Thursday, October 9, 2014

blind spots and imagination...

do you see a vase or faces?

do you see a young or old lady?
Optical illusions can help us to experience “blind spots” visually. However, there are other kinds of "blind spots"... such as pockets of pain we stuff in our hearts. A Christian counselor once helped me identify some of my stuffed feelings or "blind spots" and begin to see that, "all feelings are neutral." Rather than stuffing my feelings, she taught me a journaling exercise that would encourage my "blind spots" to come to the surface. She would have me draw a pie chart in my journal, writing a different feeling that I was having that day in each slice of pie. I would then journal about the circumstances surrounding the feeling listed in each pie piece for that day. This process helped me to see all my feelings as neutral, enabling them to come to the surface for healing from my Heavenly Father.

When we have been hurt, our imagination is wounded. As a result, alienation and belief in bad news replace belief in good news.

We may have a feeling response that can become frozen into resentment. 
We may have an anger response that can become frozen into negative reactions of rage or passivity. 
We might have an interpretation response that can become frozen in negative attitudes, perceptions, biases, and beliefs.

As a result, our imagination becomes paralyzed. Attending to our wounded imagination is a path through forgiveness.

Forgiveness expands our horizons, invites us to retrieve the positive, and work through the negative. Is the glass of water half-full or half-empty? The answer depends entirely on how you see it. “How you see it” is called “perception.” There is the story about the blind men and the elephant. Each man named and described the animal according to his experience of touching only one part of the elephant’s body. The man who held the trunk “perceived” the elephant to be a large snake; the man who held the leg “perceived” the elephant to be a sturdy tree. In the same way, we “perceive” life—depending on what our experience is. Our experiences generate our expectations and our perceptions. We interpret life experiences, and we form expectations and perceptions, attitudes and assumptions. All of this activity is the work of the imagination. It is likewise the work of the imagination to reinterpret and reform repeated assumptions and expectations.

Forgiveness demands that we take another look, so that our imagination can reframe our narrow interpretations. Forgiveness includes the decision to refocus or enlarge the context. Native Americans speak of walking a mile in another’s moccasins. When we enlarge the context, we refocus, or we see it through a wider lens. Imagination is the work of seeing through a wider lens. If we stick to a negative interpretation of an old offense, we will experience resentment whenever we think about it, or about the offender. We will never be able to grieve and let go; we will seesaw between rage and resignation; we will never allow anger to surface and put us back on the journey of forgiveness. If we insist on telling and retelling our bad news stories of the past, we simply recycle the bad news and pass it on to the next generation. We pollute the emotional environment; we remain stuck in lifeless memories instead of looking for a more positive side of things long past.

Our imagination is a powerful entity. It can cause the hair on the back of our neck to stand up, our spirit to soar, or our face to blush. Imagination is the power that holds our beliefs together; we believe with our imagination. The imagination is the wellspring of faith and hope. Our biggest and best dreams for ourselves and others rise from the imagination.

When you enlarge your perceptions, using your God-given imagination, you at least allow for the possibility of healing. You give yourself the opportunity to turn from the negative aspects of your past, to get rid of the excess baggage, and to face the journey into the future with hope.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.--Eph. 3:20

Take a few moments to use your imagination with MercyMe's I Can Only Imagine...
Was this post been encouraging to you? Feel free to leave your comments in the box below, I’d love to hear from you!

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31 days as an encourager.


  1. I love how imagination can be used as part of the healing process where we have enlarged recollections in our brains to create impassable memories.
    On my healing journey some years ago, my spiritual director would get me to hold a traumatic memory up to God and to listen to His Spirit tell me where He was at the time when I was hurt. I imagined Jesus right there in that moment, and listened to what He told me... and this was a powerful way to "heal" the memory; learning that Jesus was right there with me, hating what was being done and wrapping His arms around me and comforting me.
    I've also done guided meditation where a group of us totally relaxed in to His Presence while the story was read about Jesus walking on the water and calling Peter to step out of the boat...using our imagination...we told Jesus exactly what we were afraid of...and listened to what he had to say.....very powerful indeed.
    Sorry if I am off track to catch a when I
    m back. xxx

    1. Mary, thank you so much for sharing that with me! So encouraging for others to read your testimony of how Jesus has healed even your memories...He is so good, all the time :)


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