Escaping reality and immersing into fantasy. Living and breathing a fantasy world.
Is it easier to exist somewhere other than your real life?
Is that a healthy place to live?
What does it mean if we’re running away from our reality?
Many of us choose to escape from our real life and go on vacation every year. Vacation is great and much needed, but what if we chose to live our lives where we felt every day had some vacation in it? What if when we went away, we went to explore and see things and expand ourselves, versus getting away from our real lives?
These thoughts are brought to you by the newly released movie, ‘Ready Player One’. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend it.
As I was watching this movie, I was deeply saddened. In the movie, everyone plugged themselves into a virtual reality game every day. They each had an avatar they had created for themselves and they would solve puzzles and travel to different worlds within this game universe. They were escaping their lives, pretending to be someone else, living in this video game.
This made me so sad.
I feel really really blessed to be who I am and where I am, yet I know there are so many people out there who have much harsher realities than I have ever had. They deal with a lot more hardship and pain on a regular basis. So, for them, I thought, isn’t it better that they get to escape their reality and head off to a virtual fantasy world, where they can build a whole new life and existence? Isn’t it better that they get to feel good about themselves, or have more of what they always imagined or dreamed of? Isn’t less pain better? Isn’t joy better? Even if it’s based on a fake premise?
But, is it real joy? Is it actually better? Or do they know deep down, this is a mirage, this isn’t really real? And, does that then make it less joyful?
I don’t know.
I sat with that for a while.
I felt very conflicted.
I’ve learned, more recently, that pain teaches me so much. Pain allows me to feel joy. Most of us live our lives too scared to feel joy, yet we chase it. When joy allows itself to be caught, we throw it back and run away because we think we are cursed, or it will disappear into thin air as if it’s teasing us because we can’t really have it.
Then I realized, we also spend a lot of our lives running. Running from pain, running from joy, running from being with ourselves, running from real conversations. Why?
Why so much running?
We all want inner peace, world peace, calm, more love, more fun, yet, the things we need to do or face to truly feel them for real for real, we run from. It makes no sense.
I agree that we all have our own demons, some are bigger and badder than others, but to each of us, it’s a similar version. It’s scary to feel things because we often feel that feeling will drown us or take us out and then we won’t be able to cope. So, we continue our existence in this half reality, half fantasy, not really accepting what really is, so we don’t have to face it and at the same time, staying miserable because of what really is and not changing anything.
So, what’s our option?
This movie showed me how in the virtual reality they’d created, it had elements of what people really wanted to feel in real life but instead in this fantasy world. Toward the end of the movie, they started to see that they were actually losing themselves by being in this fantasy place all the time. Once they decided to take off their virtual gear, they figured out that being present and deal with what is, was worth so much more. They then began to open up to let some of that virtual fantasy go.
Facing pain can be hard.
I’ve learned how to sit with my pain. It used to be a really really deep, debilitating pain that would consume me and wrap its tentacles around me for days, weeks, months, years at a time. I didn’t do it all alone. I asked for help. Every day I sat with it a little bit more, and every day it felt seen and heard and started to pass. Every day I made a choice to accept and love where I was even if it angered and saddened me at times too.
What is pain, anyway?
For me, it’s more the fear of pain. The fear of feeling. I’m afraid of feeling?! I don’t think I’d be successful at life if I let this fear of feeling have power over me.
I let my fear tell me what’s important. I let my fear tell me where the light was. I let my fear hold me until I chose to hold myself.
Honestly, I think humans are so smart. I think we could find reasons to dislike or be unsatisfied with anything if we put our minds to it. We talk about these big dreams that we want, so we can do these things or buy these things but really, we aren’t happy once we get them. Not really. We can just as easily put our minds to work to really love and accept where we are and what we have. We can really play and be curious to find little silver linings and gratitude in everything around us. Ironically, that’s what will lead us to our joy, to our dreams and to the life we’ve been chasing and running from.
Stop running (unless it’s for a marathon or exercise) and start sitting and being with yourself a little bit every day.
I invite you to: