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Friday, August 16, 2013

Our Two Weapons are...

… fear and lack of imagination.

We have often heard the saying “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” Fear paralyses the soul, the imagination and the spirit. Great things can be done when we ignore our fear and a great burden is placed on us when we let it thrive.

Fear, or specifically anxiety, has crippled me at times. It has changed my life in unwanted ways. It is a daemon that thrives on negative feelings and promotes fear and insecurity. I have hidden from parts of my world in fear of its return. It still haunts me. I cannot ignore it but have chosen to face it and fight it instead of fearing it. I am learning to master it.  It is a slow process and it is unknown how long that will take.

However there is a good thing that has come of this situation. I have embraced my imagination and am no longer hiding. I am facing the fear of failure or ridicule. Most of my life, I have been told to ‘be serious’ or ‘grow up’. “You have a good job, a sensible job, don’t jeapordise it! “

At high school I was not allowed to study both Art and Maths/Science. I was informed by the Principal that the two do not, and should not, mix. (I would have scored so much better on my final results if I had done Art instead of one of my Maths subjects). I quoted Einstein, I gave Leonardo da Vinci as an example of how both art and science were inextricably intertwined.

Some writers and artists are visionaries. They can imagine a future time where life is changed by events or inventions. HG Wells and Jules Verne imagined many things that have come to pass in one way or another. Scientists and inventors rely on the spark of imagination for the inspirations of ideas which have revolutionised our world and also taken us out of this world, into space. My argument was rejected. So began my life of science and the suppression of my imagination.

During my High School and University days I was like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. When in class and at home, I was the optometry student; during break time and when visiting friends, I was the artist and D&D roleplayer – the only real outlet for my imagination. I discovered SF Conventions and costuming in High School; though branded a ‘weirdo’, it provided another imaginative outlet that I craved. As long as I kept up my studies and got a ‘real job’, everyone else was happy. It was a phase. I would grow out of it. I didn’t.

“Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.” (Terry Pratchett). I think this is the real crux of the situation. So many people either lack or suppress their imagination. They are afraid of it. Another quote, from the book Inkheart describes my life well: “Because fear kills everything. Your mind, your heart, your imagination.”  

Yet with me all of this time, was my faith. Without it I would have given in years ago. It provided me with the strength I needed (and still does) to finally acknowledge my fears, rediscover my imagination and have the courage to set my life on a new track. I can have both science and imagination (and faith); they are NOT mutually exclusive.  Our souls need all forms of nourishment. We must face our fears, resolved in our beliefs (whatever they are) and allow ourselves to be a complete person… and let our imaginations take us to wonderful places.

Our Two Weapons are...

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