The Importance of Acknowledging and Internalizing Harsh Realities

The continuous flow of information about the crises confronting us is overwhelming. It is understandable if you, like many, have become numb. You may have even just shut it off. Yet there are good reasons to continue to pay attention and stay engaged.

The continuous occurrence of disasters tied to climate change, the escalating vehement rhetoric and actions of extreme political polarization, and increasing frequency of mass shootings are just some of the jarring realities that confront us. Each of these trends are real and the data supports them. Facts, not spin.

It is natural to want the difficulties facing us to go away, and wish for something to make them stop. They won’t easily. There is every reason to believe that all of these will continue to worsen, at least in the near future.

You can choose to limit what you acknowledge and internalize. This is an understandable and natural reaction. A reaction that is similar to one resulting from traumatic stress.

Distorted road, green trees and sky with glowing clouds behind a rainy windshield. Copyright Duard Headley 2022 all rights reserved.

Still, It’s important to realize that filtering the facts you choose to acknowledge and internalize results in a distorted perception of reality. The results are little different than believing intentionally distorted reality created by someone else. Both are false realities.

False realities in any form are caustic. They can lead to inaction when action is critical, just as they can lead to action that is wholly unmerited. Actions or inaction that are not based upon basic reality are equally destructive.

Continuing to stay engaged is critical, lest you live a false reality. As hard as it can be at times, we all need to acknowledge and internalize the facts of the world we are a part of. It is part of our basic responsibility to ourselves and to others. 

Knowing and living your personal principles or life philosophy goes a long way. It can help turn the emotions evoked from internalizing difficult aspects of reality into clarity and drive for action. Doing so restores an element of agency in a world that is largely beyond control.

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