I’m Delusional and So Are You…

How Can We Achieve More Mental Balance in Our Lives?

Well, balance is the razor-thin edge of a piece of paper and delusion is the paper cut that comes with it.
And everything in-between appears to be a slippery slope, doesn’t it?

Ego is bad, but without it how would we function in this avatar?

Delusions of Grandeur are wrong but if someone doesn’t believe something grand will happen to them, aren’t they then reducing themselves to a powerless victim of circumstance at the mercy of The Universe?

Anger is bad, sadness is bad…but if we repress all of our “bad” emotions what will be the result of that? Pain in the body, silent resentments, disease and feeling like a disingenuous fraud?

The way is in the middle. But what is the middle?

Stay with me, this isn’t going where you think it is.

There is a balance to literally everything in life and that balance is a tightrope as thin as fishing line.

Part of the challenge of our lives is to be able to, in every moment, ask ourselves “Where am I out of balance? What am I lying to myself about? Are these delusions helping me? Are they healthy? Or are they hurting? Can I feel some anger and sadness without spraying like a fire hose? Can I have a personality (ego) without making everything about me?”

We have to constantly check ourselves with an honest openness, seeking out the beneficial and dedicating ourselves to working on the parts that are detrimental.

The problem is most of us walk around totally and completely unchecked by ourselves and others nearly all the time.

We subconsciously seek out people who agree with us and will tell us what we want to hear.

We blame others for the problems in our lives because the notion that we could have anything to do with our own problems is a threat to the ego. And an ego that has taken over and is not in balance will work overtime to stay in charge and silence narratives that do not align with the it’s current comfortable storyline and in addition, it will seek out narratives that do. This is called confirmation bias.

And because of this most of society is in a trance, a state of eternal subservience to the delusions of our egos, subservient to our emotions, subservient to the status quo, subservient to our own toxic patterns.

Refusing to be conscious and aware of our shortcomings is the greatest threat to society. Actually forget about threat, it’s already a done deal. Look at what we’ve done, to the world, to each other, to our children. Because we are so damn good at lying to ourselves and others.

Most of us are akin to the violinist playing as The Titanic sank or the “everything’s fine” meme.

I have my own delusions and patterns that could travel from Earth to The Moon and back. But I’m always scouring myself for them, my eyes like a searchlight and when I find them I feel dirty. “How did I not see this obvious blight?” I think, as I attempt to scour them off like leeches stuck to me after a dip in a the local pond. It’s usually this point when I realize they are more like barnacles on a boat and it’s going to take some persistence and work to rid myself of the daily delusions.

And this is absolutely, without a doubt why the idea that I could live my entire life lying to myself and others is my greatest fear. It’s so easy to not see. It’s so easy to close my eyes to the truth.

This is why radical honesty is so important to me. Honesty with myself and others.
Some have voiced that they think I’m unusual in that I’m frequently pointing out my own flaws. *Probably another part of me that’s somewhat out of balance.* However, being hyper-attuned to my own delusions, imbalances and patterns keeps me aware at all times and on my toes.
Not to mention that I also find self-deprecation less painful than when others point out the log in my eye.

Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s hard to look at my own shortcomings. But the idea that I could ever fall prey to becoming comfortable enough with myself that I would allow my ego to do anything to protect its delusions scares the bejeezus out of me.

I have realized that I have a tendency to judge others based on their level of self-awareness. I don’t like that I’m judgmental in this way, but I’ve realized I am. It’s another one of those slippery slopes in life that must be checked and balanced. We need discernment. Without it we would chronically make poor choices. But too much discernment turns into non-stop, harsh criticism of myself and others.

About the self-awareness, there are a few reasons I use self-awareness as a measurement of individuals that I want to surround myself with. One being, that as a coach I find this to be the most important gauge in terms of readiness. It’s nearly impossible to coach someone who is delusional about their issues and refuses to look sincerely at what’s going on inside.

It’s also how I measure character, honesty, receptivity and trustworthiness. I am very leery and suspicious of those who do not acknowledge their own weaknesses and mistakes. A lack of self-awareness feels like a precursor, a red-flashing warning that if anything goes wrong in the future, they will place all the blame squarely on me or the nearest, weakest link.

Delusion always lead to unhealthy self-justifications, a lack of openness, a lack of willingness and a lack of awareness.

Growing up I also found delusional people to be unsafe. Delusional people are capable of inflicting a lot of pain onto others without losing a wink of sleep due to the lies they tell themselves and believe, making excuses for their behavior, never taking ownership or accountability for their wrongs and always on the hunt for a fall guy, a scapegoat. And all too often, that was me.

I have found the most troubled characters to be trapped in delusions of the ego.

A delusional thought process might look something like this, “The world is a bad and meaningless place. Why should I even try? Everyone does bad things and those who pretend to not do bad things are liars.”

This kind of delusional thinking is very dangerous. This person will not believe in the sincerity of a loving act or gesture or the genuine high moral standards of others and are, in fact often hellbent to disprove the notion of such existence. As a result, these characters will do the devils bidding to tempt you away from your good nature, away from you souls calling and into the belly of delusion… with them.

It’s not malicious. It’s subconscious. It’s a desperate need to justify themselves through the camaraderie of others. Misery loves company. It makes them feel better about their choices and confirms their beliefs and impressions of the world. If they can cause you to fall from grace and off the wagon then it becomes clear evidence that there are no truly good people. You were faking it all along.

Delusional people with bad habits have to convince themselves that everyone is just as weak and tempted by empty pursuits as they are.

Delusional people are capable of truly terrible things. Because they’ve become so good at lying to themselves about what they do, they will be able to excuse anything away. Abuse. Neglect. Selfishness. Drug use. Inflicting mental harm and trauma. Cheating. Sabotaging other peoples lives. It doesn’t matter. Delusional people are masters of self-deception and as a result, they often can’t be helped.

And that is why I use self-awareness as my personal gold standard measurement of depth, virtue, openness, character and mental health.

To me, enlightenment probably doesn’t really exist on Earth and so the closest approximation to enlightenment I’ve been able to find (depending on your definition) is self-awareness.

Yet, the self-aware human appears to be as elusive as the Siberian Yeti. How many people do you know get a divorce and blame it on their ex, harm their children, never recognize or apologize, harm themselves with self-sabotage and make excuses for every, single toxic thing they do.

Delusion keeps us from checking ourselves. Delusion keeps us from balance. And delusion prevents growth. It is a steel wall. Miles high, miles wide and miles thick.

There is no problem-solving ability with a delusional person. A person trapped in their mind with their own delusions is not solution-oriented, they are the opposite, protection-oriented. No receptivity or willingness to perceive ideas that challenge the mind. Transformation and growth are totally stunted.

And it’s important for me to write about this because I passionately feel that delusion is a cancer to humanity and if we want civilization to advance, we have to get to the source of our hypnosis.

What is the source of our unethical behaviors? Delusion.
Think about it. Very few people think they are bad.

In Andrew Carnegie’s book “How to Make Friends and Influence People”, he states that even murderers believe they are good people. If asked why they are in prison, most will tell you a story painting themselves as harmless victims. This theory was tested in prisons and most of the time, the perpetrator had convinced themselves they were set up, victimized, just misunderstood, etc.

And this is why delusion is my worst fear.

Delusion is the Orobourous. (the snake that ate itself) and humanity is eating itself.

Don’t think you’ve escaped it. It’s in the spirituality community. It’s in the mental health community. It’s in politics, it’s in religion, it’s the bias we see on the news. It’s has infected every community for a great cause…the irony. Many great causes become ideal breeding grounds for distorted ideas. This usually happens over time and through the means of a delusional leader who sets the mold and blueprint for the rest to follow suit. This is how groupthink is born. Groupthink is delusion en masse.

Many seek refuge in the new age community as it’s ironic buzzwords bring thoughts of escape from the delusional, narcissistic world. Words like “enlightenment”, “awakened” and “woke” but it too, will not insulate you from delusion, on the contrary, it may be tar and feathering you in it.

Delusion can be pretty and alluring. Light a candle, say a mantra, cast a spell and whoosh!-all your problems will be gone. Believing that we can live without “bad vibes”, manifest whatever we want and keep our energy in a constant state of bliss is just another form of delusion.

Taoism is the OG of balance, building an entire religion on the principle of the middle way.

The path.

Look at a yin yang. The path is the thin that line between the light side and the dark side.

It’s a careful dance.

It’s the gray and the in-between but most of all, it’s awareness.

It’s learning how to be both soft and hard. *I think they call this boundaries. 😉

It’s learning how to be expressive yet still show restraint.

It’s learning that you can have desires yet still be disciplined.

It’s learning that you can be flawed yet still valuable and worthy.

It’s learning that you may be doing your best but can still use improvement.

It’s learning that your failures are leading you to your success.

It’s learning that your suffering gave you depth and the virtues of patience, will, determination, hope, faith, perseverance, generosity, empathy and others.

It’s learning that you can make mistakes, call yourself out, not be struck by lightning and still be a good person.

It’s learning that you are both light and dark, good and bad, sleeping and awake, flesh and spirit.

We have to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.

We have to become comfortable with these concepts in order to grow as a collective in the pursuit of truth and meaning.

If we want meaning to enter our lives, we have to allow the truth as well, no matter how painful, no matter the cost.

Enlightenment is being able to look in the mirror and not distort the image. It’s the ability to see yourself in totality. It’s being ready to move, change, work, sacrifice, confront your fears and evolve. We can only see and meet each other as deeply as we’ve seen and met ourselves.

Perfectionism is a fear of failure and the delusion that anyone can ever be perfect.

We can’t. And we don’t have to be.

But we also shouldn’t get too comfortable with where we are at calling it “good enough”.

We must continue pushing, continue learning and continue growing.
This will enrich our lives and souls with the ultimate pursuit…meaning.

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