BOTTLED

  • In order to succeed in life you need three things - a wish bone, a back bone and a funny bone. Reba Mcentire

Saturday, September 17, 2011

PRETEND

Pretend you can have anything.

Pretend you can be anyone or anything you want.

It is said that pretending makes it so.

‘As [a person] thinketh in his heart, so is he …’ Proverbs 23:7

If thinking can make it so…

I think I am healthy. 
I have no aches or pains.
I need no pills.
I am happy.
I am rich - I have sufficient in every way.
I expect ….

I like this!

And it does work.
Beware: Pretend works for good or not so good.

My perception shifts just by thinking, saying and writing out such thoughts – whether consciously planning for the pretense to be true or not, thoughts do seem to become action.

As a teen I thought it was hilarious to pretend to smoke.  I didn’t actually smoke but I knew people that did. I didn’t particularly hang out with any of them enough to even really call them friends but we shared a mutual comaradarie that age and school can bestow.

There was a woman, that attended church with my parents, that was a bit of a gossip. We delighted in ‘setting her up’ – giving her things to talk about that were obviously shocking or untrue.  Among the kids I attended school with I was known to be ‘clean’ – no drugs, no tobacco, no booze.

We often left school grounds during lunch hours to wander around the stores and restaurants only 2 or 3 blocks away, just ‘cruising’ the sidewalks and hangin’ out in fluid knots of chatting, laughing groups.    

One day, while standing on a corner in such a knot I noticed Mrs. Gossip, minding her own busy business, coming along the street. One of the kids we had stopped to chat with was lighting a cigarette. “Hey, give me your smoke,” I said and he handed it over. (I did not smoke it. I just held it. It was just pretend and we all knew it - except her.)

When she happened to look up there I was, apparently unaware of her at all, seemingly smoking with my friends. It was such a joke! Everybody my age knew it was funny – we had so many great laughs about it. She took the bait hook, line and sinker.  Of course my parents were much wiser (although I suspect privately amused).

Not quite so funny are the associations cemented to friendships that day, and as we subsequently shared those laughs. I came to love and understand a troubled group of misfits whose later problems included substance abuse, suicide, abortion and some criminal activities.

Let me be clear – I did not at that time start to smoke. 
It was all pretend. 

As an adult I did smoke - for a short time.
It was one of my dumber phases.  
Because of those friends I learned how and where to get cigarettes and shared a lifestyle, when I was with them, of easy access to and expected use of tobacco.

What do you think?
What do you want?

Really.

What do you desire?

What do you pretend?