Have you ever been disillusioned? What I mean is… have you ever allowed yourself to be fooled by something or someone and then later realized that you were deceived?

Take for instance this photo below. I took this the other day while my husband was driving us home. I’m a hopeless romantic and so I couldn’t help but dig out my camera for a shot of this lovely sight. sunset edited 3After a few days, I decided to go back and look at the pictures that I had taken. That’s when I noticed something that briefly shocked and amazed me. I was certain that I was seeing something of a supernatural nature in this photo. In my mind there was no other explanation for it, and I was really quite excited about it.

After further inspection of the photo though, I realized how disillusioned I really was. Take a hard look at this picture. What do you see? Look carefully and tell me what the image on the bottom left side looks like to you. Do you see a divine creature standing there in the doorway of the building? I sure as heck did! But now look closer… can you tell what it really is? I won’t give the answer away just yet. I’d like for all of you to figure it out on your own if you can, but this is what made me think about the topic of disillusionment. Do you see how easily we can be convinced of something, when we are seeking to find that which really isn’t there at all?

Which leads me to this… have you ever been deceived, mistreated, or rejected by someone? I think I can safely say that all of us have faced this kind of treatment a few million times in our lives. The thing I’ve been wondering is… are we really being deceived, mistreated, or rejected, or is our own warped perception causing us to think this is happening to us. Are we really so disillusioned by our own feelings and emotions that we convince ourselves of being victimized?

I am the kind of person who overthinks everything. I over analyze every single word a person says. Someone can look at me the wrong way and I’m convinced that they must surely hate me. Usually from that moment forward, I tend to steer clear of that person and I don’t usually give them a second chance. I’m so self-absorbed I know… I always think that everything is about me! When really… that poor person was probably just having a bad day and they didn’t even realize they were looking at me strangely. Do we wrap ourselves up so tightly in our own self-consciousness, that we miss the truth about what is really happening around us?

Now don’t get me wrong, I know there are plenty of manipulators out there. I have been played many a time by people that I thought were my friends and turned out to be just masquerading as friends. I tend to be the kind of person that trusts blindly in most situations, because I fail to see how there could be even the slightest bit of evil in a person’s heart and this gets me every time! I don’t want to see the bad in people! I see myself as a nice person who only wants to show compassion to others and I expect others to play nicely with me. I am always left in shock when this type of behavior isn’t returned. My expectations of people are so high, that it leaves me feeling frustrated when they don’t live up to my standards of how I think a person should treat me.

I am at the point now, where I am realizing that I cannot keep living life by trusting blindly and expecting people to treat me the same way that I treat them. It just isn’t realistic nowadays and I’m wondering if it ever has been. But why has it taken me so long to realize this? Am I just so lonely from having hardly any friends in my life for so long, that I am willing to look past the obvious deceitful manner of some? How have I come this far in my life… almost 44 years now, and yet I still allow people to toy with my feelings, blindsiding me every chance they get.

I found a verse that spoke to me yesterday as I was reading from a nightly devotional with my daughter. The verse is Proverbs 4:23, which says… “Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it.” I don’t remember ever having read this verse before and I know I surely must have. For some reason, instead of just reading the words this time though, they actually sank in and grabbed me by the seat of my pants. It was as if God had just spoken the words audibly to me. I realized right then and there that I have not been guarding my heart at all. I am so quick to just leave it open for the whole world to step upon and use me for their own selfish reasons.

In our desperate attempts for love and to fulfill the loneliness in our lives, I think we allow ourselves to leave our hearts wide open. When we do this, we are allowing the world to fill the void and we aren’t allowing the Spirit to take his proper place and fulfill that emptiness in our hearts. Can any of you relate to this? I think I have learned another valuable lesson the hard way. Oh when will I ever grow up!

Here’s the picture from above in larger form.  Have you figured out what it is yet?  I’m betting you can tell what it is now.  I’ll wait for somebody to take a guess in the comments section, before I give the answer away.  sunset edited 4Just like our perspective of people, I think we have to look at the bigger picture to really gain a clear understanding of who each person is and whether or not they are trying to take advantage of us in some way.  Maybe the answers to all of these questions will be more obvious to others who don’t go around blindly trusting like I do.  😉 ~M

Photo of girl found at: gbi.photoshelter.com