When I was a kid, I lived part- reality, part- fantasy. I spent my days between running around under tropical sun rays and skipping up to the house where Strawberry Shortcake lived. I stood on the prow of ferries and watched the wake as we carved our way, then headed inside to combat the dark magic of the Snow Queen. My mind told me stories and I thrived in them, relished the adventure and smiled at my secrets.
My mind is a beautiful and well-versed story teller, narrating in ways that it know will captivate my imagination, engulf my emotions and transport me beyond to wherever it fancies. My mind is a stunning painter, adding flourishes of detail where it knows my gaze will turn. My mind is a faithful companion, filling empty hours with feats and faraway lands, ever present to my every whim.
But I am wary, friends, for the stories are not always what they seem. If we are not mindful of how our mind can fill us, we are lead astray more easily than we understand. When I was a child, my mind was friends with all, unconditioned by culture and constraint, conscience or consequence. It was free to roam and roam it did, each story let go for the next one to set up. But as we age, the rules change. The stories become sagas and reality used to boost the fantastical and the fantastical to boost reality. We blur the lines and soon, if we are not careful, we are embedded, one foot in the daily hubbub around us and one foot firmly in our own hero’s tale, packed with hubris and prejudice. We wrap ourselves up in silent tales and live unaware of the invisible narrative upon which we found all interaction.
Last night, my mind and I embarked I a story. So kindly, so deftly, my mind interwove snippets of the week into an imaginary scenario and off we went. And I giggled. And I frowned. It was so easy to see the ‘sense’ in the story, to get caught up emotionally in it, to allow myself to be carried off into a future that does not exist yet. And I reacted in my present. It was funny, but it was a lovely warning. All stories can run wild, errant thoughts stop serving you and start holding you back. Imagination can offer up tainted glasses through which you can look at your existence and misjudge.
I love my mind and my imagination, I would never be without it. But I’m learning slowly but surely to make sure the inner child doesn’t try to mess with an adult life. More beauty we can all do with, but not more fear of monsters that will never exist unless we create them. Watch that the monsters in your life are, in fact, no more real than the monsters that used to be under the bed or in the shadows of the cupboard. Sprinkle life with fairy dust…just to be sure.