Ever seen the movie Memento?
If the backwards, chopped up, puzzle-like timeline isn’t good enough for you, this movie has a compelling plot. This movie runs deep into our character, exploring the soul-level disguise of self-deception.
I’m just going to give away the plot (seriously, go see the movie): Lenny has short-term memory loss and is searching for the man that murdered his wife. He forgets everything he learns within hours, so he takes notes on photos and tattoos himself with evidence so he can trust facts upon waking the next morning. He’s after nothing but revenge.
As the movie progresses, the story goes back in time, and we see that Lenny has already solved this mystery and avenged his wife’s killer. He may have done this numerous times, for that matter–but he convinces himself otherwise. He intentionally ignores pivotal facts, knowing his mental condition will blot out the memory forever if he waits long enough. Why? He wants to believe the world is a certain way, so he modifies his circumstances to fulfill his own desire.
We all preach truth claims to ourselves, don’t we?
[Sometimes I just need to zone out. They wouldn’t respond well if I said that. This gym is worth it. That girl deserves to sit in her shame.]
Because once we say these things to ourselves, we can numb ourselves to their converses.
I worry about this for the good of my conscience and awareness. And I worry for you, too.
See, everyone is circular. Once we’ve learned something (even if incorrectly), we become convinced and rely on it as true. Nobody has the time to re-learn everything all the time, so we form a presupposition and staunchly believe it.
This begs the question: what things in your life do you just assume? What story do you tell yourself so you can get your way?
How do you filter your life?