“It’s only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are without any self-deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events by which the path to success may be recognized.” I Ching
Naked, undiluted reality can be a harsh or even bitter foe in confronting the conditions and challenges of our everyday life. On a global level, wars, natural disasters, disease, famine, political turmoil and terrorism can “take a toll on our soul” as we search for meaning by asking “why” things have to be this way.
On a personal level, the economy, our financial circumstance, illness, moments of family trials and turmoil and even routine disappointments can cause us to seek an escape to a better “reality” through fantasy, distraction, or simple denial.
I’ve shucked and ducked “reality” more times than I care to share or admit, even to myself. It’s a human reaction but it doesn’t have to be our only mechanism for maintaining our mental sanity and emotional stability.
“Reality” can also be a joyous recognition and embodiment of the beauty that surrounds our everyday existence–love, kindness, caring, sharing, and the opportunity for growth and achievement. The chance to make the world and the reality in which we live a better place. The opportunity to pursue our passions and our personal bliss.
Both realities exists within us and within the world. Our ability to shift our attention to what we focus on is an important coping mechanism or even an element to change our perception of the reality of “what is.”
But before we can find our way in the world that exists and create a true and lasting reality in our lives we want–we must first face “what is” before moving onto what could and can be.
Looking only at the “good” while ignoring the “bad” might be a formula for short-term pleasure and pacification. Lasting happiness and meaning, however, can only come through recognizing the full reality in which we are while moving toward what reality we’d rather have and accept.
Subjective reality allows us to make sense of and give meaning to what already exists or what’s already happened. We can make up our mind to be happy, to be positive, and to focus only on the “good” we see in the world. However, a made up mind is often blind–that same “positive” subjectiveness can often confine us to tolerating things only as they “are” while ignoring other possibilities as to what they could be.
Ayn Rand is quoted as saying, “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.”
Objective reality is the ability to observe not only what was, what is, and what will be if we’re willing to shine “our light” on the path to success as we define it. It means we have the courage not to ignore that which we don’t want to see or to face. It means we’re open to other possibilities and perceptions about what’s going on in the world, in our lives, and within ourselves.
“Transformation begins with a willingness to let go of who and what we were.”
We can only change ourselves and the world through impartial and unprejudiced thinking separating what “is” from what and how we’d like things to be. Seek out dissenting opinions and differing perspectives about reality as you see it. Challenge your assumptions and beliefs by searching for contrasting conversations and counterexamples.
Let’s be clear–I’m not advocating we argue for our “limitations” and liabilities. On the contrary; I am encouraging everyone to be an advocate of their own potentials and possibilities through an unbiased eye seeing what we have to do different in order to be different and have different.
It takes courage to be a “realist” but it doesn’t mean we can’t be visionaries and creators of our future and new realities.
It simply begins with looking into our own eyes and heart and saying, “here’s where I am, here’s what exists, here’s what I want instead, and here’s what I’m willing to do to change it”– STARTING NOW
Tags: courage, challenges, reality, circumstances, opportunity, passion, existence, growth, achievement, perception, mechanism, pacification, happiness, meaning, subjectiveness, possibilities, objective, transformation, limitations, liabilities.