Unlocking the Power of Imagination: A Journey from Poverty to Purpose
My parents were teenage parents. By the time they were 18, there were two of us, me and my older sister. Being so close in age, I literally grew up with my parents and watched them learn how to juggle school, careers, and marriage while caring for a family and each other.
Though young and poor, my parents somehow thrived. They both graduated from college, served in the community, worked for equality, and pastored churches. Of course, creating a life for us and serving an economically underserved community wasn't easy. Dealing with institutionalized racism, political disenfranchisement, and generational hopelessness was exhausting. My parents persevered, but life was hard.
Honestly, life frequently was challenging because even though my parents had lots of love, they had few resources. At times, we barely survived and constantly lived a "sometimey" life. Sometimes we had heat, food, and a phone; sometimes, we didn't. Sometimes we had hot water, gas for the car, and money to wash our clothes, and sometimes we didn't. Life was unpredictable because my parents were always forced to make a dollar out of a dime.
Of course, as a child, I occasionally complained about not having the basics and a few luxuries. But when I complained about wearing thrift store clothes, eating government cheese, and chewing on day-old bread, my parents didn't reprimand me. In fact, they motivated me and reminded me that despite my current circumstances, I was born with the talent, wisdom, and skills to create a different future.
My father said, "You can create what you want. Just use your imagination so you can see what's possible for your life."
Honestly, I didn't understand what imagination was and didn't know how it could improve my life. But thankfully my father explained that imagination was when you closed your eyes and let your spirit run wild and free. He explained that our spirits are not bound by time, conditions, or reality and can see beyond problems, obstacles, and oppression. He told me that our spirits could always find joy amid the pain.
I didn't always believe what my father said. But he assured me that “imagination” is a spiritual gift that will guide you to goodness if you use it daily. And you know what?
My father was right.
Over the years, I learned that imagination is a powerful gift. Using it daily can help you see possibilities, solve problems, invent technology, and mend relationships. Imagination is also a creative tool and can help see new patterns, hear soul-nourishing revelations, sense culture-shifting change, and birth society-healing ideas.
Using my imagination has been a healer and a game-changer in my life. It has empowered me and helped me succeed in areas where I lacked contacts, experience, education, and expertise. It also gave me vision and insight and filled me with hope and profound gratitude. And most of all, my imagination has deepened my resolve and commitment to fight for justice, create safe healing sanctuaries, and advocate for healthcare equality.
Imagination has been the source of all of my success. And that's why even today, I look at my life and wonder how did a poor little Black girl like me grow up to live such a wonderful life? How did a little Black girl raised in so much poverty, racism, classism, and sexism grow up believing she could do meaningful work in the world? How did a person like me grow up to speak in pulpits and on stages and tell inconvenient truths?
How? By using my imagination. By "seeing" future rewards beyond my current reality. By believing that my dreams were not based on corporate deadlines. By participating in what I prayed about. By speaking what I am seeking. By trusting that the visions I saw would result in the victories I desired. By knowing that what I could receive was based on what I could believe.
So, if you feel stuck, defeated, or hopeless, close your eyes.
Close your eyes and release your imagination. Let your imagination run wild and free. Let your imagination wonder and wander until it finds its way. Let your imagination roam and rise to a new realm beyond mere reality.
Let your imagination show you and grow you. Let it reveal new beginnings from painful endings, big opportunities from big obstacles, unlimited potential from unimaginable pain, great advantages from great adversity, and endless love from crippling loss.
JUST IMAGINE! And then, do what you see.
This week, set aside time for you to imagine, to think, and to daydream. To stretch your mind and expand your heart to hold new possibilities and ponder fresh ideas. Imagine.
I am so grateful to my parents. They had limited means, but they had big imaginations. And their imaginations ensured that I cultivated an imagination that could create a fulfilling life.
TLDR: Follow SharRon's inspiring journey from growing up in poverty to discovering the transformative power of imagination. Despite facing numerous challenges, SharRon's parents instilled in her the belief that imagination is a spiritual gift capable of guiding one to greatness. Through imagination, SharRon found hope, success, and a deep commitment to social justice. Discover how embracing the power of imagination can lead to profound personal growth and empowerment.
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. Through her coaching programs, innovative workshops, wisdom-filled books, empowering sister circles, and speaking events, she passionately challenges people to shed societal “shoulds” and outdated beliefs so they can live purpose-centered lives.