That we delude ourselves isn’t anything new. We suffer all the time when we project our realities into the world. There is always this big mismatch between what we want the world to be and reality.
Some people remain in such a state of cognitive dissonance all their lives. It’s hard to reevaluate our models and acknowledge that we were wrong. It takes awareness, and massive willpower to change it.
Like with everything in life, it’s a process. Being aware that you’re wrong isn’t enough. You need to work it out. To peel the layers and let go of preconceptions, of ideals and raw emotional attachments.
It is a painful process. Just when you think you’re there and free of delusions, a small wind blows the card house away, and everything crumbles. It’s hard to pick yourself again. But you do. You have to. And so you start the path again. You clearly weren’t ready yet. You hate yourself; you hate the world. Anger floods your veins. A sense of unfairness takes hold.
But you get better. Your expectations diminish, they begin to align with the truth. Slowly but painfully the reality of the situation starts sinking. And one day, just like that, in an instant, clarity.
A moment of realization hits you like thunder. It’s not rational. You rationalized the situation long ago. It’s a sudden enlightenment, like if someone had switched the lights on. It’s there, clear as day.
And then hollowness. That clarity leaves no doubt, no ambiguity of what’s real, of what’s true and what’s not. There is no room for interpretation. The truth is staring you in the face.
What’s surprising is how sad that moment is. The sense of loss and emptiness is immense. You don’t want it to be true, but you know it is. So you can only stare and blink and feel a deep and profound hollowness.
It will be ok, though. You’ll move on. Humans are resilient. You will remember. Hopefully, you’ll learn and become stronger from it. Such are humans; such is life.