Think On Negative Things?

Think on wonderful things. Avoid unwholesome thoughts. Get your mind out of the gutter. Imagine your ideal self. However you put it, it’s generally believed that the more you think about doing bad things, the more likely you are to do them; therefore, we should avoid imagining bad deeds or horrible outcomes at all costs. For me, however, it goes a little differently.

I am not energized by actions. I am energized by thoughts. Even when I’m engaging with the real world, I’m absorbing everything mentally, through ideas and images. I don’t spend hours on my neighborhood swing because I crave the feeling of wind rushing through my hair. I spend hours on that swing because of what the wind helps me imagine–I’m flying, I’m famous, I’m magical, I’m in love. Sensory input is first and foremost a diving board off which to plunge into a whole new universe of mental stimuli.

So, naturally, when I think or talk about doing something, it’s almost as satisfying as performing as the action itself, or perhaps even more so. And, by thinking about things, I’m able to reflect on how these impulsive behaviors might affect my life. After wrecking my life in my mind, I’m able to pause, rewind, replay, and manipulate the situation however I choose. I feel more empowered after having done so. That’s not to say that thoughts can’t inspire me to go out and do bad things. I am still a human being who’s subject to her own whims. However, the danger of excessive thinking, for me, is not that I will decide to act out; it’s that I could become so engrossed in my own ruminations that I lose touch with reality. I can’t claim that running off into my own world for days at a time is healthy in any way, shape, or form. Reality is as important as fantasy in this way.

In summary, yes–it’s probably better to reflect on good things, because our thoughts have immense power over our moods and perspectives. But dark escapism is not always such a terrible thing when done in careful moderation. It can be relief. More than relief, even–maybe escaping from reality can help us find it again.

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