“I feel sorry about your confusion, but this world’s never really been about truth or lies. In this world, there’s only one thing that’s worth knowing: hard facts. Despite this universal truth, people misguidedly choose to only accept the facts that appeal to their way of thinking. They’re so limited. They can only accept the truths that are comfortable for them. So, this is simply about wanting to hang on to your personal power. Realizing things may not have been as we accepted them to be unsettles us. It’s overwhelming. Are you absolutely sure that you know the truth?” ~Sousuke Aizen, from Bleach

In life, we have numerous expectations and assumptions about many, many things, which aren’t always accurate. Nevertheless, we hold onto these expectations and assumptions (even desperately, sometimes), these personal truths that are, in a sense, often lies to ourselves, because they are useful for us in an immediate sense, in the moment. They make life easier. They comfort us. Being confronted by actual truth, by reality, in the face of our personal truths is uncomfortable. As Aizen says, it unsettles us. The cognitive dissonance causes us frustration and anxiety. We want to look away from it and pretend we never saw it.

Ultimately, though, we become wiser and better people when we are able to acknowledge reality and understand that our personal truths can be fallacious. It can be painful, but realizing our fallacies and being willing to accept, or at least acknowledge, reality as it is actually gives us more “personal power” than clinging to our preconceptions.

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