The color red encompasses so many things:
from lust, passion, excitement, and love – oh, above all else, love -
to caution, rage and anger, and anger’s patron: fear. The red haze of fear.
Isn’t it interesting how red encapsulates such disparate concepts as love and fear?
But perhaps the true irony is how often love and fear go hand in hand.
To love someone means to protect them: to defend them from harm…but also to prevent ourselves from losing them.
And isn’t it strange the things we do when we are afraid?
We fear difference because we fear the possibility we might be wrong. So ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ becomes ever more difficult as the perceived differences and distances between neighbors increase.
When we fear infidelity, what do we do? We invade privacy; we curtail liberty. We read through emails, sneak into cell phone data, we snoop and we spy. We do this to our loved ones at home as well as to our fellow Americans and fellow citizens of the world.
When we fear our significant other is about to leave us, what do we do? We leave them first. When we fear being hurt, we push others away. We shut them out and wall ourselves off. We cause our own loneliness and isolation to prevent someone else from committing the act of leaving us alone.
We withdraw our love to preempt the possibility that we might be unloved.
Sometimes we even tell ourselves we do not deserve love, so it might not hurt so much if we are ever proved right.
Fear is strong, it is compelling, whether it is fear for the sanctity of our bodies or of our hearts.
So the challenge, then, is how to love, even in the face of fear. The challenge is to shed the walls of anger and distrust and to find the courage to take a leap of faith and give out love, even when we are afraid.
To see what others have captured in red, head over to Beth’s website, I Should Be Folding Laundry, and check out this week’s You Capture challenge.
P.S. Did anybody else get Pearl Jam’s “Better Man” stuck in their head with this challenge? “She dreams in color, she dreams in red…can’t find a better man. Can’t find a better man….” Sorry. I’ll stop now.