your dream, simple or complex, if you allow it to emerge, you can find the strength and skills to actualize it.

As a child in Sunday School, you may have been taught “What I am is God’s gift to me, what I become is my Gift to God.” Think of yourself and your life as a gift you are giving.  As a result of your life experience you have become a marvelous package of talents and skills—these talents and skills are your gift. The skills you already possess may be enough to actualize your dream, and make the changes you want to make. Learning to think positively about who you are, and therefore make the best of each of your traits and talents, will enable you to operate at your most powerful, and to be truly satisfied with the results. Your talents, skills and wisdom are some of the many colors of you.

You may have always thought you were too quiet, or too talkative, too aggressive or too passive—but what happens if you reevaluate “too quiet” to mean that you’re a good listener, or “too talkative” to mean you are an excellent communicator? Traits you perceive as too aggressive can be considered leadership qualities, and “too passive” traits can mean you’re an excellent support or follow-up person.  When you think of personality traits as distinct colors in a palette you realize that each of the colors can be useful in the right circumstance. Your favorite color may be blue, your least favorite orange, but you’ll find you can’t paint the sunset over the ocean without both.  You can stop looking at your character traits as “good “ or “bad,” but begin to evaluate them as tools you can use, or different colors for painting. Now is the time to discover the colors of your own personal palette.

Adapted from The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make After Forty) ©2004 Tina B. Tessina

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