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Real But Not True

I have heard the concept of, "It’s real but not true,” in different traditions and religions. It means that we have views of reality, along with feelings in response to those interpretations, that are real to us but doesn’t reflect the truth. When children are afraid of the dark and believe leaving a light on will keep them safe, their view and feelings are real. The truth, however, is the dark will not hurt them and leaving a light on will not keep them safe. It is pretty easy to see how this works for a child but more difficult for adults to see. A great way to see how this operates in your life is to pay attention to when you are afraid and identify how your thoughts and feelings are real but not true. It is extremely easy to identify how your fears are true so don’t waste time there. The good stuff will be found in identifying where we continually experience real thoughts and feelings and act from those thoughts and feelings even though they are not based in truth. Here is an example: a guy says he does not trust anyone. He’s had a lot of experiences that support this belief. He feels very distrustful of people and thinks he acts accordingly. He does not see where his beliefs and feelings are not based on the truth. The truth is that he trusts people with his life every day. How? He drives a car. Every day he gets in a car and drives down the right side of the road and trusts that other driver’s will stay on their side of the road. He knows serious car accidents happen because people don’t stay on their side of the road, yet he has no fear when a car approaches. This is especially amazing considering he has absolutely no idea who’s driving the approaching car. He simply trusts that strangers will follow the rules of the road. It is real for him that he does not trust people but it is not true. The truth is that he trusts people much more than he realizes but he never allows himself to see and feel how he trusts. The solution is to relentlessly look inward and identify where why your "real” is different from the truth.

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