Pause for a moment and think back to when you were young. Do you remember some of the ways you let your imagination run wild.
Most of us as children had powerful imaginations. At night you would see a shadow cast by a tree and think it was a burglar … or ghost … or monster … scary! By day our imagination would run wild and allow us to turn some boxes into an amazing castle where we could defeat any enemy.
As we grow older we don’t imagine less … we imagine differently.
Now we imagine things happening to our kids. Imagine that conversation before it actually happens. Imagine her motives.
From time to time we still let our imagination run wild. We imagine cool, beautiful, amazing things, we allow our imagination to turn towards hopes and dreams, but for the most part our imagination is about scary things.
Worry is not a good use of our imagination.
We all worry … sometimes a lot.
Maybe worrying allows our imagination, which is an incredibly powerful and creative part of our mind, to imagine a negative future that may or may not happen.
We allow this brilliant capacity of being human, of being alive, to capture our darkest thoughts. We know intellectually that we shouldn’t ‘worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself’, and somehow we still allow our imagination to take us captive.
And those dark thoughts can be paralysing.
Imagination used for good can be delightful.
What if we could take all that negative imagination and use it for good.
What if we could get into the space where we can use that powerful, creative, brilliant part of our human minds to just imagine good things.
To think positively.
To hope again.
What if we could learn to imagine a future that is beautiful.
That is amazing.
That is delightful.
How would using our imagination that way change our outlook on life?
How might it change the way we live?
There are people that I care deeply about that seem to struggle more than most with the dark side of imagination and worry. I wish I had a miracle answer for those of you who are in dark places, or who struggle with depression right now. I don’t sorry.
I know from personal experience how hopeless our imagination can make us feel. In my experience, and I haven’t been as low as you are, I have found a few things help me:
- My imagination changes when I am walking and running. Something about fresh air and creation and space seem to slowly declutter my mind.
- My imagination changes when I feed it well. When I feed myself healthy food, when I listen to healthy music, and when I stop reading about negative stuff on the news or even on social media.
- My imagination changes when I create. When I grab my camera and look for a photo. When I write. When I doodle on a piece of paper while drinking a coffee and pretending to work. Even when I create fun.
- My Imagination changes when I allow myself to dream. Stupid crazy stuff. Impossible stuff, just like when I was a kid.
If you imagination is still leading you into dark places, this useless advice of a currently healthy person, so know this…
We care. Please ask for help.