Becoming an adult requires us to let go of our illusions and instead embrace reality. This is the process of growing into the person we are meant to be. By focusing too much on illusions of perfection, control, power and success, we miss the opportunity to really live. Rather than enjoy life as it is, we live in a fog that is fueled by our addictive behaviors.
On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“Our addictions lead us into a life of illusion. They feed our illusion of control, our illusion of perfection, and our dishonesty. Our addictive behavior allows us to deny reality and justify not living our life. We slip along in a mist of illusion, whether they be illusions of romance, illusions of power, or illusions of success—and somehow we miss life.
One of the significant qualities of an adult is being able to separate ourselves from illusion and to nourish ourselves with reality, rather than feed on illusion. Contrary to popular opinion this does not mean that we have to live dull and staid lives. It means we have to live our lives.”
Reality doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it can be far better than any of our illusions if we choose to make it so. It requires us to let go of the illusions we cling to in our addictive behaviors and accept the reality of our situations though. I can sit around and think of lots of great things I’d like to do and see in my life, but if I never take any action—if I don’t actually take the steps toward making progress—I will never accomplish anything. Those great thoughts will never be realized. They’ll merely be illusions. We all have the power in our own hands to take our reality and make it what we wish. We can use our will to shape our reality into what we would like it to be. Perfection may sound great, but it can paralyze us with fear. Fear of imperfection leads to doing nothing. You can live in the illusion of perfection by never making mistakes, never taking risks, and thus never accomplishing anything in your life, or you can risk imperfection and live in reality by taking chances and making real moves in your life. We can only become if we choose to live and do.