The Burden Of Fantasy
Self-Compassion is our greatest remedy for fantasy. Of course, on its face, there is nothing particularly wrong with fantasy. It can be a nice vacation from our problems, and real world dilemmas. However, when we find ourselves dipping into it one time too many, the issue becomes clear. We are becoming surer, by the day, that we will not get what we need, nor are we worthy of it.
By your very existence, you merit freedom from suffering, and love. All people hope to be free from suffering, and all people hope for love. Selfishly, if they want it for themselves, they have to want it for you. So, if all these people want us to find love and ease, why do we feel so stressed and unloved sometimes?
Separating Fantasy From Reality
Part of it is television, movies, and social media. They portray this idyllic family or couple that never fight, and are always finding the humor in things, who do not misjudge each other, or wrongly place blame, and hurt, or who never feel self-conscious and frustrated with themselves. These people do not actually exist. However our wish to not suffer is so great that we find ourselves making them up, or buying into it when other people do.
The other part of it is that sometimes we suffer so much that we hope for the diametrical opposite of our experience. If we are sad a lot, we hope to be infinitely happy. If we are confused a lot, we hope to be infinitely wise. If we feel bored on a consistent basis, then we hope to be the most interesting person in the world. You get the point.
So, social media and suffering cause us to develop these fantasies, which initially help us feel better, and fill us full of hope. Yet, they are also silently persuading us that we need them to be happy. Listen. If fantasies were possible, then we could call them realities. So, pursuing them will certainly lead to failure. That failure might be ok, if it did not convince you that you needed fantasy to be complete.
Pulling Gratitude And Self-Compassion Out Of Reality
You are already complete. If you changed absolutely nothing, you would still be worthy of love, kindness, and the interest of others. There will never be anyone like you because the history, moments, people, the universe, and pure destiny that went into your origin cannot be bottled or repeated.
So, we need to take care of the you that we have got. If you talk a lot, then those of us who do not want to talk so much should be thankful. If you are beautiful, then those of us that do not want so much attention should be thanking you. If you are quiet, those of us who talk a lot should thank you for the opportunity to talk, and if you do not dwell in your beauty, those of us who find resilience in dwelling a little bit longer on our physical appearance should thank you for allowing it.
This gratitude will give you compassion for yourself and others. It will free you from believing that you need your fantasies to feel such love, and understanding. It will give you more patience for your flaws, and more appreciation for your strengths. It will also be a stark reminder that any other combination of those things would leave the people who love you, and need you with a lot less.
Find time to put your fantasies down, and give yourself permission to appreciate the person that you are, and the person you try so hard to be. Let your effort, and your humanity simply be enough. When this practice becomes challenging (maybe immediately), think of the people, who love you unconditionally, and give them a little credit for having such good taste. Sending you lots of love and compassion.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 157. In The Books.