Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Fantasy Life (Part 1 of 2)

I wonder how many of us had a rich fantasy life. I never thought much about that until recently. I had a vivid imagination and put myself in every kind of troubled, problematic situation and always, always came out victorious.

As a child that fantasizing probably “saved” my life. I learned to pretend, to imagine a happy life where everything was fine. During intense periods of pain, I discovered solace in my fantasy world. In school, I was skinny. Short. Not athletic. One of the two or three kids the captains argued over. “You take him this time. I got stuck with him for the last game.”

My late friend Steve Grubman told me that he invented an imaginary friend who was there for him in those painful times. That was how he coped.

Many of us received temporary peace through our imagination or pretense. And we can look back and be thankful that we could face some of our problems, even if they were only in our imagination.

As I thought about fantasy, I remembered the verses from the famous love chapter of 1 Corinthians. The Apostle Paul said that when he was a child he thought and behaved as a child, but after he became an adult, he pushed those things out of his mind.

I still have fantasies, but I’ve noticed in the last 10 years they’re far more benign and rather fun. I focus on events or experiences when I relive a situation and think of what I might have said to make me smug. But I don’t need them any more to escape an impoverished, stolen childhood.

Do you?


Anonymous said...

OH I had a rich and extensive fantasy life. There were monsters that were defeated, torn apart, dispactched with extreme prejudice. I love monster movies, vampire movies, werewolf movies where the good guys always won and the evil things got their comeuppence; preferebly in the worst possible way. I was saved by my ingenuity in solving the problems of survival.

Yeah I couldn't win in real life. I was basically what they called loser these days but in my head, in my dreams I was invincable. Unfortunately reality was quite different. Like the little girl in the movie Aliens, I learned there really are monsters and some you must live with and learn to survive on your own, silently hiding the tears that told them they won again.

I am all grown up now but must to my wife's surprise, I still like the same movies and still root for the little guy to win.

Jay said...

I was an only child and avid reader- I loved comic books. Certain team titles portrayed a sense of belonging I longed for. They fought evil, safeguarded the innocent and defenseless and were there to help a fallen comrade. Oh, how I long for the church to be more and more like that- just without the capes and spandex! -Jay