What is it with us always imagining the worst case scenario...? Why can’t we go through life thinking, “What if (.... fill in something SPECTACULAR)...?” Instead, we go through life imagining all the negative “what if’s” and spending way too much time worrying about it, or being miserable. All of that just to find out that most of those scenarios never materialize. What a waste of precious time (and energy)!!
When I was younger I had tremendous issues with rejection; rejection from others and also self rejection. I used to feel that everything that went wrong had to somehow have something to do with me; either who I am or something I did. When it came to love and relationships I couldn’t accept the idea that anyone could just love me... let alone love me unconditionally, the way God does. I would actually behave in ways that would push people away, and most people did leave. So initially when they seemed to care about me, I would not believe it or allow myself to just accept it. I would subconsciously start behaving in ways that actually challenged their caring and in the end most of them would move out of relationships with me. Then I would feel that I have ‘proved’ myself right: they said they cared, but they lied, and them walking away had just proved me right –“Just as I thought”, I would think to myself.
I spent many years thinking that I was right, until I realized just how wrong I was.
Today I understand why they left and I don’t blame them. When I look back now on who I used to be, I can see just how much of a work God had done in me till now. I could not have been an easy person to be in relationship with. But today I am a far cry from the person I used to be, and my heart is eternally grateful!
However, lately I have been very challenged with the idea of having to control my imaginings. I find myself often taking little things very personal and it threatens to get out of proportion. I have to consciously discipline the ‘demons’ in my mind. I’m becoming more and more aware of the question: “Where do we get off thinking we can read someone else’s mind?” Where do we get the notion that we know it all? How much time and energy do we spend on thoughts and emotions where it is all about us thinking we have all the answers about something or someone? Then we spend more time making plans, rehearsing conversations, having arguments, plotting revenge, making ill informed decisions, feeling sorry for ourselves, etc. (planning actions) based on those illusions. And then we spend even more time regretting all the time that we have spent being miserable when we find out that we made the complete wrong assumption and now we have to spend even more time on corrective actions to bring our thoughts, emotions, actions and relationships back to a positive place...
For example, you don’t hear from a friend in a few days. You start wondering whether it is something you did or said. You start analyzing the last few conversations you had, you re-check the most recent SMS’s just to see what you chatted about; checking that you didn’t say anything that might have offended her. You try to phone her and she doesn’t answer her phone, and you start imagining that she saw it was you and deliberately ignored the call. You send her an SMS that she’ll find later on, and after two days you still don’t receive a reply... At the end of the few days you’ve chewed off all your nails, you’ve ended the friendship in your head, you’ve rehearsed how you’re going to tell her that nobody treats you that way, you’ve planned to give her back anything she’s bought you for your last three birthdays just so that you don’t have anything to remember her by, you’ve burned the photo’s of you together, you’ve cried your eyes swollen shut and you’ve ‘figured out’ what you must have done to end it all.
Then, your phone rings and it’s her... she explains that her mother fell ill and she had to leave town on very short notice. She hasn’t slept in three days sitting by her mom’s bedside in hospital and taking care of her affairs and everything is better now, but she has been so tired that she slept for two days. She apologizes for neglecting you so terribly.
Right about now you beg the earth to open up and swallow you whole!!
Why do we do that?
I don’t think these imaginings are significant in and of itself, but rather it indicates something that is wrong on the inside of us. Maybe there is an unresolved hurt from your past that causes you to act like a fool, and maybe now is the time to let it go. Maybe you have issues with insecurity that you need to deal with. Maybe you’re looking for your identity in the wrong things or people. Maybe you’re learning about warfare on the battlefield of the mind. Maybe you have fears that need to be faced so that you can become free and live more victoriously.
I have stopped paying attention to the imaginings, and have rather been asking myself what it is an indication of in my own life. THAT is the issue that I want to address.
FEAR is “False Evidence Appearing Real”. I don’t want to live in fear. Sometimes we’ll get what we fear BECAUSE we feared it. Who wants that?! Most certainly not me! I want to live with an expectation for the best!! I want to live the life I dream of.
So what kind of ‘dreaming’ am I spending my time on...? I want it to be: “What if... (fill in something spectacular)...” I want to live in the moment.. with the facts when they emerge, and not the negative fantasies of an overactive imagination.
I want it to be .... SPECTACULAR... !!