Back to reality.

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Over the last few months I’ve had this realisation: I don’t like reality. Now when I say that, what I’m really saying is my body doesn’t seem to like it. In theory, who wouldn’t want to live in the moment every day, relishing every experience and squeezing every bit out that life has to offer?

The truth of it is, not me. This is what I’ve noticed about myself.

Look, I’ve always been a fairly optimistic person in life. I have been blessed enough to have a minimally traumatic run. Obviously, I’ve had my share of rubbish and issues, but don’t we all? Most of the time, I get quite excited over life. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I began to notice a change.

Do you remember getting all excited over Santa delivering presents at Christmas, until that year you realise it’s just your mum and dad? The magic of butterflies in your tummy with your first kiss and ten years later, you’re still kissing, but there’s no butterflies. The excitement of driving your car by yourself the very first time you get your licence, then getting into the seat of the car for the fifth time that day years later to run your kids somewhere. The moments seem the same but the emotion that goes with them creates memories that last a lifetime. Good or bad.

It’s like the older you get, the more it takes to evoke an emotion to link to moments you’d like to have, or even the moments you couldn’t care less about, like some advertisement on TV that made you cry because something sad happened (I know the girls will understand).

I’ve realised I’ve ended up on this road of life, feeling like my heart’s going down a different road. My experience and my reality are not the same.

I’m just hoping I can make the two meet up again down the track and not check out of the reality of my life.

It’s like Peter Pan, the boy who never wanted to grow up. Part of me can identify with this. Who wouldn’t want to live having all the fun and no responsibility? Part of my ability to cope with life is to try to relax and separate myself from the reality of the situation that needs my attention, as much as I can. I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

I believe there is a God and I try to do the best I can to know Him. I do spend time praying and reading my bible, so why can’t I deal with this obvious problem, emotional disconnect from reality? Maybe because when it comes down to it, I don’t really want to deal with heart stuff. I don’t want to really hear what God has to say about it. What if it is painful to hear? What if I have to get a bit of discipline and responsibility in my life?

Living in reality means wounds and wounds hurt. I can even name a few and am aware that I need to deal with them, but somehow by naming them I’ve used that as an excuse, for actually going deeper and dealing with it.

It’s like saying “wow, my leg’s broken,” and then not doing anything about it. To fix it, you decide you can just sit down and not walk on it. This may seem an answer to the issue in the moment, and truthfully, in the long term it will most likely heal. Just not how it should. You won’t feel the immediate pain anymore, but when you walk, you walk with a limo.

The passage that comes to mind is Proverbs 4: 20-27.
My child, pay attention to what I say.
Listen carefully to my words.
Don’t lose sight of them.
Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
for they bring life to those who find them,
and healing to their whole body.
Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
Avoid all perverse talk;
stay away from corrupt speech.
Look straight ahead,
and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
Mark out a straight path for your feet;
stay on the safe path.
Don’t get sidetracked;
keep your feet from following evil.

It’s all about paying attention to God and His word and keeping it in your Heart. I note that the most important message of wisdom was to “Above all else Guard your heart, for everything flows from it.”
Right – everything flows from it. So I needed some serious change of heart.

I’ve always looked at that verse and assumed that it was about protecting it from others, bad situations or issues that happen. However, on reflection, I think guarding your heart has more to do with how you think, feel or respond to situations. You’re the keeper of your heart and you, and only you, can allow what stays in there to colour it. You absolutely cannot stop what life throws at you, but you absolutely can decide how you’re going to process and move through it, allowing what will go, and what will stay to shape your life. So annoying, honestly, right there, is a reality of life I don’t feel like doing. Even as I write this it seems hard.

But in all my dislike, I am grown up enough to know that in the long term this would do me well. Like eating healthy. Doing exercise… All sounds okay, until you have to do it and you don’t feel like it!

I have had this light bulb moment of realisation: if you don’t deal with your “heart stuff,” you won’t have the emotional energy or right frame of mind going on to appreciate the moment in the moment, which is reality, for what it is.

Frankly I’m tired of this mismatch. I think it time to take a look, and be willing to not feel so good, while I sort out my heart.

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