“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one”
Despite the extensive information available, and research performed related to the subjectivity of our interpretation of reality, we as humans still have the tendency to usually and easily fall into “believing” our own mind.
We get up in the morning and declare that it is bad weather when we see rain outside, then we sit in our cars and say that the driver behind us is a utter and complete idiot because he keeps driving too close to our “backs”. At work a colleague misses out on greeting us and immediately we worry that she is upset, finally we get back home and then everything seems to be wrong as our husband sits on the couch being indifferent and the household chores aren’t getting done by themselves.
We go through the day making all sorts of interpretations of reality, thinking we have it all figured out and others are in the wrong. But how often do we stop ourselves and ask one simple question- IS IT REALLY LIKE THAT ?
Is it really, without a doubt, with 100% accuracy , absolutely correct that- rain means bad weather ? Maybe it does “feel bad” somewhere inside of us in moments when raindrops and grey cloudy sky is the 1st image we see in the morning. But how much does our interpretation match the reality ?
Let’s see the following example: What would happen if, for some reason, you woke up , one rainy morning, next to a person who lived his entire life chasing llamas in valleys of the Atacama Desert a.k.a the driest place on the planet Earth ? I can imagine that your first reaction would be to call the police-but that’s besides the point. Could you agree that this dude from Atacama, now a guest in your house, could be mesmerised by the beauty and the delightful serenity of a rainy morning. Both of you would be sitting there in bed looking at “condensed moisture of the atmosphere falling visibly in separate drops” and you’d be thinking bad weather, he’d be thinking Miracle of the Gods and you both might very likely be missing the point.
By now you could be thinking to yourself- Oh, come on Sonja you are exaggerating, I know that when I say “bad weather” I mean it as a personal opinion. I know other people might think differently and I am ok with that. We are all entitled to our interpretations. We all have our personal truths, valid only for ourselves. And besides that when I called the driver an idiot, it was just a form of speech , you don’t need to take it this far.
Ok, that might be the case.
But how about this time you wanted help from someone but didn’t dare to ask because you though you’ll be rejected and let down ?
Or this other time when you didn’t call someone who was sick because you though you’d be bothering him/her ?
These situations are all based on a similar principle, avoiding to face reality and buying into our own “mental interpretations of the world, others and yourself”.
It is easier, on the short-term, to “assume” we wont be helped and just play the victim and not take responsibility for our own life. As well as not to call someone vulnerable and in pain and hold space for them while they are in that state, we would rather “hide” and wait for the pain to pass
1.IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE EASY WAY OUT – YOU NEED A REALITY CHECK
If you mind associates rain=bad weather, specific way of driving= idiot-ism… then it is very likely that you will be creating a very limited picture of reality and therefore be missing out on loads of wonderful possibilities that are available but currently invisible to you. You’ll actually bypass a chance to be the best version of yourself, as you are basically only repeating something that happened in the past.
2. IF YOU ARE REACTING FROM THE PAST- YOU NEED A REALITY CHECK
If you want to open yourself up for living in reality, I warmly and wholeheartedly invite you to leave your mental comfort zone ruled by filters and mind-narrowing mechanisms and step into the unexplored territory of the present moment. Overcome your need to be lazy-minded and tune into what is happening around and inside you in every given moment of a every single aspect of your life.
3. IF YOU ARE STUCK IN YOUR “MENTAL COMFORT ZONE”-YOU NEED A REALITY CHECK
Once you are “in tune with reality” ( and trust me you’ll know it and you’ll feel it ) you will get a chance to accept life’s events and situations the way they are- without resisting, fighting, hiding or being passive. A lot of our mental effort goes to wanting to control the reality and change it to fit our “illusions” ( internal map of reality) that we all carry in our minds. Have you ever heard an anorexic speak about his/her body ? People who suffer from this disorder are strongly convinced that they are fat. My guess is, if you don’t have anorexia, you still have some kind of disordered thinking- maybe you feel not pretty enough, not smart enough, not good enough, not educated enough, not kind enough, not worthy of love- you name it. If you have those thought you are as insane as the skinny bitch going on a diet.
4. IF YOU ARE TRYING TO CONTROL THE REALITY-YOU NEED A REALITY CHECK
So whenever you think to yourself I am not good enough for this job, I am not pretty enough to wear this dress, I am not smart enough to get this promotion- just stop and ask yourself- IS THIS TRUE ? How can you know if you didn’t try ? What are you basing your opinion on ? At this point you might tell your self a bunch of lies, assumptions, excuses and stories from the past- but you must not buy into them.
5. IF YOU ARE BUYING INTO YOUR OWN LIES, ASSUMPTIONS, EXCUSES AND STORIES FROM THE PAST-YOU NEED A REALITY CHECK
All you need to do to make a reality check is to ask- IS IT ?
Sounds simple, doesn’t it ? Too simple maybe ? Don’t let yourself be put off by the level of complexity of the approach offered above. My invitation to you is to use the approach. Test it . Do it. Own in. Make it yours.
See for yourself how often can you “wake up to reality” in everyday situations. And if the initial attempts come with some hesitation or your mind switches to your old “modus operandi” don’t stop and give up. Just keep moving forward, getting in tune with the neutral ‘ no judgement, no assumptions mind-set. The good news is that it is pretty simple to be and stay neutral, but it does require extensive amounts of acceptance, patience, devotion and focus.
By strengthening, developing and refining these qualities of your mind you’ll be re-conditioning your mental capabilities. Your perception will change and expand. Your power of reasoning will sharpen up. Creativity will increase, and slowly but surely the “hidden world of possibilities” that was previously out of your range will start appearing and bringing new depth and sense of quality in your everyday life.
All off that activated by conscious and continued use of one simple question that separates the reality of facts and the your made up reality of illusion. The one and only question- IS IT ?