This is a guest post from Vernon Layne, another winner of our #BloggerSupport Guest Post Giveaway. He is very passionate about sharing his stories and insights with others. In his post today he takes us through what it means to have an illusion, he shares some truths about it and what one can do to live in reality. Here now is Vernon..
I’ve always been fascinated by illusionist and my favorite; David Copperfield. When he made the Statue of Liberty disappear I sat in front of the television shocked then wondered how did he do it. I became determined to find out.
I discovered the trick wasn’t in making the Statue disappear; it was in turning the chosen participants and the television cameras on a platform away from the Statue. Both the participants and the millions watching from their homes had a good view of the Statue of Liberty through fixed curtains when they were open.
But when the curtains closed the platform slowly turned and when they reopened the Statue was gone. With two sets of lights, one on the Statue and another set beside the Statue, it was no more than turning lights on and off. Then they added some smoke and you could see a helicopter hovering shining its lights over the empty area. The Statue of Liberty appeared to have disappeared— creating an illusion.
What is An Illusion?
Webster’s New World Dictionary and Thesaurus describes an illusion as a false idea or conception and as an unreal or misleading appearance or image.
We know Dave Copperfield uses misleading appearances as part of his acts, but what about false ideas? We all have ideas so how does someone’s idea becomes an illusion?
During my research I learned that there’s a close relation between sensation and perception, perception and illusion.
We have sensory receptor in our bodies that detects different things like smell, pain, sound and temperatures that sends signals to our brain. The brain receives these as sensations.
The way the brain interprets sensations is called perception but it don’t always interpret them correctly. Memories, beliefs and other things can influence the brain’s perception of these sensations causing it to become distorted and causing it to develop a false idea or illusion.
That’s why it’s hard to argue with a person whose perception is distorted because to them it’s their reality.
We all can be illusionist at any given moment. Just like David Copperfield slowly turned his participants away from what was real, we too can slowly turn away from reality when we justify, deny and rationalize the truth.
12 Truths About Living In an Illusion
Here are twelve common truths that you’re living in an illusion:
1. You see the present through your past. Your past plays an important role in your life. It’s there to teach you what you could have done differently or what you need to continue doing. THAT’S ALL. It’s not there for wallowing in or condemnation. We fall short of His Glory so it’s important you learn to give yourself a break. Let go of your past and not become its prisoner then it will be easier for you to put things in its proper perspective.
2. You believe you can control things that are uncontrollable. Stop trying to control people and situations. One of life’s most important lessons is learning to give up the illusion of control. You may wonder how you suppose to give that up, but the fact is you were never in control. The moment you think you’re in control is the moment you’re out of control.
3. You only see the bad in yourself and others. If you ask someone to list things about themselves most will list liabilities. People have a hard time seeing the good within themselves. Not finding the good in you makes it impossible to see the good in others.
That’s why it’s important to take a complete self-assessment and list your access along with your liabilities and accept what you find. When you do this everyone wins. You win because you begin to grow and others win because they are encouraged to grow from watching you.
4. You believe everything you feel and think. Imagine being judged inaccurately by two people who don’t know you. Believing everything you feel and think is just like listening to two people gossip. Your feelings aren’t facts. Don’t believe everything you think and feel because they can influence you to make unwise decisions. Learn to make decisions from facts and not feeling.
5. You search for fulfillment through things. The only person you can’t run away from is yourself. There’s nothing wrong with trying to get things in life but don’t lose yourself in the process by not understanding why you’re doing it. When the chase for things becomes more important than your family and your health, then it’s a destructive rush that’s causing harm. Most of the time you’re trying to fill a void or block a feeling when you’re searching for fulfillment in things.
6. Your self-worth comes from social media. All your life you wanted to belong and fit in, so you spend a lot of time on social media– yet never quite measuring up. The more likes you get the better you feel. The reality you need to hear and afraid to admit is when you’re not getting those likes you think you should be getting, you feel down almost depressed. Depending on social media to feel relevant is an illusion many people believe.
7. You think your happiness is your mate’s responsibility. It’s not fair to your mate when you expect them to be responsible for your happiness. They’re there to add to your happiness. It’s your responsibility to see that you’re happy. It’s not healthy and it doesn’t work when one partner isn’t responsible for his own feeling, thoughts and actions. A healthy relationship is when a couple can grow in unity while at the same time growing as individuals, so take ownership of your own happiness.
8. You’re convinced everything supposed to go your way. Self-centeredness is at the core of self-deception. It can create an illusion that you’re right and the world is wrong base on a feeling or an idea. You began to see yourself as a victim. Understand that everyone experiences life challenges and that you’re not the only one. To see things clearly bring your attitude in line with reality.
9. You think you don’t need help. Most people, myself included, believed at some point in their life that they could do it all by themselves. This kind of thinking doesn’t work very well. The only guarantee you will get is being frustrated and exhausted.
We are here to help and support one another. Your life will be enhanced when you’re able to see people as a gift from God. Take the time and get to know the gifts God have given you by learning to trust others, reaching out to others, and admitting your need for others.
10. You believe you can’t change. It’s important to examine this false belief because it may not be yours. You could have picked it up from your parents. I know this may sound a little harsh but some parents tell their children self-defeating things. Not all illusions come from you. Some are created by others.
11. You think your success is because of the work you’ve done. Don’t become a legend in your own mind. As you begin to experience success in life it’s important to give credit where credit is due. Selfishly claiming what belongs to God is the quickness way to lose it all. Pride usually comes before the fall so give the Glory to God.
12. You feel you’re alone. I call this the ultimate illusion. The next time you’re by yourself look around you. Feel the air. Go outside and watch the squirrels chase each other. Look up and see the clouds move gracefully. God’s presence is all around you. You are never alone.
Foolish dreamers live in a world of illusion; wise realist plant their feet on the ground (Proverbs 14:18..MSG).
HOW DO YOU LIVE IN REALITY?
Living in reality is a life-long process that starts with truth. The truth about self.
William Shakespeare says it best with his famous quote, “To thine own self be true.”
Planting your feet on the ground is a continual process of ego-deflation, removing masks and letting go. It’s developing a new vision and finding a new path to a better life and to a better you.
You no longer will believe everything is about you. You no longer will live in a world of illusion. To reach this destination, however, you must first be willing to tell yourself the truth.
DO I BELIEVE EVERYTHING I FEEL AND THINK?
HOW DO I RESPOND TO LIFE’S OBSTACLES?
photos courtesy: Freedigitalphotos.net
You can find Vernon at his blog: Self Reflection