For Real: The Transforming Power of Living in Reality

Michelle Jones's picture

There are a few things that I would love to change about the laws that seem to govern the universe.  In my alternate reality, kale would taste like chocolate, and I’d have the ability to be about six places at one time.  I’d sing like Adele, and, of course, be paid to shop.
 
My alternate reality would be deprived of some elements that are less fantasy-oriented in nature.  My niece wouldn’t have to confront the growing pains of those tricky junior high years.  My friends longing for a child wouldn’t have to endure the battle and questions of infertility.  Relational chaos between co-workers, friends, and spouses would never occur, and the darker parts of myself – the parts I strive so hard to disregard or hide, simply wouldn’t exist. 
 
 
How often do I ignore or dismiss reality simply because I wish things were different?  Simply because I fear facing the truth?  Simply because if that longing/problem/fear/dream/conflict doesn’t exist, I don’t have to walk through its disappointment or difficulty? 
 
It is tempting to live an illusory life.  To avoid conflict rather than view it as an opportunity to learn and build trust.  To pretend that an addiction is manageable, even when it is sucking the life out of relationships and finances.  To squash hopes rather than acknowledge them and bring them before a God who cares about those things.  To put on an “I’ve got it all together” mask so others won’t witness vulnerability.
 
But shying away from reality is a huge obstacle to whole living.  Oswald Chambers calls the refusal to be disillusioned “the cause of much of the suffering of human life.”  Pretending negates the opportunity to embrace life in the moment, to recognize its joys and pains and one’s particular role in it.  Denial prevents the ability to live truly and authentically, experiencing intimacy with God and others.
 
Disillusionment, in reality, offers great hope, for its definition is to free or deprive of illusion.  Living in reality allows us to live fully.  It allows us to acknowledge, not deny, our hurts and wounds and take those things to God.  It allows us to be authentic, with ourselves and with others.  It allows us to embrace our limits, at the risk of letting others down and shattering the false image of ourselves we seek to promote.  In short, living in reality is the gateway to transformation.
 
For Real.

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