There comes a point in life when you realize that things have changed, that things are changing, and that things need to change.

You know, those moments in life where you promised you’d never allow yourself to feel the pain you feel at that time ever again? The moments you told yourself you’d never let someone get close enough to hurt you like this again?  I think we all know these moments all too well. I definitely do. As tough as it seems, it’s in these times that we have to allow ourselves to hurt again. Why? Because we learn a great deal from something that is so subtle, yet so intense.

In these familiar, harrowing stretches of setback or sadness, we relentlessly ask ourself how we have failed.

We search our brains for what piece of us, inside or out, has become defective. We go over it constantly, replaying the past hour, the past day, the past month, and sometimes even the past year(s) just trying to pinpoint where we first went wrong that led us to this unrelenting anguish.

When we come to terms with these indisputable realizations in our lives we are confronted with some really harsh truths. Truths that quietly awaken in our soul, emerging in an intuitive way – unaggressive, yet adamant in such a way that only truth can be. It’s an understanding that begins and ends in a single moment, yet generates our past pain, experiences, and fears back in the spotlight of our minds.

It’s the type of learning that expands from the inside out, distorting our views, and creating our ‘unsteady illusions’.

It sounds a bit abstract and impractical, but it’s a truth that runs steady through the things that seem to matter most to us. The wounds that literally and metaphorically become cut open, killed, or left to either revive themselves or sit in the gutted life we created.

This is where the battle between our head and our heart begins.

I can rarely pinpoint the exact cause of these discoveries, but it is something I think evades complete explanation because it’s not a single event, but many events that have arrived to the surface all at once, causing us to want to just escape from the world.

This is where we see everything so simple and so clear in our minds, yet so corrupt and polluted in our hearts. It’s the moments that keep us up at night causing us to create every unimaginable scenario of how a situation is going to unfold.

What if the triggers that cause these feelings are all just illusions of who we are or distorted perspectives of who we want to be?

I believe that when disconnected from who we really are, we are closed off to the infinite possibilities that are always available to us and instead caught in a riptide of addicting, limited, and fearful thinking that detain us from feeling anything but fear of what is beyond our control.

There’s a difference between what something is and what we think it is.

There’s a contrast between the perceptions people around us see and the illusions we create in our own minds. I know, it sounds abstract and impractical, but it’s a truth that runs steady through the veins of what matter most to us.

We don’t just get over the loss of someone just because they’re gone, we learn to move forward from the loss when we overcome the illusion that we still have to grieve. We don’t just wake up one day and start loving ourselves, we start realizing that the reasons we didn’t before were false ideologies. We compare ourselves to others to craft these ideas, we narrate our lives through the minds of others because the illusion of their perception, when we create it in our minds, is one we think we can control.

We create illusions because we feel a need for them.

We feel a need to control the uncontrollable. When we can make ourselves believe that someone else’s perception of reality aligns with ours, we find a fictitious calmness and belonging. We have unsteady ground on which we can finally rest, but see, that’s the problem.

When the illusion isn’t truth, the two will eventually collide.

Illusions just limit us. The comfort dwindles and discord arises and we find ourselves anxious with what used to be normal and irrationally upset with why we feel anxious. We go to war with these illusions. If we let it go on for too long we start destroying our physical self, because it’s easier to kill a man than a ghost. 

It’s impossible to let go of the things that only exist in our mind. The only thing we can do is be aware that they exist. The only thing we can do is ask the questions, challenge the beliefs, and put assumptions and certainties on the table to dismantle them.

The greatest secret of life is realizing that the illusions of our own and the perceptions of others are not a part of us.

These anomalies aren’t natural. As easy as the illusion was created, it can be destroyed. If we don’t become aware you end up living in the deception that others have created for us. We’ll learn to call that reality and it will hold us back from experiencing all we have to offer.

The courage to destroy the illusion the world constantly tries to shape us is in is the fundamental root of self-empowerment

After mentally rehashing other’s perceptions of me to the point of insanity, I have come to realize that perception does not define reality. If someone is tearing you down, know it doesn’t make them stronger. If someone points out your negative flaws, their attributes don’t shine any brighter.

At the end of the day, we’re all human. I have learned to allow the destructive people paint me in whatever color they choose. It takes being self-assured and incredibly strong to tune out and block the lies, rumors, or negativity being targeted at us.

Finally, wisdom comes from knowing that others perception about you is not reality

You can be yourself or you can be what others perceive you to be. At the end of the day, neither will matter to those who have already painted you in the color they choose to see. You can either destroy the unsteady illusions or bring life to them.

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