Disclaimer: Tony, I'm not poking fun at YOU here. I've obviously taken liberties with our actual conversation. Please don't take it wrong.
CONVERSATIONS WITH TONY
SML: After reviewing much evidence, and considering all that I was taught my whole life, I have come to the conclusion that what I was taught was in fact made up, or NOT TRUE. I now know that blue is NOT the only true color on the face of the Earth.
TONY: But how can you KNOW that? I mean, here you are telling me that blue isn't the only true color on the Earth, and you're basically saying that I've been BRAINWASHED when I say I believe it! It's what they taught me at church! I feel a testimony that it's true when I hear it even now!
SML: I'm not exactly calling you brainwashed. OK maybe I am. Heck, I'm also saying that EVEN I was brainwashed. For 34 years I thought that blue was the only true color as well. I knew there were other colors out there, but blue was so pretty and it made me feel good to look at it. I was told by my parents whom I love and trust that blue was the only color I should like, so that's what I did. And heck, blue was PRETTY! It felt good to look at it! I was told that in order to be able to live in God's presence in the next life, I'd have to love True Blue and live the True Blue lifestyle my whole life. My entire wardrobe was blue. I thought all my thoughts in blue. I DREAMT in blue. But then I fell in love with and married someone who preferred red, and not because some church told him he had to prefer red either. And lo and behold, he was an OK person without blue in his life. How could this be? I was always taught that happiness only comes to those who choose blue!
TONY: And I married someone who prefers green. So what?! Can't I also choose to believe that blue is best? I happen to LIKE blue! The color blue makes me into a much better parent! Without it I'm certain that we won't be able to teach our kids all the things they need to know.
SML: And I believe you can. Since I found out blue wasn't the only color I could look at, I've been so amazed by the colors I can see and the true beauty in my life! I'm at peace not listening to anyone tell me that only one color is the best. I'm able to see for myself that God loves me no matter which color I choose as my personal favorite, or even if I choose none of them. That's why he blessed me with my inner compass, so I can follow my heart and know what I should do that's right for me. What a gift! That's how I know my kids will also be OK, and will be able to learn all the things they need, because I am even closer to them on a personal level, now that I'm not so focused on the color blue so much.
TONY: You have such conviction that the color blue isn't the one true color, and there's nothing I can say that will convince you it is the color you should choose. It's like I'm talking to a brick wall! You are afraid people will think that Satan is influencing you to dislike the color blue, and it's hard not to think it too when I hear such strong conviction in your voice, and I see no signs of FAITH in the color blue when you speak.
SML: I found so much beauty and peace in looking at all the other colors, and there's no way I can cram those colors back into their little box and repaint my world blue again. Why would I? It's too beautiful to have all the colors inundating my senses right now! I know blue makes people happy, and good for them! The church has even worked hard to find the exact shade of blue that invokes the best feelings, and this is the blue they show the world. But once I discovered the blue the church started out with, and how ugly it actually was, and also how much better life is with ALL the colors at my disposal, why would I go back to only favoring blue? It makes no sense to me.
TONY: But you don't exactly seem very happy, even though you say you are happier than you've ever been.
SML: That's because I'm having to deal with letters and calls from people at church whom I specifically asked not to contact me unless it was in friendship only, without church stuff involved. And yet virtual strangers at church still insist on telling me all about how great the color blue is, and it's a bit irritating. Disrespect like that doesn't give me a lot of happiness. They think they are reaching out to me in friendship, when the real thing they are trying to tell me is that I'm being led by Satan to look away from the color blue. I'm worried that when my son goes to church without me, he'll come home with blue-tinted glasses on that he won't take off. That makes it hard to always feel happy, but believe me, I am still way happier and more at peace inside without the blue blinders on. Sometimes when I'm down, it makes me happy to fantasize about buying a paintball gun with rainbow colored paintballs that I can shoot the front of their homes with, as a little gift from me to them, in the same spirit as their love notes in the mail.
TONY: Every time we talk about this it feels so frustrating. I feel like we get nowhere! I just wish you could see that blue is such a great color.
SML: I'm sure it's a great color. It even used to be my favorite. But I see nothing wrong with loving ALL the colors, as I feel God would do. Heck, he even CREATED the colors. It makes no sense that he would have me limit myself to only one of his precious colors.
TONY: I don't know what I'm going to do. I know that it's probably good to look at other colors, but I just don't know.
SML: You've got to find it out for yourself, or not. It's OK either way. That's what I've been trying to say all along. I don't judge you for liking blue the best. I just want you to respect my choice to love all the colors if I want to.
TONY: I do. I do. We still on for lunch on Friday?
SML: Of course! See you then!