True Colors

True Colors

So I'm working on a show. It's a cabaret style experience with seven of my original chakra characters. Between the characters will be little strip tease moments that give a raw boylesque feel to this silly, sacred endeavor. We're setting it to 80's music and I'm listening to a lot of it. One song that's recently been put into the lineup is standing out to me-it won't quit. It's helping me.


Cyndi Lauper's True Colors was written by Billy Steinker (bet the kids in grade school had fun with that name!) and Tom Kelley. To her credit Lauper completely re-arranged the song in her brilliant style. The lyrics are moving. Here is an excerpt:


"You with the sad eyes

Don't  be discouraged

Oh I realize

It's 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."


I've found myself singing this song over and over. Maybe it's what happens to gay men born in the 80's- at some point their brains just play rainbow songs on repeat- or maybe there's something deep and impactful about this tune.


I think what moved me is the quality of unconditional love being expressed in the lyrics. Unconditional love is one of the most powerful qualities I have experienced.


When someone loves you unconditionally you know that they see- just see you when they look at you. They don't see problems. They don't see issues. They don't see "what they want to get." They see you.


Someone told me once that unconditional love is not loving someone "in spite of" the conditions but without conditions AT ALL.


Conditional love is simply love that changes based on the conditions. I've started to see how easy it is to work that way. What is startling about this song is how selfless it is to love someone so purely.


That kind of selfless, unconditional love allows you to see and experience someone for who they are. If you're willing to love yourself that way, you can start to take off the masks.


In doing research about this song for my show I discovered a verse had been written that didn't make it into the recording. Here is the verse.


"You've got a long list with so many choices,

A ventriloquist with so many voices,

And your friends in high places say where the pieces fit,

You've got too many faces in your make-up kit.

But I see your true colors shining through."


My jaw dropped when I read this in my Google search. As one with many voices and lots of faces in my makeup kit, it was confronting to find these words.


I've been working to unify the different aspects of my life and just be one man. If this is something you ever look to do in any way, consider falling in love with your true colors, loving them unconditionally and finding the rainbow within you.


Here's a link to the Cyndi Lauper singing True Colors a long time ago in Paris.