Reason is the natural organ of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning. – C.S. Lewis
Most of my life, the problems I have wrestled with were magnified because I was desperately trying to find answers for the pain and confusion. My counselor has called this trying to “fix” my anxiety. Mental health isn’t always something we can just “think” ourselves out of, because it is much deeper than just patterns of thought. Self-help talk and thought can’t always change or cure a person struggling with a mental disorder, so let’s make that very clear from the beginning.
However, what if imagination plays a role in the healing process, while reason does the part of reminding us of truth that we may not always feel?
Imagine…A better future. Reason says, “It’s real.”
Imagine…Healing. Reason says, “It’s available.”
Imagine…Making a difference in your world. Reason says, “It’s possible.”
Imagine…Loving others. Reason says, “It’s a decision you can make.”
Imagine…Journeying through life with God. Reason says, “The world didn’t just make itself.”
Imagine all of that…
Hope is activating our imaginations, realizing that the future will be better than our momentary heartache. Hope reminds us that our imaginations can propel us into the unknown wonder of life, leading towards a life we long to live.
Reason reminds us of the absolute truth that we all have meaning, that healing is real, that we are not alone, that God’s fingerprints are all over our being, and that we are incredibly loved.
Imagination and reason played a part in my acceptance of my counselor’s reminders that I matter, that I won’t always feel like crap, and that there is much more ahead than behind.
In my favorite film of all time – “Inception” – we are taken into a world that is completely imagined and created within the mind. One of the most incredible scenes in the film is where Leonardo DiCaprio is teaching Ellen Page how to architect a world within the imagination, as well as how to control it. They are sitting at a street-corner cafe and witness explosions throughout their surroundings, as well as the landscape folding into the sky before their very eyes. The very reality of our imaginations and the world we can create is beyond magical.
Yet, we often neglect our imaginations and our abilities to reason by accepting false limitations about our abilities, our potential, and our futures. Our world tells us lies that we won’t amount to anything, that we’re broken beyond repair, and that we don’t matter.
How often do those of us struggling with a disorder find ourselves thinking the lie that says “I won’t ever get better”? We think of our current troubles and believe that healing is just not possible. Imagination and reason contradict such a lie, saying, “The future holds healing and better days ahead.”
Of course, our imaginations are not meant for delusions to be accepted, such as believing that we will one day become a unicorn. Granted, I always wanted to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, but that’s beyond reason. Good thing I can still eat pizza like a boss!
Reason and imagination both play a role in healing, dreaming, and creating a better future. We are reminded by reason and imagination that we have so much more ahead than that which is behind.
May we reclaim our imaginations and pursue reason with our hearts and minds, embracing the truth that is ours to embrace.