Imagination: the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality. (Merriam-Webster)
I’m trying something new today. I’m participating in a writing prompt and today’s prompt is Imagination. So the analytical side of me (in my mind that is the opposite of imagination) immediately googles the word to see what comes up. Above is the first definition from Merriam-Webster. And the first thing that catches my eye is the word “power”.
While I’ve made my mark in the professional world because of my analytical mind, I’ve always had a pretty vivid imagination. I think that is why I love to read – words paint amazing pictures in my mind. While I am a decent artist at times, I wish I had the talent to put on canvas what I sometimes see in my head. I’ve never thought of my imagination as being a power though, or a way to wield power. Maybe that is because I tend to not think of myself as being powerful.
This journey I am on currently to embrace my imperfection, to let go of what and who I think I’m supposed to be and to discover what I want to be when I finally “grow up” has me looking at a lot of things differently. Today’s prompt has got me traveling down that path again.
Growing up I was often chastised for how much I read. I was told I day dreamed too much and needed to pay more attention to my surroundings. I would often just space out – lost in my own world. I’ve also had vivid story lines playing through my head of what could or might or I would love to have happen in a given situation. Unfortunately over the years these story lines and my imagination have been twisted towards the negative. Rather than being a way to give my dreams wings, it has been a way for me to beat myself down and constantly criticize myself. My imagination has been taken over by my inner bully. I think a lot of us do this. When do we loose that innocent and child like faith and have our imagination turn against us?
I guess it is like any power – it can be used for good or for evil. It can be used to set you soaring through the clouds or plunge you into the pits of despair. It is our choice. Sometimes we just forget that we do in fact have that choice.
I look at my children and they still have this amazing capacity to dream the impossible and get excited about it. I find myself at times saying things to stifle this – to bring reality into their lives. But this is not really what I want for them. Sure, I want them to be responsible, productive members of society and to be able to provide for themselves. But where did the idea come from that in order to do that we must stifle our imaginative powers? Why have I bought into this lie!?
No more! I declare today that I will use my power for good. Good for myself (because I DO deserve it) and good for my family. I am going to give wing to my imagination again. I am not going to let this world and who I “should” be tie me down any longer. It is time to let my imagination and my life soar once again!
Photo Credit: My imaginative and beautiful daughter – Tyler Smith (used with her full permission)