Callie Bradford

What Does the Color Purple Mean To You?

Who would've ever thought I'd meet the famous composer Allee Willis!

Who would’ve ever thought I’d meet the famous composer and Tony Award winner Allee Willis!

Who would’ve ever thought that a life and mindset could completely change by seeing one landmark stage play based on the great novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker.  Well this happened to me!  I had no idea that I would get the surprise of a lifetime..  well actually three surprises.  One, I got to see the new rendition of the broadway musical The Color Purple, two I got to meet the composers Allee Willis (who by the way also wrote amazing songs for Earth, Wind and Fire, Deniece Williams, Cyndi Lauper and the them e song for Friends to name a few)  and then wait for it…..I got to see my life and the lives of so many others played out on stage scene by scene.  Now, I read the Color Purple in high school, saw the movie (of course) and saw the original stage play on a sister trip back in Chicago but never ever experienced the raw set of emotions felt from the audience and myself.   I laughed and I cried multiple times during the play.   The performers of course were amazing and you could tell they put their heart and souls into acting out those scenes line by line and singing those songs that further told the story.  But this time it was more than just watching great acting that drew me in.  It was like a look into my own life.  The tragedies, ups and downs, heartaches, heartbreaks, betrayals  and loss of people you thought were your friends.  You know how your mama or grandmama used to say you will understand it all by and by?  I never put much thought into what they were saying and always kind of wondered…what the heck does by and by even mean?  Through the Color Purple I finally get it!!!!!  We go through life ups and downs and wonder why me, why did this happen to me?  God!  Are you there?  Have you been listening to my prayers? Have you been ignoring the good person I am who doesn’t deserve to be treated this way?  The truth is God is always there and always listening to our prayers and desires.  We can’t see the forest through the trees because  we are focused on the wrong thing and can’t see that God has a bigger plan for our lives and that there is beauty and miracles all around us.  We focus on the hurts of the past and allow them and the person that we perceive to have done us wrong control our lives, destiny and define who we are. Why do we do this?   Because somehow we think that being a martyr will in someway change the situation?  Well, no ma’am.   I heard a pastor say years ago (another comment that resonated with me) we spend our time wallowing in self pity, uncovering past indiscretions year after year bringing it up to every person that will listen or sometimes even the people who are not.  We get caught up in the story of what happened and at every turn making the story more juicer and more heart wrenching than the story last year. We walk around wallowing in self pity not forgiving ourselves or others while the other person or persons have gone on their merry way not thinking twice about you!  We gain weight, eat our feelings, adopt unhealthy habits, stop laughing, loving and living and blame it all on what someone did or said to us.   I get it, it hurt and what they did was indeed terrible but why are we letting it define us 5, 10 or even 30 years later?

Like Celie, the character in the Color Purple, we get stuck and don’t think we are good enough or worthy enough to have the love or the life that God wants us to have. We don’t think we deserve to experience the beauty that this world has to offer us daily.  We stop talking to God  and stop believing and stop knowing that a better future resides here and now. We deserve a bright future  no matter what we have done in the past or what someone has done to us. The best thing we can do for ourselves to go be fabulous, live better and be better.

Even through the life of Mister we see that there is redemption and forgiveness from God for everyone, even the perpetrator.  We are all allowed to move forward be better, do better and move on to experience all of life’s beauty and blessings.  Lessons learned from The Color Purple?  God is with us always no matter what! Even in the tough times he is carrying us through and protecting us from the things that in the moment we cannot see.  God’s plan is a perfect plan if we just allow the circumstance to play itself out.  Two, don’t give up the fight, don’t treat others like they have treated you.  Remain true to who you are and your reward and happiness will come.  Third, remember you are uniquely made and situations occur to only make you stronger, move you closer to who you were meant to be and the experiences you were meant to have.  Ultimately you will appreciate the outpouring of blessings that will come your way because of the adversity you experienced.

Affirm to yourself you can do this, you will make it through, you are beautiful, you are strong, you are powerful, you are awesome and worthy of all things magnificent.  Affirm this to yourself even when the storm is approaching, look out into the fields of your soul and see the Color Purple in all of its glory and see God in everything no matter what the situation.  Today is the day, envision a better future and like Celie move on to higher heights and thank God you’re  still here!  Today we live the phrase out loud and proud from Ms. Sophia “HELL NO” and take control of our future!

If you haven’t seen the latest version of Color Purple please do!  Its a game changer for sure.  The Color Purple on Broadway

Click here learn more about famous composer and native Detroiter Allee Willis

Callie Bradford, Certified Health Coach, Author and Speaker, Entreprenuer

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