You have to be careful of deluding yourself too much, because many depressions come from an excessive illusion
and expectations that, by not being met, can disappoint you and generate a lot of pain.
I include myself in that statement.
An important distinction
I’d like to clarify the difference between imagining and deluding oneself.
It can be hard to explain, so I’ll try to explain myself as best as I can:
- To imagine is to visualize a stage, a goal, a wish, a dream, etc. It’s to create a mental image in which you associate certain feelings to specific situations. Until then, and this is the most important thing, let go of that image.
This “letting go” happens in the imagination, and it means that if things don’t happen as you imagined them, it’s ok, because you’re just trying to focus your mind.
- To delude is to hold on to the hope that things are or will be EXACTLY as you thought them. And you base your joy on that image, even if the truth is completely opposite to your illusion. Illusions can be self-deceptive.
When you deceive yourself, believing that things are as they AREN’T, and then open your eyes and notice the truth, can suffer a strong disappointment.
Different paths for the mind and reality
This is the fundamental problem that comes from deluding oneself too much.
For example, something happens in your life (your reality), it makes you very happy, such as a new job, a boyfriend, the birth of a child … something that excites you.
And so far, everything’s ok.
Your mind starts to delude itself with a future that still HASN’T happened.
And it starts imagining things that may NEVER happen.
For instance, you get a new job, which you think will make you feel complete.
This excites you and makes you very happy.
Then, without even having started, your mind wonders into the things you’ll do in the future:
- You’ll be able to work on a subject that fascinates you
- You’ll be able to do different things
- It will be a creative job
- You’ll feel like you’re doing your best
and bit by bit you start writing a movie in your mind about something that you can’t really know.
The day arrives and you start working and everything you thought and which had excited you is reduced to a routine work.
A mechanical work.
This reality clashes strongly with the “illusion” that you had created.
And, because you’re not living your “illusion”, you fall into a sort of reluctance, discouragement, disappointment and disillusionment, because you didn’t realize that your illusion was just a mental construct, it means, an invented reality.
I’m not saying you should never delude yourself, but to be able to let your imagination lose, you need to rely on your experience.
This means, are you excited because of what is actually happening in your life?
Because you need to be able to balance your illusion and your reality.
Because one thing is imagining a future, and projecting the things you want in it, and a very different one is for your mind to create a certain future and, for the disappointment of not getting it, fall into a depression.
Getting your hopes up with the “perfect man”
Let’s see another example of deluding yourself too much:
Think for a moment that you meet someone you like, and you go out a few times.
After 4 or 5 dates, you start creating a movie in which “that man” is “the man of your dreams”, your “Prince Charming”, and your mind starts to wonder.
After going out 5 times (or even less), you’ start deluding yourself with the house you’ll live in, the children you’ll have… In short, you’re creating a life with a person you don’t even know.
You’re excited about a reality that DOESN’T exists, your mind and all your positive feelings are based on this illusion, which ISN’T real.
And of course,
What happens when the reality isn’t on par with the fiction that you‘ve written for yourself?
Has this ever happened to you?
It did to me.
1. The skyscraper
Now let’s use a graphic example that will be easier to understand.
Imagine you’re walking down the street and see a skyscraper.
You’re curious, so you decide to go in and take the elevator.
You’re determined to reach the top floor.
Your “illusion” tells you that when you get there, you’ll be super happy (when you get that job, that relationship, that project…).
So, you take the elevator and start going up. (or, in other words, you start deluding yourself)
When you’re on the 78th floor, you realize that you’re alone.
- Why are you alone?
- Where is that interesting man you met?
- Where are all those possibilities to advance in your career?
- What happened with that common project you had with your friends?
Then, your disappointment, deception or fall from the 78th floor… will definitely hurt.
But let’s analyze this situation a bit more:
Who pushed the top floor button?
Did you check with your reality, if what you projected was actually happening?
Was that interesting man or woman willing to go to the top floor with you?
Was that work or project really helping you?
If not, this was all in your mind… and you’ll have to “suffer” the disappointment, deception and disillusion.
So I repeat:
Beware of deluding yourself too much!
Because you could’ve avoided that blow if, instead of deluding yourself, you’d have checked or measure, if you were really getting what you wanted from life, or if it just a figment of your imagination.
I know it isn’t easy.
There’s people who tend to delude themselves, but it’s important to keep our feet on the ground and get in touch with reality.
2. The balloon
Another graphic example, though it’s basically the same:
You get on a hot air balloon and start going up
Your mind flies,
you delude yourself,
see everything pink,
and you get higher and higher.
Then, there comes a moment when you realize: you’re alone in your balloon.
How is this possible?
- Where’s that person you met some weeks ago?
- Where did he go that you didn’t even realize?
And you may feel spectacular for a moment.
But tell me something:
Who else got on the balloon?
Think about it.
- And who started deluding herself without checking if that other person was still with her?
How to avoid falls?
When I ask you to be careful about deluding yourself too much, I’m just telling you that you can avoid suffering falls, if you balance your mind, and match your illusion with your reality.
And that means that BEFORE DELUDING YOURSELF TOO MUCH, you have to be able to see what’s really going on in your life.
If your expectations match your reality, great, there’s no problem in deluding yourself with WHAT’S HAPPENING TO YOU.
But you have to avoid your illusions form reaching the clouds, or what still HASN’T HAPPENED TO YOU.