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  • Writer's pictureSharRon Jamison

Seeing Beyond Sight: The Power of Imagination and Inner Vision


Seeing Beyond Sight: The Power of Imagination and Inner Vision by SharRon Jamison for SOULACY Magazine


My elders were so smart. They knew that sometimes you see better with your eyes closed. Of course, I didn’t believe them, especially when they ordered me to turn off the lights and go to bed. I was afraid of the dark. Also, I was a bit nosy, and I didn’t want to miss out on anything. 


But life has a way of showing you that closing your eyes sometimes perfects your vision. I know it sounds crazy, but there is something about darkness that removes all distractions that helps you focus and dream. That’s why I eventually learned to appreciate the darkness because it allows me to fully experience the splendor of life with awe, wonder, and hope. It also gives my imagination room to tumble, twirl, and twist in ways that tickle my soul. 


To my elders, seeing with your eyes closed was not just a nice thing to do; it was their survival. Let’s face it. Being called “nigga,” “boy,” and “gal” could not have made them feel proud, dignified, or respected. So, closing their eyes and envisioning something new, better, and fairer gave them something to look forward to. It was the way they persevered and endured the assaults on their humanity. It was how they tasted and touched “real” freedom, something that they never really experienced, but something they hoped for their grandchildren. 


When life gets challenging or if I need spiritual guidance, I close my eyes. I shut them really tight and unleash my imagination.

When I was a child, I would often sneak into the house to listen to the grown-ups talk. Back then, kids and adults didn’t participate in the same conversations, so I had to tiptoe quietly in the room to listen to their discussions. I rarely understood what they said, but I did hear names like Dr. King, Rosa Parks, and Mr. Evers. I didn’t know who those people were, but they had to be important because the conversations would quickly turn into praise breaks or contested debates. I later discovered that the tenor and the intensity of the discussions depended on who was in the room. 


I would listen intently and see tears in my elders’ eyes as they talked about their dreams for my friends and me. It seemed as if they closed their eyes tight as they could, almost squinting, to see a new reality. They closed their eyes to peer into a future where we could attend top-rated schools, own beautiful homes, attend colleges, and enjoy equal rights. I didn’t know what colleges were, but I closed my eyes too because I wanted to see what they saw, or at least try to see what they saw. 


Throughout my childhood, I constantly eavesdropped on my elders’ conversations and watched as they closed their eyes. I tried to imagine what they saw because I knew they were imagining many advancements for Black people. Sometimes they even talked about God. I understood the God part because sometimes I saw God when I closed my eyes, too. However, the God I saw did not look like the pictures I saw in my church. The God at church was white. The God I saw with my eyes closed was Black and had a big white afro. 


I personally learned about the power of closing my eyes when I was about six years old. During Sunday school, I told Mother Anne about the problems I was having at school. People were really struggling with integration, and many of the white kids and their parents didn’t take too kindly to me being in their classrooms. I guess the government forgot that they could pass integration laws, but they could not legislate love. And, boy, my classmates, and their parents didn’t love me at all. My swollen eyes, bloody lips, and torn-up homework proved that. 


Thankfully, the kids eventually got used to me. Or maybe they grew bored with hitting me. Either way, I was happy. I hate pain, and the daily humiliation chipped away at my delicate self-esteem. 


Even though school got better, only slightly better, every time I talked about my dream of having fun at school, Mother Anne would say, “Baby, close your eyes so you can really see your future. You can’t see it right if you just look at the world.” Mother Anne was the consummate optimist. 


Almost fifty years later, I am still heeding Mother Anne’s advice. When life gets challenging or if I need spiritual guidance, I close my eyes. I shut them really tight and unleash my imagination. I let my imagination swirl and leap until I see new visions and life-altering miracles. I let my imagination run freely until it gets tired or until it settles down. Once it settles, I open my eyes and write down everything I saw, even if what I saw makes no sense to me. I have learned that my imagination, which I now know is the Spirit, always knows more than I know. So, I am always confident that what I wrote down will eventually make sense to me when I need it most. 


If you are having a difficult time or if you feel stuck, why not do what my elders told me to do? Why not close your eyes? Why not remove all distractions and let your imagination run wild? Why not close your eyes and picture what Black life could be if the world was free of oppression, free of white supremacy, and free of institutionalized hate? Why not close your eyes and imagine how wonderful it would be if Black people, white people, brown people, tan people, red people, yellow people, and all hues of people loved each other and celebrated each other’s differences? Why not think about how differently-abled people could thrive if the world thought about what they needed before buildings were built? Why not think about how the world could be if people could love who they really loved without judgment? Why not imagine how everyone could have what they needed if the super-rich didn’t control everything and shared their resources with the poor? Why not sit still in the darkness and let the Spirit speak to your heart and to your weary soul so you can see new opportunities? Why not let your mind wander and wonder until it uncovers your truth? Why not let yourself see what needs to be seen so you can do what you were called to do? 


Yes, my friend, close your eyes. See what you need to see to pursue your purpose. See your potential and new possibilities. See your patterns of self-imposed limitations, self-sabotage, and self-denial. See your inner barriers to love, joy, success, and freedom. See! And then patiently wait, trusting that God will show you more, and show you something bigger and bolder than you have ever seen before. 


Are you ready? Close your eyes. Let your spirit roam freely. It’s time to Soar! 


Your purpose awaits.


Excerpt from Deciding To Soar 2: Unwrapping Your Purpose, Chapter 60


Journal Prompts:


What did you dream about as a child?


What do you see about yourself or your life when you close your eyes?


What are the consistent themes that surface in your dreams?


What do you imagine yourself doing? 


When have your dreams taught you about your desires?



 

TLDR: SharRon Jamison's excerpt from her book, "Deciding to Soar 2: Unwrapping Your Purpose," emphasizes the profound wisdom in closing your eyes to see better. She shares personal anecdotes and lessons from her elders, highlighting the power of imagination, inner vision, and spiritual guidance to navigate life's challenges and uncover deeper truths.


 

SharRon Jamison is a life strategist, author, minister, entrepreneur, and corporate leader who is committed to helping you BE who you were born to be, and not settle for what society has taught and told you to be.

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