the presence of imaginary enemies

Far too long ago, I wrote about the voices in my head . . . okay, it was 10 days ago. Life these days is draining my mental and emotional energy leaving very few synapses who willingly want to connect to make a complete sentence.

I have chosen to pay attention to these life moments because the people involved are important to me. I am doing what I can to support my family members who are in crisis. I am letting the voices in my head do some of their thinking for them because they are so deep in their worry and anxiety they can barely see past the next moment and when they try, life is full of imaginary enemies out to get them.

Those enemies (such as being homeless and foodless) are very real when they occur, but up until that moment, they exist only in our heads. Their threat can bring about this sort of inertia where the only thing people can focus on is what is lacking in life . . . what they don’t have. What they don’t have leads to the story of what will happen next and that is usually not a very good place. I keep reminding them that they have family and friends who are supportive of them, but we don’t want to rescue them. We want them to be safely employed and securely housed and my energy is devoted to helping them see the paths they can take to get themselves there.

This experience has caused me to pay attention to my own imaginary enemies . . . the stories I create about what will happen next because of what is happening now. Once I create the story and believe it, the story becomes my enemy because I will not be able to see a different story. The story can be very positive – great and wonderful things happen to me! But it can also be my imaginary enemy if the story is founded in magical thinking or if it ignores the reality of my present situation. A terrible story that does not end well for me can also be my enemy because it takes away my ability to see opportunities in my present that would change my imaginary outcome.

I think the key is to become aware of how I want my life to look and feel like, keep that picture inside my mind and those feelings in my heart, and do what is possible for me in this moment to support that result.

I can write the story another day.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

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6 Responses to “the presence of imaginary enemies”

  1. ButterfliesGalore-Kimberly Grady Says:

    I love this one:
    I think the key is to become aware of how I want my life to look and feel like, keep that picture inside my mind and those feelings in my heart, and do what is possible for me in this moment to support that result…..

    Trying to form a future while staying in the present…..

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Kim — I hope all is well with you. I work daily on the picture of my life in my head and how that makes me feel. I change the picture until I feel very, very good and then I hold that image. I am working to be more present with my moment to moment reality so that I can be in charge of the visions I have for how I want this next moment to occur.

  2. holessence Says:

    Picturing the desired outcome and working toward that end.

    Barbara – it’s a sound, forward-moving plan of action. My hat is off to you!

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Laurie — It’s a plan, that’s for sure. My outcome is to be happy, healthy, whole, have lots of friends, be on good terms with my family, contribute to the world and I just let life lead me there.

  3. sandiwhite Says:

    Hi, Barbara, with my imagination, things can swiftly get out of hand. Pulling in my driveway after dark brings to mind images of drug-crazed maniacs with bloodied axes in their hands, looking for a truck to steal. Rummaging in the basement for Christmas ornaments conjures up Brown Recluse spiders the size of frying pans. The stack of medical bills on my desk gives me visions of Dickens’ debtors prison with me soaking paper labels off old bottles with freezing cold carbolic acid. Let’s not go down this road….
    The best I can do for myself is to do the best I can do for myself. One of those things is to shape a future for myself with wide open ranges, room to place all the wonderful things in my life. Sort of like a large mold that I will flow into and use to shape my life. This is not a soap bubble fantasy, this me creating a world that is not cramped by the bad things, but enlarged by the blessings. After all, there really are no monsters under the bed.

  4. Barbara Kass Says:

    Hi, Sandi — we have the same imaginations! Gosh, but you and I can spin some deadly yarns about what is about to happen. Fortunately, we have that thing called common sense and that pretty much handles the wild imagination. I love the idea of molding a life that contains all the wonders and loved ones that bring me joy. I am exceptionally blessed and I plan to make the most of it.

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