Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Musings: magical thinking

I want to thank everyone who visited here last week and left such kind, loving comments about my health. I am feeling much better, although still coughing, but my energy has almost returned to normal, so I'm hopeful. I've almost forgotten what it feels like to feel good.

Joan Didion wrote a book called The Year of Magical Thinking in which she wrote about her journey during her husband's illness and eventual death. I was intrigued by the title because I spent most of my life living in a world of magical thinking. I thought I possessed magical powers that could make my parents stop fighting and love each other. I though my love could magically make my first husband a happy person and then, magically, he would love me. I seem to imbue others with magical powers as well. I see someone I admire. Someone who has a character trait or talent I would like to cultivate. And here's where magical thinking comes in. I think, first of all, that by having this person in my life, I can magically become like them. And secondly, I seem to ignore other traits that are perhaps not so wonderful.

This might go on for years, before my magical thinking begins to dissipate and I see things as they really are. Magical thinking is all right for awhile. But it only suspends the inevitable crash into reality. And the longer the magical thinking is allowed to continue, the longer and harder the eventual crash.

No one wants to be someone who sees everyone's faults. I certainly don't. But I want to see reality. I don't want denial to rear its ugly head so that I can pretend someone is other than who they really are, hoping that I will get whatever it is I think I need from them and not be hurt by those things I'm refusing to see. But you see, that never happens. I do end up hurt.

So I am working on my magical thinking. It's okay to live there while I am writing. Otherwise, not so much. How about you? Do you live in a world of magical thinking?



Anonymous said...

Pleased you're feeling better, lovely to read your post.


Francene Stanley said...

I do believe that our thoughts can influence others. My book Still Rock Water is about a woman wearing a star moonstone ring who connects to others in trouble and helps them. In real life, I send earnest thoughts each time an ambulance or police car dashes by. Thoughts have been proven to produce real waves in the air. Keep on believing in magic.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I've been intrigued by that title, too. Will have to put it on my TBR.

So glad you're feeling better, Karen!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you feel better.
I guess I see things and people realistically. I don't build them up and I'm not really disappointed.

Suze said...

Karen, it makes good sense to dip into the pot of magical thinking to paint the worlds in which your writing is set and to reserve a less 'winged' approach to the people and situations of daily life. Though, I don't know, there are ways -- and I do think they are rare, but that they exist -- in which the flight is worth the fall.

I hope that doesn't sound too strange.

Coffee, soon?


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. I'm glad you're feeling better - me too ... though another few days and I'll be right as rain (or snow) - depending which is around!!

I too must concentrate on me and not others this year .. get myself right - right attitude, right thoughts etc .. and I'll feel A for away ... and not worry what others are doing etc ..

As you suggested it'd be fun if we could feel grotty together and chat away ... I'm sure we'd recover more quickly ... Would love the chance of a good chat ... sometime, somewhere I hope ..

Have a great year .. all the very best - Hilary

Mason Canyon said...

Glad you're feeling better. I think I have a bit of magical thinking in mind and I know I need to see things more realistic but it's hard sometimes. Take care and continue getting better.

Thoughts in Progress

Karen Walker said...

Yvonee, thank you so much
Francene, how could I not?
Elizabeth, she's a brilliant writer - and thank you
Alex, my hubby does, too - must me a male thing
Suze, ah yes, coffee - let's talk
Hilary, must be a way to "chat"
Mason, thank you

~Sia McKye~ said...

Nope. I never have. I'm most definitely an optimist with my feet firmly planted in reality.

Survival, I've found, depends upon seeing things as they are and listening to my inner warning system. Trouble falls when either is neglected.

Another lesson I've learn? Let people be who they are and love or like them despite it. People will never be what you want them to be. They are what they are.

Karen Walker said...

Such wise words, Sia. Thank you for sharing.

LD Masterson said...

I don't think I wrap myself in magical thinking but I'm definitely an optimist. If there are two ways of looking at something, I go with the more positive one. And, yes, sometimes it comes back to bite me but more often I've proven right. :-)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Writing is all about magical thinking in my opinion. Sometimes I am awed and astounded by the ideas and the words that pass from my brain through my hand to the keyboard and end up on a page...and I suspect my brain is not where those ideas and words truly originated.

Real life is a different story. Reality thinking is more likely to keep us safe.

Rosalind Adam said...

What a fascinating post. Is magical thinking a bit like praying?