Dangerous Daydreams

Doris at Courage to Grow has an interesting post about Steven Slater, the flight attendant who made the news going down the escape slide after a quarrel with a passenger.

What challenged me was her point that Slater had cherished this fantasy for years, and when the situation presented itself, he acted it out. In my own heart, I can see some dangerous daydreams that keep coming back. How do I not cherish them like Slater did? A simple resolution that I won't think about X only goes so far. It feels paradoxical, like the witticism that says "Whatever you do, don't think about a blue elephant." We hear that and we start thinking about a blue elephant in the act of trying not to think about one.

I have found a real benefit in laying my dangerous daydreams before God in prayer. The temptation is not to admit my weakness, to think it is all a matter of my will power to resist the daydream. But when life is to be lived in relationship to God, I should have the honesty to admit to Him I am the weak person that I am, tempted by the things I am tempted by. My wierd daydreams are no surprise to him, I might as well admit what tempts me. I have felt peace when I have done that.

Another thing I have thought about is to think more broadly than just "not thinking about X". I try to think about the positive things that indulging my daydream of X would destroy or diminish.

1 comment:

Doris B. Motte, M.A. LPC said...

Good thoughts about thoughts, Steve. You are right about the blue elephant. Another tactic is to consciously focus on healthy alternatives to the thought in question whenever it pops up. If you really want to get deep, you can explore what makes that particular daydream attractive to you and what it may be calling you to.