I’m reading a novel, April Witch, by Swedish author, Majgull Axelsson. It is a beautifully written, dark and awful story of mothers who hurt their daughters and what happens to those daughters when they grow up.
One of the worst things a mother can do is make her daughter feel unworthy and I found myself responding to the novel by having unworthy feelings. Let me make it clear, my mother is awesome and has always told me I could do anything I wanted.
The other day I came across an opportunity I usually jump at. My initial reaction, very deep down, was that it wasn’t for me. It was for someone better than me. I stopped myself almost at once. I was surprised at how visceral that reaction was. It immediately was clear to me, that it was a response to the novel I’m reading. It had the same shade in my mind as the book does.
I stopped watching horror, especially, slasher films. I’d get part way in, realize I didn’t want to watch and stop. Only to have the film pop into my head over the next few days and that’s when I learned that my imagination is much worse than anything that could have been in the film. Our imaginations are like that – the worst fear is the unknown. My response was to just stop watching them.
I’ve read enough NLP and other mind books to know that the more we use neural pathways the stronger they become. I don’t want to strengthen neural pathways that don’t help me.
Which brings me back to this book. I’m still reading it. It is very well written so it is hard to put down. I am aware of my thoughts and I’m not letting myself feel unworthy. I’m optimistic enough to hope for, at least a somewhat happy ending. Or maybe a resolution. I’m afraid that if I leave now, my imagination will just think of an ending anyway.
Do the novels you read colour your world?
Do you take care with the fiction you read?
Is there value in reading about bad things?