What you call imaginary friends I call my spirit guides. As children we are very susceptible to the energies and emotions of the people around us but don’t necessarily know what they are or mean. Children are able to externalize this process without being taught how. Most of the time I believe the innocence of children to be the most powerful form of wisdom. There is no way for it to be jaded, only expanded with new information.
I remember being sixteen, completely jaded and untrusting of what people might want of me, of what they were trying to sell me with their religions, and coming to tears in yoga class. I felt light I was lit from the inside out and could not only feel my own distinct energy, but the energy of everyone else in the class as well. It was so pure and took me back to all the times I really believed in magic. There are times I remember so clearly but must be dreams or products of my imagination. Experiences that shaped me, even though they may have only happened in my mind. I hold onto the string of hope that says maybe that is reality and this is the dream. To quote J.K. Rowling, “Of course it’s happening in your head (…) but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
Imagine my surprise to find I wasn’t the only person who thought this way either. Jung, Campbell, Gardner, Murray; modern figures who saw the stories we tell, the magic in everyday life, and applied new rules of acceptance and of interpretation to them so that they make sense. Our world is one that has to make sense to be widely accepted. Access to the internet has given us a plethora of material to use but few ways to back it up without personal experience. Even that can be subject to interpretation.
In order to achieve validation of our imagined selves, a community is need to support our beliefs, keep faith that things will get better, and know we are not alone fighting our demons. One of my greatest fears is that we are becoming complacent not to live our lives to the fullest, only of what our community expects of us. That we are so busy making money to survive we ignore the fact that the way we are living is not sustainable emotionally, spiritually, or environmentally.
For me, I have to face the challenge that I don’t want to survive through compromise. Struggling to survive and doing it honestly is better than suffering in silences as the world revolves despite of you. I do not believe myself to be a lazy person. In fact, I have quite a lot of drive to contribute my skills and work ethic to this world. I just want to make sure that my energy is going in the right places and that expending the energy to make that contribution is needed and appreciated. Respect does not feel like such a big thing to ask for when society has made survival so available to us. Why are we expected to find our drive to survive in the same place, in routine, and why doesn’t expanding knowledge count as profitable?