“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”
– John Lennon
My wife, TLJ*, is a disaster when it comes to going to a cinema.
She literally gets immersed in the movie, to the extent that she lives and feels everything the characters do on screen.
She will become so engrossed in what’s happening that she has no awareness of being in a cinema or indeed that there is anyone else with her. As far as she’s concerned she is IN the world of the movie characters.
So if there’s any sort of scary scene in the movie, forget about it. TLJ will literally be beside herself and usually screams or shouts at the main character as they are about to enter a dark room where the murderer is… ‘Don’t go in there!!’.
It’s quite entertaining for other people in the movie theatre but not particularly if you’re the one sitting beside her!
In a similar way the experience of being immersed in a dream or nightmare is the same thing. It’s not real but in the moment you believe it is, until you wake up.
But have you ever considered that you’re literally playing a virtual movie in your mind all of the time? From when you wake you to when you go to sleep, you are playing all sorts of film in your mind. And that this impacts on your experience and behaviour in every moment?
This is what I call The Projector Analogy in action:
Your mind is like a movie projector, you experience whatever you think about.
Unfortunately, as we all know sometimes bad things do happen. Just like we’re seeing in the Ukraine. Our challenge is to manage ourselves so that we don’t fall into the trap of letting external circumstances dictate our internal moods and extinguish our clarity – the kind of clarity that ensures purposeful action.
It’s the balance between dealing with reality and not reacting to reality inside us.
As the poet Rudyard Kipling wrote in his famous poem ‘If’:
“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs”
Your mind amplifies what you are focusing on.
What are you going to focus on this week?
*TLJ = The Lovely Judy, my long suffering, amazingly patient wife.
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