Disillusionment as a Blessing

“We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.”

~Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter

Despite truthfulness being essential for an authentic life, we can deceive ourselves in innumerable ways. All to often we buffer ourselves from disappointment, unhappiness, and pain by avoiding things, not showing up in our lives, or lying to ourselves. But does putting your head in the sand really work?

Possibly you’re just not happy with your job, your partner, or your life, but changing would require too much effort and lead to an uncertain future. Your security is worth settling for less of a life, you tell yourself.

Maybe you drink a bit too much or get stoned every night or smoke cigarettes, and you tell yourself you could stop any time. Yet you haven’t yet, but you will, later. You can trash the days of your life, and get away with it in the end, you believe.

That recurring pain you’ve been feeling in your left side – sometimes you awaken at night in a cold sweat for fear it’s cancer. Yet you never do call the doctor in the morning. You still sleep beneath the teenage spell of seeming immortality.

Perhaps you think that you can lead a nation by calling a depression “the Great Recession” and incurring more national debt in order to reduce the national debt, because like Nazi propaganda minister Goebbels you believe a lie told often enough becomes the people’s truth.

Yet despite apparent invincibility, the Nazi war machine ended in ruin. Moreover people do die from untended illness, lives sometimes are wasted, and too many persons later regret a life not lived. Why? Because to paraphrase Ayn Rand, you can’t evade the truth forever. Life just doesn’t work that way. Truth is life-affirming, and evading truth is life-denying. You can’t fool Mother Nature.

The dictionary defines an “illusion” as a false idea, a false belief, or a false perception. If I am dis – illusioned, then life has purged from me an idea, belief, or perception which was false. It could be something as simple as puncturing a cherished, but false self-image. Although it is painful to be disillusioned, living in illusion eventually brings greater pain.

If disillusionment dispels the false, then it reveals the true. Therefore for lovers of truth and persons who wish to become more authentic, to be disillusioned is to be blessed by truth.

How might you be avoiding something, not showing up in your life, or lying to yourself? Is it really worth it?


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