2003-11-07 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

by Marilyn Gelfand
The Inner Voice by Marilyn Gelfand

I have often said how important it is to face reality rather than live in a thought of illusion. Someone recently asked me why not live in a fantasy world? What’s the difference? I have found in my own life that when I have expectations that are my own creation, and things don’t work out the way I wished, I suffer, almost mourn, the death of my illusions. It is just easier living when we can recognize that people are the way that they are by choice, that others see the world differently, that most don’t change willingly since they are happy with the way things are for them.

When we can accept reality as it is, then much of our resistance lessens. Fatigue or sickness is often the result of our own resistance to accept reality. Once we accept reality and flow with it, we can create any fantasies around that because we can recognize them as fantasies. We know that they do not represent how things are, but they are our preferences, if possible. We always have to remember to not take ourselves too seriously. Often humor and stepping back from a situation help in coping with changes as they occur. Being able to say, "Here we go again!" is a lot less stressful than being angry that life is out of my control.

Other people may have emotional reactions to situations and people, and we must be careful not to absorb what the other is feeling. I don’t have to suffer because I want the world differently. If someone else is, I can know that that’s his choice if he refuses to let go of how he wants it. I can accept that someone chooses to complain about life, and still I can be happy in the same situation. There is no need to feel guilty about looking for fun or enjoyment when others see the world differently. If I keep living for the reactions of others, my life will be over, and then I will get disappointed when the other doesn’t do the same when I feel upset. It’s like the serenity prayer says..accept what we can’t change, and change what we can and want to bring about.

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