Most of us associate this word with our childhood–games of make-believe, invisible friends, worlds growing inside our heads, stories blooming in our hearts.  However, as we grow up, we find that the door to adulthood is labeled with a giant “No Imagination Allowed” sign.  In school, ambition and originality often produce bad grades, and talking about childhood fantasy lands earns us a few laughs or awkward sideways glances.  Although we are still urged to “be creative,” a paper on how unicorns and the color purple could be used to cure cancer would not be favorably considered.

Yet, many of us still secretly harbor inexplicable urgings–to paint, to dance, to write, to imagine, to create.  We often feel understandably shy about these deep, unavoidable tendencies that are inexplicably part of us after growing up in a world that focuses on transitioning from play to work.  However, as one who indulges these tendencies, even going so far as to take up the label of “writer,” I can tell you with confidence, HOLD TIGHT TO YOUR IMAGINATION.

The fact that we are born creative should tell us something–we were meant to use our imaginations.  A child is intuitively imaginative, constantly creating and unabashedly sharing their creations with the world.  God Himself is the King of Creativity, the Creator of all that exists and ever will.  The fact that we are MADE this way should prove to us that we are meant to use imagination to enhance our gifts.  Some use their imaginations in the fields of math, science, and history–yet others of us are compelled to be creative in less concrete ways, dealing with feeling and essence, and, well, make believe.  These gifts are no less valuable than the others, beautiful and thrilling in the infinity of possibility they explore.

If you feel your imagination stirring and are overcome with an urge to create, follow it.  Pursue your natural inclination to create and see where it takes you.  There is always something beautiful to be found.

“Creativity is an area in which younger people have a tremendous advantage, since they have an endearing habit of always questioning past wisdom and authority.”  -Bill Hewlet

“Play is the highest form of research.” -Albert Einstein

“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”  -Pablo Picasso

“The creative adult is the child who survived.”  -U. LeGuin