I’ve always been told I have a good imagination. As a child, I could hear everything talk to me. I carried on lengthy conversations with our family dogs. I could hear the trees telling me their history. I shared these stories with my parents, and they just laughed and told me I had a very good imagination. In fact, my mother later admitted that she often tuned me out, because I was always telling my “imaginary” stories.
By the time I was in my early teens, I was encouraged to recognize these stories as imaginary. And so, while I held on to a few instances of my imagination, like talking with our dogs, I began to let go of the others.
By the time I became an adult, I was no longer listening to my dogs either. I could still read their feelings by looking in their eyes, but I stopped taking the time to “talk” with them in my heart.
By the time my children arrived, I had lost most of my imagination, but thankfully they had their own imagination. I was reminded of how reassuring our imagination really is. I started to join them in their imaginary world, if only for a few minutes at a time. I encouraged their imagination. My younger son, in particular, had an excellent imagination and could play quietly in his room for hours. I remembered being that way, as a child.
By the time I retired from my teaching career, I realized that I had lost something very valuable when I had let my imagination go. And so I started listening more. Not only to those around me, but to my dogs and cats, to the trees, to the wind.
Today, I have an active imagination once more. It helps me understand what other people’s needs are, both physically, on their mats, and emotionally and mentally. It allows me to see into their eyes and actually see their Soul. I can see fear, hatred, love, anger, compassion, confusion, and mistrust.
Today I realize that my active imagination was actually a gift from God. It was a heightened sensitivity and intuitive gift that I had nearly abandoned.
Today I am thankful for the gifts I have received, and I ask you to think back to your childhood. Is there a gift that you had which you abandoned for whatever reason? It’s time to retrieve it.