Right behind your everyday thoughts and feelings, even when those thoughts and feelings are relatively light and friendly, may reside a constant background coloration of sadness. That’s true for an awful lot of people. For a vast multitude, it’s as if they’d painted the walls of the room that is their mind the most depressing shade of gray imaginable; or as if soot from a coal fire had continually deposited itself on those walls since they were little. What can be done about all that background sadness?
Well, new wallpaper, of course! First let’s get those walls prepped. Let’s get all that soot off! Fire up your power washer and power clean those walls. Watch all that soot disappear down the drain. Lucky that you can power wash your walls without getting anything wet! There go a lifetime of regrets and disappointments. There go the failures, there goes the harm done to you, there goes the sludge of missed opportunities and broken promises. Isn’t it quite something to see those walls clean again?
Now, as your walls dry, let’s pick out your wallpaper and get that sadness packing. Pull out some gorgeous imaginary wallpaper books, sit in your easy chair, and peruse the patterns: the floral ones, the Victorian ones, the graphical ones, the ones that remind you of Mondrian, the hypermodern ones, the Gothic ones, the super simple ones, the ornate ones resembling cake decorations. What shall it be?
Which cheers you up the most and warms your heart? That’s the one!
Hanging real wallpaper is no easy feat. But hanging this wallpaper is a breeze! Watch it go up without a wrinkle or a bubble in sight. While you’re at it, throw open your windows and let a good breeze in. And if wallpaper doesn’t do it for you, then paint your walls some colors you love. Create exactly the bright, cheerful walls you want. This is your room and you can paint it or wallpaper it any way you like!
There’s more to do, too, in addition to putting up new wallpaper or painting your walls, if you want to get rid of a lifetime of sadness. Let’s summarize a bit. In the first lesson, you installed windows so as to let in a breeze, some fresh air and some fresh thoughts. Throwing open those windows will help with the sadness. In the third lesson, we got rid of that bed of nails and introduced an easy chair—surely that easy chair makes for a happier mental environment. In lesson nine, we created a way for you to deal with the return of traumatic memories, in lesson eleven, we handled painful feelings, in lesson twelve, anxious thinking. In lesson thirteen we threw a lovely mind party so as to banish despair. All of this will help reduce that background coloration of sadness.
Each of these efforts will help you improve the landscape of your mind. Together, they amount to something like a program, an odd, eclectic program based on the simple but true idea that your mind is a kind of place where you dwell. You can construct and decorate the room that is your mind as you choose, even now after a lifetime of repetitive and negative thinking and despite all the stiffness and stuffiness that comes with your formed personality.
The major shift I’m suggesting is the shift from the idea that you are merely a creature who thinks thoughts to the truer idea that you are a creature who can enter into a brilliant relationship with your own brain. By employing the metaphor of a room that your lively imagination creates, by visualizing that room and its contents, and by stocking it with what you need and deserve—bright walls, an easy chair, windows that open, and all the rest—you keep yourself mentally healthy.
Most people live in a cell and are their own jailer. You do not need to live like most people. You can switch out that prison cell for a room as pleasant, as beautiful, and, yes, as functional as you would like to make it. Rather than living in the place that your formed personality created and commanded that you inhabit, you can live in a new, comfy place that your available personality wants, knows it needs, and loves to visit. There are no movers to hire, no remodeling costs, no months of dust, debris and upheaval. You just use your imagination for free.
Welcome to the room that is your mind. I hope you like the wallpaper you chose—and if you don’t, switch it right out! You can do anything here, anything you like and anything that serves you, and you can do it in an instant. Your brain is a great imagination machine: imagine your best mind into existence and live there happily.