Thursday, July 08, 2021

"Be Like a Child and Make-Believe"

The three girls were in a sort of irritable stew. They were bickering with one another like it was a stereotypical family holiday dinner, moping, whining, and fussing.

How do you get yourself to a point of believing? Start make-believing. Be like a child, and make-believe. Act as if you have it already. As you make-believe, you will begin to believe you have received.  ~Rhonda Byrne

One of them began to spin in circles, at first, it seemed, in frustration. The other two stepped back, wary, but still sparring over some fine point. The spinning girl began to chant, "I'm having fun now . . . I'm having fun now . . . I'm having fun now . . ."

Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not . . . Thus the sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if our spontaneous cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully, to look round cheerfully, and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there. If such conduct does not make you soon feel cheerful, nothing else on that occasion can.  ~William James
The other girls continued debating over some finer point of their play until one of them began to stomp away. As she did, she passed closely by her spinning friend who reached out and grabbed her arm. She stopped spinning for a moment to look into her face to say, "I'm having fun now." The two started to laugh, then spin together, their chant now altered to reflect a new reality: "We're having fun now . . . We're having fun now . . . We're having fun now . . ."

Humans acquire a particular quality by acting a certain way.  ~Aristotle

Now there were two girls spinning together, chanting feverishly, wildly. One girl was still holding on to her irritability, still trying to get the others to listen to her whinge, but they were too busy having fun to hear her. She stood outside the "fun" for a moment in silence. Then she made a choice; I saw it in her face, and she too began to to spin and chant, "We're having fun now . . . We're having fun now . . . We're having fun now . . ."

And they made-believe until they were.

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