So much of what we do involves images. Images in our thoughts and feelings, memories and hopes, fears, dreams, daydreams, anxieties, fantasies and so on. Each one us pictures things in these different domains from the different points view of the different states of mind and body we experience as we perceive them. And each one of us differently!
It is a blazingly amazing, if complicated, fact that imagination is everywhere!
In fact our mental images or pictures can get so plentiful, so jumbled up and confusing, that we feel like we could seize up with it all, at best dissociate, meaning split ourselves off (both from what we see and from our feelings about it), and at worse, become mentally and physically paralysed, catatonic.
Ýet we are also and to some degree all blind, (using the widest possible definition of that word, and meaning no insult to those with ocular incapacity. I have myself suffered ophthalmic shingles a few years ago which permanently damaged the sight in my left eye).
Relatively speaking, at least, and to a greater or lesser extent, we can ‘see’ very little. If we could see everything it would have the same effect on us as staring at the sun. But we do need to see what we can, especially of ourselves, and this requires imagination.
With the help of a psychotherapist whom we are able to trust, some us find it is possible to see a little more of ourselves, of our underlying personality and character, without becoming permanently overwhelmed by what we reveal to ourselves about our needs, motivations etc., which we have been ‘blind’ to; or alternatively, without perhaps remaining too much in denial of ourselves so that we wander the world emotionally rigid and repressive because of it. ‘Seeing’ ourselves better can help us feel less helpless and frightened and, crucially, less disempowered.
Metaphor and simile almost always involve images in our minds, and producing images requires imagination. Imagination is essential to the human condition. We use imagination to make sense of what see and actually perceive it. Imagination is not the exclusive property of children or artistic people, writers, painters and musicians, inventers or scientists. Whether we know it or not, we all have it and we all can use it as much as we choose.
So just imagine. Just imagine safely using your imagination more and it will help you better see yourself and the world around you!