So I woke up this morning hearing The Temptations singing Just my Imagination, at least the chorus in my head. I can’t remember the rest of the song, just the chorus. Oh how my imagination has always run away with me. Since I was a little girl I have had an imagination. Maybe that is why I like Anabelle, a 4 year old I met at a vending event I met a week or so ago. Her father kept telling me she had an overactive imagination and that it got her into trouble.
My imagination did as well. I remember the first time I got into trouble for my imagination. I was 6 and I remember feeling like what I had to bring to show and tell was nothing compared to what other people were bringing to show and tell. Then one day something awesome happened. President Kennedy drove down my street with all of his security patrols. That part is true. When I told the story in show and tell, my imagination kicked in. It went from him driving down my street, which took about 30 seconds, to his car stopping in front of my parent’s house and my being able to play with John and Caroline and give them a cup of lemonade from my stand. I did have a stand so that part was true too. The rest of it was my imagination.
There have been lots of institutions and people in my life who have tried to tell me that having an imagination is bad. Most of my life my imagination was spoken about as if it were a curse. “What is wrong with that child? Her imagination is going to get her in trouble?” "You're just imagining that. It's not real" was another thing I heard quite often. When I would dreams of the elephant, who I later learned was Ganesha, flying into my room, I was told I was imagining that, there had never been an elephant in the room. It seemed as if everything had to be proven. There were lots of times that people told me what I saw was fiction; it was my imagination. Being able to see, hear or know things seemed negative and talked about in a way that made me feel as if being creative was not a good thing, it also taught me not to trust my intuition. It began to limit my understanding of the Ultimate, of the Universe and of myself.
As much as there have been those who have told me to not make things up, to not be creative, to not use my imagination, there have also been those like my Bubby who taught me to trust my intuition, to trust in what I knew to be true, even when others told me otherwise, and to know that the Divine spoke to me in ways that she did not speak to others.
So thank you for those who have affirmed for me the right to be creative, to trust my imagination, and to believe in all that I know to be true.