I remember during my childhood and adolescent years I would spend a lot of time thinking, imagining and contemplating on fantasies, abstract concepts and deeper truths. I was and still am generally attracted to the weird, wonderful and thought-provoking elements of life. Often, I felt limited by cultural norms and societal norms because I felt it was all very superficial and lacking the richness in depth that I wanted. In addition to that, my childhood was not always pleasant for me. Therefore, in order to cope with any bitter truths in life I would detach from my surroundings and indulge in my imagination.
Watching movies, watching anime and listening to music, often aided in this process of shutting down from my present circumstances. Ofcourse, back then I was not doing this consciously but habitually. Nor was I aware of the negative consequences of overly indulging in passive actions and thoughts.
Therefore, in this blog I want to discuss the problem of escapism into your mind and dwelling in a world of your own fantasy; and how I got out of this spiral myself.
Before I go into detail on this, I feel it is necessary to explain that I do not regret my past at all. Furthermore, I am not suggesting that the imagination is “bad”. I still love anime, sci-fi movies, creative stuff and other crazy hippie stuff. Its just important to not indulge in it for too long, to the point where you become reliant on this as the only way through difficulty; since that would create an imbalance in your life.
When a person, creates a habit of disconnecting he or she becomes at risk of attaining the personality disorder: “Depersonalisation disorder”. Although, what I experienced may not fall directly into this category; I thought I would elaborate on this since I think it may benefit a lot of people out there who struggle with this. An episode of depersonalisation feels like you are going through the day detached from yourself in a dream state of mind but where you don’t feel in control. Generally I believe it is human nature to desire more solitude, magic and wonder in our lives. Which is why we may often want to retreat away from boredom or dullness. This desire to retreat needs to be questioned though and understood more mindfully.
Somedays I would be so lost in my head that I felt that I wasn’t even connected to my own body, rather I was merely observing myself trudge along the day. As a result, it was difficult to form meaningful connections with others. I appeared withdrawn and aloof as a result. I was largely misunderstood, and looking back I knew that I wasn’t actively participating as much. I felt invisible and isolated from myself at times, but I wouldn’t stop. I wouldn’t stop because I grew attached to my own world and this became all I knew.
Eventually it affected my overall physical health and mental health. Since it would drain my energy away, make me feel lethargic and therefore contribute to my earlier episodes of depression. It also made me too serious-minded, which limited my ability to be naturally happy.
Eventually I had to ask myself: Why am I disatisfied? It became clearer to me that I had too many ideals I was attached to, which contrasted from what reality was. I could not accept the world for what it was. In my mind, I felt like an alien on this planet and often felt alone because I thought I was too different.
Eventually, when I let go of expectations I was more able to relate to others. I am still learning now how to let myself be present with others since I do enjoy being in my own world from time to time. However these days, I have friends that accept this quality about me. I am also more self aware now and can basically commit to daydreaming in moderation.
This all lead me to seek out knowledge, which then lead to the following conclusion: If the life surrounding me is not as amazing or magical as my imagination; then I must go out and create the “magic” I want to see.
Every morning when I would wake up, I was faced with a decision: do I choose to stay in my dreamworld, or do I choose to embrace life and be present? It takes a lot of will power to be able to enforce yourself to change. Some may not want to leave their dream-like fantasy worlds. I am not asking you to stop dreaming, what I am saying is, a dream kept as a dream, is a wasted dream. You were born here for a reason, and the world needs you to share your gifts, your querks and all your other beautiful attributes.
In my case, I decided to learn the violin because I was obsessed with movie soundtracks. I would often listen to soundtracks of movies and just imagine my life as a movie. Now when I play it I feel like I am making my real life closer to my ideal movie-like life.
I also wanted to do these blogs and eventually create my own humanity serving business to create the harmony that I long for. I essentially see the purpose of my life as sharing and creating.
So as a rule of thumb. Make sure with whatever dream you have, write it down and brainstorm ways to manifest it into reality. Then go after it and let your heart and intuition guide you. Don’t be too rigid with your dream, remember that the world operates with certain rules. You might need to compromise elements of what you want at the start but then ensure you eventually reach the ideal goal. Learn to enjoy the more simple parts of life so that it keeps you grounded and patiently commited to your ultimate dream. Don’t be afraid to share these thoughts with other people and listen to other people open up to you. You could have the power to break boundaries in your relationships when you authentically express yourself and allow others to share their deepest truths.
I hope what I shared here, inspires you to translate your crazy dreams or thoughts into innovative action. Be patient and be the change you want to see in the world.