I feel completely incompetent to talk about how we let other people affect our happiness. Because that is my biggest issue.
From one day to the next, there is always something intrusive scratching away at my happy bubble. It doesn't take much to pop a bubble. Bubbles are fragile. My happiness should not be so easily lost. Sadly, it can be.
So yesterday, as I was discussing some surprising news with a few of my friends, it was obvious that my bubble, was again, bursting with disappointment. One of my friends said, "Go to your La La Land and forget about it." I said in reply, "I don't have a La La Land."
Till that discussion, I thought that La La Land was a place where clueless, hopeless, people migrate for solace. Since I am neither, I had never gotten my citizenship, or had I? Last night, I began to contemplate La La and memories of my childhood bubbled up. A familiarity with imaginary places began to take shape as if it was only yesterday that I hung from the limbs of a berry tree.
I was an extremely imaginative child. From the moment my mother said I could go out to play until darkness would fall, I lived in La La Land. In fact, I created some spectacular experiences moving through air, land and sea (trees, yard and pool). The make believe stories, islands, castles and such would sometimes become a saga that all my cousins would play a part in over weeks and months, after school and sleepovers. As I took a tour through my mind, I found these make believe moments intact and exactly as I'd left them. With striking contrast and clarity I realized that not only had I been to La La Land, it was a big part of my becoming. The work of my imagination has had a more profound and lasting impact upon my current abilities than perhaps anything else in my history.
I don't remember what a particular day at school in third grade entailed, but I do remember La La Land waiting for me on the playground during recess. As I write, I can still feel the depth of desire that pulled me toward that spectacular place of whimsy. What used to be a pull is now feeling more like a strong push.
My very mature and adult-like friend told me that I need to go to La La Land.Somewhere along the way, while growing up, I lost my passport. What once was a beautiful longing that my mother gave me permission to pursue by saying, "Amie, you can go play," became, in my mind, a retreat for losers or lunatics. When did I start thinking that those who live in La La land cannot live in the real world? And why did I think I was too grown up to need to play?
Can I even say, "I need a safe place to dream and create," without sounding like I need a straight jacket and a paper cup full of pills?
When we grow up, we wrongly take on too much responsibility for everything and everyone around us. (me, me, me....talking to ME!) Sometimes it sounds so childlike and basically insane to live in a state of complete faith and dependance upon God. As a child, La La Land provided me a mental space for growth and unlimited potential. It can be the same Today. Even when my situations seem to be closing in on me, I must remember that God lives in a place without limits. He has always been faithful to meet me where I am.
But perhaps it would be beneficial for me to start meeting God on the outskirts of my reality, La La Land.
If I were to create a travel brochure for La La Land, this is what it would say:
A place where limits are not the focus. A realm greater than our abilities or associations. A place that removes our personal preferences or opinions. A space outside the realm of expectation and responsibility. A creative place to unlock potential and possibilities. A haven without conflict, strife or enemies. A secret spiritual place where you are embraced and refined at the same time.
Isaiah 45:3- I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.
Psalm 31:20- You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence. From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.