Top 7 Benefits of Living in Reality
In our society, living in a fantasy world is becoming easier by the day. We have instant access to video games, gossip, and shopping right in the palms of our hands. Binge-watching tempts like never before. There are six seasons of your favorite series (Downton Abbey) available, with the next episode starting 15 seconds after the last one ends.
We read about staggering increases in suicide, drug addiction, prison population, bankruptcy, divorce, pornography addiction, and sex trafficking. These statistics indicate that living in a fantasy world is becoming more and more of a reality.
When our salary doesn’t cover the lifestyle we desire, conflict with those we love seems to be on spin cycle. Our challenges at work seem beyond our control, and it is easy to step out of facing the reality of our current circumstances. Facing reality means facing the truth, which can be painful. It can feel like we don’t know how to face the facts of our circumstances. We let ourselves down, make mistakes, hurt people we love, and fear what is ahead. The ache inside seems too agonizing to deal with, so we work to numb it by escaping into a fantasy world where things feel better, and we are the hero. Our fantasy world is tempting because it offers us a temporary "feel good."
What we cannot see is that the more time we spend in our fantasy world, the more painful our reality becomes.
While nothing is wrong with the things listed below in moderation, the damage is done when we turn to them to avoid what we don’t want to face. Here are a few of the ways we escape and the brief "feel good" we find:
Scrolling Social Media - we feel superior to others, catch the latest gossip, or live vicariously through others people’s experiences.
Phone Games - we feel “good” as we beat our opponent.
Binge Watching - we live in the fantasy of the hero in the series.
Binge Shopping - we live like money has no limits.
Video Games - we become the hero as we dominate and overcome obstacles.
Over Eating - life feels good according to our taste buds.
Drinking - the buzz dilutes the pain of reality.
Workaholic - client approval feels good and winning the war at work is sometimes easier than winning at home.
The opposite of escaping from reality is being present in it. By facing what is actually there, we can gain powerful insight and shift our circumstances. For most of my life, I was unaware that the insight, resources, and new possibilities I so desperately needed were available in my time of need. I didn’t believe I had what it took to succeed or was worthy of good things in life. So, the more painful my reality got, the more I felt I was getting what I deserved.
I have never been happier to find I was completely wrong! There is so much available and possible when I face reality, one moment at a time.
Here are my top seven, favorite benefits gained by living present in reality:
Develop Your Character - As we face the obstacles in our lives, we grow in integrity, honesty, courage, loyalty, fortitude, and other important virtues that promote healthy behavior and habits. Our challenges are not meant to destroy us, but rather grow us as we face them. Here is a list of the many positive character traits waiting to be developed through your difficulties.
Gain Intimacy in Relationship - Intimacy is grown in honesty and vulnerability. Facing the reality of conflict in our relationship by being present with what is there is a daily opportunity to develop the key ingredients for intimacy between our loved ones and us. The challenges are not meant to tear us apart, but to draw us together in a deeply powerful way.
Get to Know Yourself Better - When living in my fantasy world, it is easy to assume I am lazy, unintelligent, and irresponsible as my current reality seems to get the best of me. Yet, when I choose to be present, I find that I am not the person I feared I was. Much the opposite is true. As I commit to being whom I need to be to live the life I long for, I find that I am unique and equipped to live my life. Getting to know myself is an adventure that brings me to authenticity and a new level of curiosity to grow in who I am.
Produce Unprecedented Results - When I face the truth of my circumstances, I take one step at a time towards the life I long for. I become aware of how I am getting in my own way. My intuition becomes louder, and I know what I need to do. With each step I take, results I never thought possible begin to become my reality. The unprecedented results I have produced in my marriage, my business, my finances, my health, and enjoyment of life all began by being present in my reality and choosing something new.
Hope of New Possibilities - A daily dose of hope is a powerful resource that keeps us inspired and ready to face tomorrow. As I face the uncomfortable in my reality, I embrace humility and invite others into what is real for me. Just as I find that I am not who I thought I was, I discover new possibilities waiting for me in relationships with other people. When the resources I need aren’t within me, the people around me become agents for new possibilities opening up.
Make a Significant Impact - We long to make a difference with our daily efforts. Changing the world and leaving a legacy beyond our lifetime are what each of us has the opportunity to do. The people in history who made a difference all faced some very challenging situations and left a resounding testimony of what can occur when we present ourselves in reality by showing up and embracing it.
Addictions Decreases - $35 billion per year are spent in America alone on substance abuse recovery programs. Along the road to recovery, facing the reality that the addict originally began numbing is essential to their freedom. No matter how severe our addiction to a numbing agent is, the more we choose to be present in our reality, the less we need to numb. The healing, strength, and growth we gain are life-giving and the need to numb becomes less enticing.
Living, in Reality, is where the life we really long for is found. It is full of rewards that go far beyond the seven I have listed above.
If your current reality seems too painful to be present in, is it helpful to realise that the sooner you get present, the more quickly that pain will turn to joy and a new future you haven’t experienced? I promise.
Would you share what comes up for you as you think about breaking free from your fantasy world today and stepping into reality?