Monday Musings: Our imaginations

I firmly believe that reality resides, first and foremost, in the mind. If we take a moment to think about all the experiences we’ve ever had – our upbringing, all the people we’ve met, all the movies we’ve watched, all the books we’ve read, all the novel situations we’ve taken part in, and our memories of all of these things – we’ll soon realize that these are the raw materials that form our identity. And it is with our unique perspectives, informed by our personal histories, that we have the ability to create the reality within which we find ourselves. For me, reality making is the work of the imagination.

To imagine is to think up or create, to form a picture or idea of. Rather than thinking of the imagination as a tool of our consciousness to be used, I think of it as a work space. This work space is however you imagine a safe, accepting, and inviting space to be. For me, it is a spacious, airy studio, filled with sunlight and furnished with a big comfy white couch full of pillows and billowy blankets. Next to the couch there is a wooden side table for a crystal vase of freshly bloomed flowers, a stone mug warm with creamy coffee, and a candle softly lit. The glint of sunlight coming in through the giant windows illuminates the vase, highlighting the supple texture of the red and yellow petals. The gentle balm of vanilla and oranges emanate from the candle, scenting the room with a lively warmth. It is in this space that everything is electric with life.

This to me is safe. It is here that I am free to think up whatever roving fancy comes to mind, free to feel whatever it is I feel, free to be whoever it is I am or want to be. There’s no need to hide my Self here. And so, the imagination becomes a sanctuary where we can think up and create. It is important that what we do think up and create is ultimately life-giving.

As thinking, feeling human beings it is our condition to experience the full range of emotions. I’m not just talking about throughout our lifetimes, however, but even through the course of our day. So many negative, murky feelings can arise, especially on a particularly shit day. Perhaps we are going through a really low or dark season in our lives. These times can inform our thoughts in a wretched way that can, as in my case, unintentionally set the tone for whole chapters of our story. But it is with our imaginations that we can work to create some reality better for us than what we may initially think is dealt us.

There have been many times in the not so distant past that I have been plagued with negative self-talk and just… murky, negative energy. Something would trigger a mood or a memory, and there I’d go, spiraling down into anxiety and frustration. It was sheer misery. I was at the mercy of that negative energy, and it was merciless. When my mind and mood really got going, I’d feel weighed down, trapped beneath boulders of despondency, resentment, guilt, any kind of psychic sludge you can think of. And on top of everything else, shame, for having been capable of producing and encouraging such darkness.

Dark moments still happen, but I am able to manage them better through a mixture of being present, being mindful, employing gratitude, mentally (and sometimes physically) creating boundaries, and using my imagination to the best of my ability to look for different ways of seeing things. I have cried a lot of bitter tears. I have swallowed my pride and asked for help, and for forgiveness. I have put in a lot of hard work to get to where I am, but I still have a lot of improving to do. This is where Project 32 comes in.

Quote from Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

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