The Allure of Magical Thinking

We’re all guilty; the trick is how much time we spend immersed in our fantasies rather than getting up off our duffs and doing something to make it happen. Alas, initiative and follow through are not always playmates of magical thinking, so sometimes we fall short of our goal. Plus, the possibility of being scared to death if we got what we wanted shouldn’t be discounted.


What do you want so badly thinking about it scares you?


As aspirational re-booters, finding ourselves on the precipice—not of misery, but of opportunity—is an especially tricky place to be. Most of us are not refugees, fleeing from the excruciating miseries of our current lives, but more like novice adventurers tempted to risk at least some of our comfort in order to follow the glistening path that beckons…While of course everyone has responsibilities to fulfill that they’d just as soon not, life isn’t meant to be an endless trial of patience and quiet sacrifice. Some days (or years even), yes, but not overall. Sorry, I just don’t believe we can’t achieve much of what we want.


Of course, as adults, attending to our responsibilities fills our days, but I have come to the conclusion that going through the motions indefinitely when our heart isn’t in it doesn’t serve anyone. Not you, not them. And underneath it all, they’ll sense you’re not into it—often with devastating, long term consequences for you both. You can’t pretend something’s true when it’s not. That doesn’t make your particular decision any easier, but please keep in mind as you paste that smile on your face that doesn’t reach your eyes that you’re not fooling anyone. I’m sure we all have seen people who have dedicated themselves to their set path, but internally, they fade away a bit more each year. It breaks my heart…


And then, there are the others who spend all their time engaged in magical thinking, with no real pretense of trying. What is it they get from such exercises in futility, I wonder? As a Taurus, I’m quick on the follow through, but I have grown to recognize that my action-oriented temperament is not what everyone has. Some are far more deliberate and slow to act, but for me hearing them talk without doing is like Chinese water torture. Ugh, get ON with it already!


But my impatience aside, this concept of magical thinking is an interesting one because it provides the seed thought for doing something new with our lives, making us breathless with anticipation. “Oh,” we marvel, “could I possibly do this? Could this happen?” The danger, however, is when we get so unrealistic that we wind up dithering, pretending we’re working towards our goal, when actually we have no intention of ever achieving it. Our dreams become pleasant companions, distracting us from our regular lives.


So, where do you fall on the spectrum of action/inaction? What is it that’s holding you back from saying yes to something you want?


Trust me, I know how petrifying it feels to step into the unknown—I wrestle with it on a daily basis, second guess my decisions, fret over my courage, and wonder if I’m seriously deluded or wildly careless. I ask myself if taking this risk and changing direction in my life is magical thinking, but when I consider the alternative of returning to how I lived before, I feel suffocated. Change is scary.


What it comes down to is this: are you going to spend your life spinning a fantasy in your head about the life you’re living or the persona you present to the world or are you going to take actual, measureable steps to fulfill the promise of your life, recognizing the tradeoffs and risks involved? The bounty is yours for the harvesting…Something to chew on during Thanksgiving. Have a good one.





Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: