Truth or illusion?

bubble dream © Piotr Stryjewski

„The only ones who get upset when they hear the truth are those who live in a lie.”

I read this phrase and I thought of those people who get upset when someone tells them the naked truth, who prefer to live in self-deception and illusion until they just can’t do this anymore  because reality strikes them painfully.

I'm amazed every time (although I've often went through this) when I hear replies such as "I prefer not to think about it," "even if this is the case, I don’t want to know," "better a nice lie than a tough truth", and then I think what’s the use for people to create their own world, a parallel reality where they live and turn their heads away from the truth?

Yes, I agree with the fact that sometimes there are certain truths that you'd better not know, because if you knew them, something precious, like a long-term functional relationship, would be destroyed. For example, I'm thinking of flirting or even a one-night stand -  if you chose to tell your partner about it, you would cause him a lot of unjustified pain. (It makes no sense to be hypocritical and believe that once we enter into a long-term relationship we transform into saints who don’t look, don’t want, don’t have attempts or even affairs with the opposite sex, but this is what we’ll talk about some other time).

In this sense, in the Arab culture, lying by omission is not considered lying because they consider it more important to protect a person than to tell a truth that wouldn’t be useful, but would cause them much suffering.

However, we all know how "beautifully" people are able to build in their minds an image of themselves and of their life, which they constantly nourish with thoughts that support their illusion and they do that in a conscious manner (or semi-conscious). Any information that conflicts with that image they ignore it or process it quickly in a way that doesn’t affect them and they do that until their scenario collapses. It’s also normal for this to happen... sooner or later the truth always comes out, and at that moment an existential crisis appears in that person's life. Physical and psychosomatic disorders occur, rhetorical questions such as "why it had to happen to me such thing, when everything was just fine?", pain, suffering and struggle also arise until we succeed in  creating a new "reality", perhaps just as illusory.

All these moments of breakdown could be avoided if we choose to accept the truth step by step, instead of deluding ourselves into thinking that things really are the way we want them to be and not how they really are.

Keeping up appearances in front of ourselves or in front of others, diplomacy that sometimes turns into hypocrisy, relating with others wearing masks, misunderstanding politeness, only make us alienate ourselves from others and make us close ourselves in a "bubble" that we want to be protective, but which in time turns into a prison. There are no more interactions based on authenticity, openness, naturalness and truth, but only sterile and superficial interactions as if we were taught what and how to say after a script written by someone. We put a smile on our face, we delude ourselves and we tell others what they want to hear and so we think we have a wonderful life. And apparently we have... for a while. Then the "reality check" comes and strikes us to the ground and it will be harder to gather ourselves together and move on.

Illusion keeps us on a level of emotional maturity similar to that of a child’s who believes in fairy tales, but the truth that we have the courage to look in its face, makes us become conscious, assumed adults who enjoy life exactly as it is, without lies and unnecessary additions. Life is beautiful for a child who doesn’t have the psyche of an adult to look at reality as they do, but also for a person who has the wisdom to want to see the "truth," with all its implications.

I strongly believe that genuine happiness is given by the ability to see things as they are, by the knowledge and the wisdom that you acquire when you want to "see" and not by delusions and illusions that cause in time much more harm than we let ourselves to realize.

My advice is ... choose wisely! Truth or illusion, you are the one who decides how you want to live!

Dr. Ursula Sandner

Photo bubble dream © Piotr Stryjewski


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