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The illusion of the ideal

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scarletdreamer - 22-25 years old - female

Posted by scarletdreamer
on November 24th, 2012 at 10:17 AM


Mourning the ideal is what gets people into trouble. When someone has lost something, the only aspects they tend to replay over and over in their heads are the positive, potentially idealistic traits. They fail to take into consideration that what they have lost was possibly less than ideal. They then distort their reality to an illusioned, glorified version of itself; and it is this illusion that pulls people back. It makes them mourn for something that they never, in actuality, really had. Makes them forget what was wrong; what was less than ideal. The negative feelings, the heartbreaking moments, are all washed away once they have lost what they can no longer have. Some people think that this is realizing the full value of what you have once you have lost it, but maybe they are being subjected to the illusion, once again, to believe that they have the chance to have what they always wanted. 



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  1. kuryos2 - 46-50 years old - male

    Posted by kuryos2 on November 24th, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Sooooo true...! Bravo...! :-)

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  2. Posted by An EP User on November 24th, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    wow, so much truth.

    powerful words that can only be born from experience.

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  3. vbob - 36-40 years old - male

    Posted by vbob on November 24th, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Memories can be all you identified as well. It is that point of "moving on" that really matters. We can remember all the good things but need to remember, life is for us that remain. Positive memories are what allow someone to be remembered for what positive contributions they made to our lives.



    Thankfully, we as humans tend to be forgiving so we let go of the bad and try to remember people for what they did that contributed positively to our lives. It's getting caught in the "no one can compare" mindset that keeps us from moving on in mourning. Mourning has a place, it's when it is allowed to fester that it gets us in a state of not accepting reality.



    I had a friend who separated and stated, he didn't know what to do. I told him to go and do one small thing JUST for him. This got him angry as he didn't yet understand this was the beginning to "getting better". Needless to say he started doing things just for him and came back to understand that he was responsible for his own happiness. He now understands what advice I had offered. It was difficult to hear at the time but needed.

    This is the same for people in mourning and where they need their ***** kicked to have them rejoin the world. Life is for us who remain. Remember the good times, remember the good things that this person did for you but move on and live your life to its end..... You didn't have to have your soul die with that person!

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  4. Posted by An EP User on December 5th, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    this is an intriguing thought.. although I am trying to place it into a real situation. I guess this has to do with someone who is focused on the past.. Of course, if a person has been lost, I think there is value in mourning the ideal characteristics of that person as opposed to focusing on the negative. You have nothing left but the memory so in this instance the ideal is healthier than reality. Often someone will want to focus on a picture of a loved one when they are laughing or enjoying life as opposed to suffering.



    I think the problem your story illustrates is when someone has lost something and is comparing their present reality with their past ideal and finding the reality comes up short. I love my present reality and always have, so not sure what this feels like, but I have seen that in practice.. anyway.. just thinking out loud.. but thank you for something so thought provoking.

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