A World Within the World
By Anna Smith
Our minds are such an intricate part of our bodies aren’t they? One minute we can be thinking about a memory that takes us back to a certain place in time instantaneously and the next minute we can be thinking about “So do you pronounce it Care-e-mel or Car-e-mel?” As we go through life we often find ourselves in this tension in our minds. We wrestle with the tension between truly logical and intellectual thoughts and with thoughts that just simply leave us questioning. If there is one thought pattern that I find myself in most days it is a thought pattern that I like to call “The world within the world.” It is a place that I find myself armed for battle with what is truly real and what is simply imagination. Usually I camp out at this tension driven thought pattern when I am thinking about my relationships with people.
It is a wonder to me, how in our minds we can make anyone to be what we think they are or what we want them to be. We create our own worlds for them complete with childhood pasts and memories and climatic events that always some how end up in our favor. We decorate them with fancy words and we cater to their emotional needs as we assume we actually understand them. We magnetically turn their steps in directions we are most familiar with…and all in the name of Happy endings. We then take a step back from our emotionally generated world and we smile, as it is everything that we could hope for, only to find ourselves walking out the front door to discover that we were never a part of our story.
We walk into a world full of misunderstanding and somehow think that our wisdom is infinite, as we have discovered the secret to a perfect world. We take our experiences and infiltrate them into reality and somehow think that we have the answer. Too often we create worlds within our world; emotions hide in our heart as we desperately try to discover the answers to our questions. Too often we live inside these worlds amidst of reality. As if it is not enough to have pain in reality, we somehow maneuver our dream world mindset in ways to fit reality. It is no wonder we experience pain in relationships and frustration in friendships. It is no wonder we create awkward situations for ourselves, and walk away thinking that we are the biggest idiots ever and should never speak again.
Living in a world of “what ifs” can be beautifully haunting. It is beautiful because everything works out for our favor and it is haunting because the moment we actually face reality we realize that the dream world inside of our minds that we created, isn’t actually real. I started thinking about this one day when I found myself reading about someone and making up scenarios in my mind about “what if I were a part of their world?” I know, this sounds incredibly stalker-like and creepy, but do we not all do this in its various forms? As I was looking I paused and thought to myself, what is it that fascinates me about living in a world inside my head? It was then that I realized that in order to truly live, my fascination must be on everything that God created, rather than everything that I create in my mind. My fascination must be on the intricate beauty around me, rather than the finite beauty my mind creates. My fascination must be on the mind of Christ and its creativity and perfection, rather than my psuedo-sims world.
Sometimes I think we put more energy into the world we create inside of our minds with all of our “what if” scenarios, rather than into real relationships. I believe we see this in times where we are talking to someone and expect a certain answer but actually receive an answer that is completely opposite of what we anticipated. Perhaps it ‘s safe to say that this happens because we have created this person to be someone else in our minds and because of that, they should respond a certain way. I have seen this happen so often and usually what happens is that friends part ways, feeling hurt and misunderstood. I cannot help but wonder if there is a way that this can be avoided. I question things like: What is it I feel that I’m lacking in “real life” that I have to make up for in the form of “day dreaming?” Where is the disconnect?
Somewhere in my thoughts I’m brought back to this one basic and fundamental truth that brings me to question: “Do I really believe that God created me in His image?” I’m convinced that if we truly believed that we are as Genesis 1 says, “Created in the image of God” then we would live in a way that reflects that timeless truth. Instead of assuming things about people, we would look at them as having intrinsic value; they are worth getting to know. If we really believed this truth, we would have no need to create our own world because if we are created in the image of Christ, what could we possibly be lacking? If we really believed this truth, we would not only fight selfishness, but also pride in thinking that what we create is more beautiful and fascinating than what God created.
True fascination in Christ is recognizable when we look at ourselves and think “Why would I ever choose something my mind creates over the beauty that God holds?” It is with this fascination that hearts are changed and lives are lived in full.