This years traditional ‘spring clean’ is motivated not only by tradition, but also the fact that I am busy packing away my life here in the UK (15 days and counting…). One of my tasks is to tidy up my computer at work and get it ready for a handover. However, this is more a case of deleting all the rubbish I have accumulated over the past three years! There is so much! I must be a ‘digital hoarder’ or ‘document pack rat’ because I seem to have kept everything! None-the-less, my efforts for opening and checking hundreds of ‘Doc 1’ documents have been rewarded as I came across a poem I wrote about 3 years ago. It’s a strange feeling reading old and forgotten poems again, not sure if any of you write, but they are wonderful vessels for storing emotions and life experiences. My first reaction was to delete it, but as I read through it I realised it was a lesson waiting to be learnt.
“Delicious Apathy arrives on a silvery film of confusion, wrapping her lithe fingers tightly around your soul. Her voice comes cloaked in a clandestine whisper tiptoeing into in your mind, while the mists of hope veil your vision. With her gentle, melancholic grip she seductively shawls your being, coaxing you effortlessly into a familiar haze of indifference and compounds your confusion. Apathy seizes her opportunity to vaunt her chicanery and just like that emotional inertia is set in motion. Those secretive whispers become jaunts of justification and the surreptitious Apathy smiles warmly as her mischievous words consume you. You smile unknowingly as the transition of your ordinary ‘black and white’ is replaced with a disingenuous grey. Oh dear Apathy, your work is done. A finely crafted dystopia, bathed in bearable misery and I am none the wiser…”
Poetry is a personal experience and so I’d prefer not to share with you the motivation behind this poem, but rather I urge you to ‘experience’ the poem for yourself. What I can share with you however, is how to combat the feeling of apathy. Interestingly enough the dictionary definition of apathy reads as follows: “lack of interest or concern”, but reading a little further I found another great description and perhaps one better suited to the nature of my poem: “is a state of indifference, or lack of purpose…” and herein lies my prescription.
Apathy is a state of mind brought on by your perceived lack of purpose. And if you’ve read my previous article (Status quo), you’ll remember that setting personal goals is simple way of creating a purpose for yourself. However, I know it’s not that easy. I can empathise with anyone who has experienced it. So how does one change their state of mind? The first point to memorise is the following: the mind cannot distinguish between what is real or imagined. Take a moment to reflect on this statement. It’s incredibly powerful and is a scientific fact, not something I have made up. When you are ready to accept this statement you can really use it to transform you life, but for now, I do believe I will need to convince the cynics, I was one after all.
Let’s look at the irrational fear of a young child. They imagine that there is a monster hiding in the shadows or under the bed, the terrifying boogy man is coming to get them! Their imagination is so powerful, that it will actually induce physical symptoms of fear: heart palpitations sweating, tears, muscle tension and in some cases loss of bladder control. The imagined fear is so real to the child that it manifests itself physically. Think about this – we tend to find reasons to support our beliefs, regardless of what they are. I know I do. And so to the little child, every shifting shadow is the terrible monster, every creak and crack in the house is amplified to threatening foots steps.
So the answer to my question, how does one change your state of mind? Simple – use your imagination… Goals can give you purpose, but it’s imagination that gives you your goals. The only limit to your imagination is you. So dream big and set your mind free. Try it.