"I used to use my imagination to play,
now I use it to find reasons
not to do things..."
I heard that somewhere recently and it rang true for me. So here's my little story about Imagination.
In the days of childhood, Imagination used to run free, serving its ever-loving mistress Joy all the while. Then one day Fear arrived with his big heavy boots and overbearing manner and called Imagination to task: "Terrible things will happen if you don't watch out... Be alert for the dangers, be on guard, never rest, never dream, never play..."
Scared by Fear's big booming voice and authoritative ways, Imagination left Joy's side. Joy is still there in all her glory, but now her playmate is elsewhere in Fear's dark shadow - struggling, suffering, overburdened. In perpetual anxiety.
Sometimes in quieter moments Imagination can still hear Joy calling. It remembers that feeling of safety, of light-heartedness, of freedom, and it yearns for its mistress again. With every call it feels its heart breaking just a little bit more. How can it return now that it knows what Fear has taught it?
But Joy never stops calling. Her message is clear, playful, and full of endless possibilities. Fear's stories are all the same. An unceasing loop of dread and despair. There must be more to life than this, thinks Imagination. I've heard all Fear's stories a million times before, they never change no matter what happens. Maybe I don't need to listen to them anymore. After all, if I already know them, what's the use of staying in Fear's shadow?
Joy calls louder, Imagination listens more intently. It can feel the pull more strongly than ever. It knows it needs to leave, to return to its mistress, to that land of freedom, delight and possibility. It takes a brave step out of Fear's shadow, and suddenly light fills its world.
This is what I remember, thinks Imagination in excitement. This is what I need. This is where life lives! I can return to my beloved Joy. Now all I have to do is find my way home...
And on that note, I'll leave you for a brief while. Things have been a bit challenging lately and there are some steps I need to take too. The journey home is not always easy, but I'm doing the best I can.
I hope Joy is loud enough for you to hear too, if you're not already by her side.