Ill(usions) Communication

It’s been my dream to somehow work a Beastie Boys reference into a blog title and I’m here today to tell y’all that dreams really do come true. Even if it’s here on the interwebs where everything is either fake, overblown, or Photoshopped to within an inch of the Uncanny Valley. But still… I’ll take it!

In as much seriousness as I can muster this morning, the reason for the title is this quote that’s been stewing in my brain for quite awhile…

Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch.

james baldwin

We all have stories that we tell ourselves – a narrative for our life and the lives of people around us. As I mentioned yesterday, it can be full of mistakes or events, and the words we use are important along with how we decide to steer and shape the stories themselves. Instead of dreams, we can spend our time spinning fairy tales.

I feel like the past couple years has been a process for me of getting rid of crutch after crutch. Trying to decide whether I’m creating a foundation that can be built on or if I’m just leaning on something for support that’s no longer necessary. There are times when it’s been incredibly liberating, but before that, it’s usually terrifying.

It doesn’t seem like an accident that our illusions are called a crutch since they tend to come out of hurt. Although I’ve never been a world class athlete, I’ve spent a lot of time watching and reading about them. When they’re coming back from a serious injury, one of the toughest hurdles to get over is mental – trusting that whatever joint, muscle, or bone has healed completely and won’t betray them the same way it did. It’s ruined careers or at the very least, prolonged the healing process.

So I guess you could say it’s an inventory of sorts. What am I leaning on that I’ve already healed from? What story am I telling myself that’s more fairy tale or fantasy than hope or dream? I’m not saying it’s easy or that I’m even that good at it right now, but it is worthwhile.

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