Reality: just in the same way that a particle can be both solid and a wave, so too can reality be awesome or cringy. With so many cultures and perspectives, reality is everything and nothing. Fortunately, we all manage to co-exist somewhat decently with a general consensus form of reality.
We all understand on an unspoken level that the realities we must face are largely determined by our gender, no matter what our cultural values may be. Just as women have certain realities with which they have to deal by virtue of the fact that they are women, so too do we men: as a father, husband, and son, I have certain obligations and duties I must uphold and these duties are my own realities. Sometimes I find it’s all too easy to want to pretend that I didn’t hear them.
One major physiological reason why we men avoid reality is because our testosterone levels take a dip; it’s like facing down a starving lion who wants your calves for a snack and suddenly a gust of wind blows your sword out of your hand. Denying the reality of a situation is like throwing rocks and sticks at our would-be people-eater while we receive our implement.
Being a somewhat mature man-boy, I have the luxury/curse/privilege of being able to see reality from both perspectives, sometimes more so through the plastic sunglass lenses of the “boy” end of the spectrum. 9 times out of 10, I truly enjoy what I see. That one time I don’t enjoy it is enough to make me want to crawl under my wooby and wait for the danger to pass. Under my magic wooby, all offensive sights and sounds (I.E. poopy diapers and the “honey do” list) disappear for a time and I’m instantly in my own fortress of solitude. In this portable man-cave, I can strategize and recuperate.
While I’m not necessarily a t.v. junkie, I do find that when I want to tune out what’s going on around me I can do so easily by watching hours of “American greed” back to back (thank you, hulu). Because I’m a visual person, I find that if my eyes and brain are distracted by something interesting, I’m able to push any problems or annoyances to the brainstorming part of my mind, where they are man-handled, whipped into shape, and forced to come crawling back to me with a solution ( and apology for upsetting) in hand.
Another means which I find is excellent for avoiding reality is working out. Like Leonardo Dicaprio says in “Inception”, the only way out is down and down I go, into myself when I’m running, squatting, and pushing- up. It’s almost as if when I’m working out, I’m actually gaining the strength and courage to deal with this not-so-awesome segment of reality to that I can activate my inner control-freak and shape it like play-do. Of course, we know that what happens as you exercise is that your body is pumping adrenaline and other mood-boosting hormones into your bloodstream and brain; the man-boy in me likes to put a mystical spin on it though because hey: why not?
While I’m not adverse to the occasional adult and turkey nacho binge, I have to say that my go-to method of turning of the reality engine is a nice, long, warm shower. As the steam fills the room, I imagine myself melting and escaping into the air skies above. From this higher perspective, I can look at my problems and sort them out like a champ. When I solidify and return to my realities, I’m cleaner and I’m ready to crush it.
So in case you missed it, I am all about escaping reality because it’s totally natural and I believe that God gave us this mechanism as a means to re-charge, re-group, and move forward powerfully. As with all things in life, too much of good thing is just too much; denying the reality of the situation becomes a problem when we truly DENY the reality of a situation. It’s like leaving a bag of garbage in your breezeway for months; even though you can’t see it, it’s still there, stinking up the joint. Denying reality is a super power that you can wield in the proper context for the right time to get the right results.
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