I don’t know if I’m alone in my fascination with imagination. I marvel at the ability to create entire worlds and their inhabitants solely by picturing them. Tolkein, Rowling, and so many others have made their fantastic realms tangible to me by their sheer wills of thought.
The real-life applications are also amazing. For millennia humanity has been dreaming up tools and inventions to make tasks more efficient and time-saving. They’ve provided us with previously unknown and undreamt methods to achieve our goals. Even as children we were able to develop non-existent creatures; fascinating, inspiring, and in an array of colors unique to their creators. We all have this innate power within us, but unless you go on to pursue a story-telling medium or spend your days inventing gadgets or living in daydreams, it often goes untapped.
What also seems to be lacking developmentally is a cleanse for the most powerful organ in the body. We’re subjected daily to commercials with cleansing products. From the sundry health cleanses to at-home cleaners. Products to flush every body part whether externally or internally. The reminder that cleanliness has a correlation with health surrounds us, especially in this era of newly born influenza outbreaks. Hand sanitizers are practically impossible to find as we focus on things outside our body that can invade our inner being.
While all of that is important, there is a glaring omission. Where is the cleanser for the negative talk and self-destructive ideas that our brain feeds us daily? Well, I’m prepared to give it to you free of charge, not even shipping and handling fees are required. Why? Because you already own it! The revolutionary product had a self-cleaning feature that most people were unaware was part of the amenity package.
That imagination that always fascinated me has been the key to cleaning my brain of the clutter that filled it. The tidbits that hold me back and keep me from growing are often the external invaders we fear only when they’re presented in germ form. We view as benign, or worse yet…warranted, these seeds of self-doubt and esteem eroding ideas.
I was blessed this weekend to spend a full 24 hours with my grandson. He is two and he is fearless. I witnessed his feeling of invincibility with a sense of awe until I was gripped by my own fears. Who knew how ominous a Little Tykes slide in my living room could become as I watched him attempt to perform daredevil-like feats? A barely 3 feet tall resin structure transformed into a harbinger of doom in my vivid imagination. I was picturing rushed visits to the emergency room at my extreme moments, or bruises and scrapes I’d have to explain to his mom at my milder ones.
All the while he was giddy. Clapping and happy as he made the extremely short ascent to his not-so-perilous drop. He ended his stay perfectly unharmed and content with little guidance from me, and that started me thinking how much fear and diminished self-esteem inhibit me on a daily basis.
I have a penchant for recalling every negative thing said about who I am before I even bother thinking about the positive encouragement I’ve received. The impressions of others and their interpretations became facts, not opinions. Not only did I view them as truisms, but as THE most important truths about myself. Like some sort of auto-run file, my brain would put them on display right after a prompt for action.
Ironically enough, their presence often led to inaction. They became false starts resulting in self-imposed penalties. I was deeming myself incapable or less worthy than someone who could do it better. But how do you remedy the indoctrination your brain has formatted? You guessed it…that self-cleaning feature of imagination.
Our brains are malleable. We are capable of training them to suit our needs and our interests if we choose. Proper use of our ability to create and envision is the key. For me it is beginning with recognizing which negative speech works toward self-preservation versus self-destruction. By taking the time to relabel the destructive operators as invaders, I’m embarking on cleansing my brain of their power over me. So what if Karen thinks I’m incapable! (Apologies by the way to all the Karens that don’t fit the stereotype.) The Karens of the world are entitled to their opinions on what works for them, but I govern my choices and my faith in my abilities.
Could it really be as simple as that? Yes, and no. It is actually that simple, but our minds are infested with these thought demons. There’s no one time treatment to be had. It will require elbow grease to undo the negative talk we’ve fed ourselves for years. Just like with weight issues, we don’t gain it in a day and we can’t remove it in merely one either. But we can get there…if we only dare to imagine it.