Some would say I have an effective imagination. It is my effective imagination that makes me such an accomplished daydreamer. It’s my effective imagination that caused me to panic when I was seven years old at summer camp when a rumor was spread that there was a man in the woods with a gun. It’s my effective imagination that makes me dream vividly in color, especially when fasting from my favorite treats. My imagination makes reading novels fun and staying focused on tasks difficult. So, how can an effective imagination get you in trouble? Is there the curse of an effective imagination? Keep reading…
When I was a child, I remember that using my imagination was stressed as a good thing. After all, when I was growing up, schools wanted to teach kids to know how to think for themselves, not simply regurgitate information. Creating and developing ideas are necessary skills, both requiring good imagination – being able to see past the present circumstances and through to the finished result. Yes, I have associated an effective imagination with success most of my life; yet, now I’m learning that my good imagination is not always a blessing.
As shocking as it may be for some to read my writing this: my husband is not perfect. I know, it took me by surprise the first time I realized it too (yes, I’m being sarcastic ~smile~). In reality, his imperfections rival any normal man’s imperfections. However, most of the time, my problems with Eric’s imperfections have little to do with his actions and everything to do with my imagination.
There have been times Eric will do something mildly annoying and without realizing it, my mind begins to create a story. He and I are the main characters where I am the protagonist and he is the antagonist. After about five minutes of deep daydreaming magic, justice is done and his evil deeds are revealed. In my mind, I (of course) am completely vindicated! The crowd cheers and I pop out of my daydream, only to realize that I’m now mad with him.
After trying to figure out why I feel tension towards him, I realize that it is because I’ve just dwelled on something he could have possibly done that I wouldn’t like… not on something he actually did.
Here’s an example: When my mind is given the freedom to roam, Eric forgets to put the clothes in the dryer. This turns into my missing an important appointment that could’ve changed our lives forever. Of course, it’s his fault I had no clean clothes to wear because he forgot to turn on the dryer!
There is nothing quite like being angry with someone because they happened to mentally jump into your story.
When these stories, or “could happen” scenarios, pop into my mind, it is important for me not to dwell on them. Yes, they are not real and I know it; but, the longer I dwell on the fantastical lie, the more I begin to believe the lie. If I allow myself to replay a story like that in my mind, over time I find myself harboring anger towards him. Of course, there’s nothing he can do to prepare for this because he has no idea what awful thing he has done within the confines of my mind that day.
Maybe this is not an area of concern for you. If not, great! It can be one less thing in life on which you need to resolve. However, if you are prone to letting your imagination take you to both exciting – and negative – places, you need to admit that to yourself now while you are preparing for marriage. Additionally, it is important to confront the stories in your head with the truth. Do not allow yourself to stay angry or frustrated with a person for something he or she never did – even if there’s a remote chance that they could choose to do it.
A good imagination is a wonderful thing, in certain situations; but, it can be a deadly thing if used with no constraints.
Do you find your mind to be an endless novel of negativism? Is it a place where others get cast as villains? Do you find yourself frustrated with people because of scenarios you’ve dreamed up?
S Tafaro says
Thank you so much for bringing to light an exasperating challenge that seems to be a major affliction of the people in my state. Any ideas about coping with imaginative people who cast you as the villain ?
The only way you will know if you were the villain is if the imaginative person discusses their imagination with you. Because they are likely not to talk about it unprompted, it will be up to you to bring it up and ask if he or she does have those vivid imaginations and what sort of role you play in them. Sending them a link to this article may help as well. Grace be with you.