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Reality Acceptance: For Happier and Healthier Lives Book

Reality Acceptance: For Happier and Healthier Lives is now available on Amazon.

Reality Acceptance: For Happier and Healthier Lives

Reality Acceptance: For Happier and Healthier Lives – Kindle edition by Kirwan, Brian. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Reality Acceptance: For Happier and Healthier Lives.

 

The History of Reality Denial

Reality denial exists all over the world. We deny realities long proven true with evidence from multiple sources. Our beliefs shield us from realities we find unpleasant or confusing. We deny global warming despite an overwhelming amount of evidence from around the world. The more time marches on, the more absurd our denial becomes. We could excuse people thousands of years ago for denying realities most people did not understand, but we are being openly ignorant if we still deny these basic realities today.

Believing in something does not make it real. Our beliefs are temporary assumptions about the world. We base them on our experiences with the world and other people. No baby has ever been born believing anything about the world. They are a blank slate. Luckily, we have other people looking after us. They keep us alive until we become conscious of the world. We gather beliefs from our parents, mentors, and teachers. Accepting reality is impossible if we only learn about other people’s beliefs and not reality.

You do not have to believe in your need for food. Your stomach feels hunger and you know to eat. Your beliefs guide you toward what you eat. If we allow our children to choose what they eat, they will probably only choose things that taste good to them. Most of these foods will be high in sugar, calories, and salt because our palates are not sophisticated when we are young. We believe what we eat only needs to taste good. When we are older, we learn about nutrition, but still eat mainly good tasting non-nutritious food. Our beliefs allow us to ignore the damage we are doing to our bodies. We believe we no longer can control what we eat.

The history of reality denial has many origins. The earliest and most influential beliefs most people had were their religious beliefs. Of all religions, Christianity in all its forms tops the list of most influential around the world. As science emerged, scientists exposed religions as denying many fundamental realities. Many religions, especially Christianity, fought to hold on to their beliefs (and their followers) using racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination. All these forms of discrimination existing today can trace their roots to the religious discriminatory practices of the past.

The reality denial of the past led to many negative concepts people believed were real. The concept of good and evil led to concepts of winning and losing, simplistic this or that thinking, heroes and villains, moral and immoral behavior, us versus them thinking, and other reality denying concepts. These concepts led to most forms of discrimination we see today. We label things such as racism as the problem. The problem is our beliefs that began these racist behaviors. Race is a non-scientific concept born from racist beliefs. Eugenics was one of the worst forms of discrimination stemming from these beliefs.

The only way we can get away from these negative beliefs is to value our knowledge over our beliefs. We base all our beliefs on ignorance because, once you learn the reality of what you believe, they are no longer beliefs. They are knowledge. Most societies around the world continue to base many of their laws on beliefs rather than reality. Basing our laws on reality means we only create laws that solve actual problems for all of a society. We need to stop valuing people’s beliefs about reality. Until we do this, reality denial will continue.

Fellow White Men, We Need to Talk

My first video called Fellow White Men, We Need to Talk for Reality Acceptance is now on YouTube. I learned many things in making it, and my future videos will be even better. With the recent events happening in the Capitol, this is a message that needs to be heard by everyone, but especially white men who think their horrible behavior is acceptable in 2021.

As always, your feedback is highly welcome. Reality!

The Reality of 2020

The pandemic has forced people to confront realities like never before. Marginalized groups have had to confront the realities of discrimination throughout history, but the pandemic has forced people to confront realities they did not have to accept in the past. Their money, power, and privilege are not enough to allow them to live the way their privilege accustomed them to living. This is a global event that is forcing everyone to accept the reality of the pandemic. No amount of ignoring or denying can hide us from it. It is a reality.

People who deny the reality of the pandemic will go down in history as absurd and unfortunate victims of their own ignorance. Many will die and they will take others with them. Their beliefs are betraying them at the expense of their lives. Most people are accepting the reality of the pandemic because they have no choice. Some people are using the pandemic as an excuse to deny other realities. They are distancing themselves from others, wearing masks, and washing their hands, but they are not accepting the reality of their mental health. The pandemic is a worldwide mental health problem we will continue dealing with long after we have dealt with the physical health problems.

The pandemic is happening as much of the world was trying to separate themselves from other parts of the world. Reality denying events such as Brexit, the Trump presidency, and police brutality allowed people in power to discriminate and separate themselves from large groups of people they hated. Hate is not something happy and healthy people feel. To accept hate is to deny reality. People who hate others cannot hate the pandemic away from themselves or their families. They are taking their frustrations out on other people, but more and more people are no longer accepting their hate.

Black Lives Matter, Me Too, and other anti-hate movements are forcing people in power to accept realities we long denied throughout history. Because we have historically accepted discrimination does not mean we must continue to accept it. Continuing to deny realities most people accept shows how far humanity has come and how far we still have to go. We cannot accept the reality of the pandemic and ignore other realities. My greatest hope is the pandemic will trigger a reality acceptance movement around the globe.

I have seen many memes wishing for 2020 to end so we can get back to our regular lives. 2020 will not end the pandemic or the other realities we have not accepted. We can see it as a tragic year or we can accept it as a year of wake-up calls for all of us. This is only the beginning of our reality acceptance journey. We need to realize we are the people in power. The hateful people trying to separate us cannot hide from those they hate any more. Discrimination has never been acceptable, but it is only now many people are recognizing this reality. 2020 can be the year of reality acceptance. Accepting reality is about understanding reality as it is so we can fix problems and change things for the better. We cannot hope for change to happen, we must make it happen.

The Positive Side of the Coronavirus

I am not here to declare the coronavirus as a positive thing. It is a pandemic we do not completely understand. We should all take the virus seriously for ourselves and those we care about. If you are healthy and you are taking steps to stay healthy, make sure others are keeping themselves healthy. The positive side of the virus is in allowing people to examine their own behavior. Seeing how we handle a crisis is the most realistic view of us. Whether we accept the reality of the coronavirus, everyone is being forced to deal with it. It will force us all to confront our traditions, routines, and needed changes to reconsider what we value in life. We must now confront health concerns that we ignored in the past. Developing a healthier life is just one of the positive effects of the coronavirus.

Lying to yourself about your health will not work on this real pandemic. If you did not wash your hands after using the toilet, went to crowded areas, or did not eat nutritious food, this situation will force you to confront those decisions. People are being forced to accept the reality of their behavior and how it affects their health. Many people will resist the changes that are necessary to improve their health. If you do not know how to improve your health, now is the time to educate yourself. Eating nutritious food, exercising more, and drinking more water is a good place to start.

We are all in this together. This pandemic is forcing us all to work together to deal with this situation. Working together should always be our goal, but the competitive thinking of many people has clouded our goals. Our collective goal should be to improve the lives of everyone. We are being reminded of this lost goal, and that will be positive for the world. Helping others is the best way to improve your own life. When we feel alone, even if we are not, it will be detrimental to your health. If you are struggling with anxiety, fear, or other negative emotions, know that help is available to you. Getting help only requires reaching out to others and accepting their help.

The lack of resources such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and food is forcing us all to change our regular buying habits. They force us to avoid shopping for things we do not need, finding alternatives to wasteful practices, and spending excessive amounts of money on food and drinks. Staying at home, avoiding restaurants and bars, and avoiding live entertainment is not a bad thing. We should all be questioning our reliance on these economic extravagances unhealthful for our bodies and our bank accounts. Many people are focusing on what is unavailable instead of appreciating what we have already. Questioning your beliefs should be a daily activity. If you only accept the positive aspects of your activities, you will ignore the reality of what is positive in your life.

If you have read this article and reacted negatively, I can only guess that it is contradictory to what you have been told from other sources such as the news media. The news depends on ratings. Whether they depend on clicks, views, or some other form of rating, they are not a good source of information. We can find the best source of the most current information at the CDC website (www.cdc.gov). Alternatively, there are many other sources of helpful information on the web, in podcasts, and other scientifically accurate sources. When you feel that you are well-informed, entertain yourself with something that truly makes you happy. The happier you are, the healthier you will be.

Stress Free Holidays

 

Holidays are different around the world. Only a few countries have no national holidays. In the United States, most people refer to the holidays as those in and around December. Regardless of what you celebrate, you will probably get together with family and friends. You may look forward to seeing your friends, but most people do not look forward to visiting with family. You choose to be with your friends, but you are usually obligated to spend time with your family. Depending on your family, this will lead to positive or negative emotions. How you handle those emotions is completely up to you.

Most of my life, I have enjoyed the holiday season despite my atheism. I had religious parents who celebrated Christmas fully. We had a Christmas tree, decorations around our house, and my parents did not shy away from the religious side of Christmas. They focused more on Santa, giving presents, and listening to Christmas music than the religious side of the holiday. I listen to Christmas music to this day despite my atheism. I do not believe in the religious aspects of Christmas, but enjoy the fantastical elements of the holiday. Calling it the Christmas season instead of the holiday season does not matter to me. I know that it matters to others who do not celebrate Christmas so I refer to this time of year as the holiday season. Calling it the holiday season does not infringe on your beliefs about Christmas, but you could infringe on someone else’s beliefs if you call it the Christmas season.

Giving presents is a part of many, but not all, holiday celebrations. Giving presents to someone else shows that you care about him or her. Many people see giving someone a present as an obligation even if they do not care about the other person. You may not care about a person in a relationship with someone you care about. You may put no thought into what you give them. In most cases, that person will know you do not care about them from the present he or she receives. Showing you care about someone includes the other people in his or her life. Find out what the other person would appreciate receiving. Caring about someone is also about accepting who he or she cares about. You may not see what he or she appreciates about the other person, but that is fine. You are not in a relationship with that person.

Spending time with family, shopping for presents, and dealing with the crowds can be stressful, but they do not have to be. If you plan things at the last minute, you will increase the chances of a stressful holiday season. Even if you plan things well, other people’s lack of planning can force you into making last-minute changes and increasing your stress level. Regardless of the source of your stress, you still have a choice of whether to accept the stress of others. Stressful people do everything in their life with stress including celebrating the holidays. You can help that person out to relieve some of his or her stress, but you do not have to adopt the stress of that person. Avoiding stress is not about avoiding stressful situations, it is about solving problems as they come up without stressing about them. The holidays are only as stressful as you make them. Other people’s stress does not have to be your stress.

Much of the stress of the holidays comes from unresolved family issues. The easiest solution is to ignore these issues during the holidays. The issues will still be there after the holidays, but they will not ruin the holidays for the entire family. If you do not get along with your brother, avoid that brother so that your parents and other siblings can still enjoy themselves. Consider it your gift to the whole family. Avoiding subjects such as politics, sex, sports, and religion will help avoid stressful conversations. If others bring these things up, try to change the subject or remove yourself from the area. If asked why you are leaving, be honest, but stay away from mentioning specific disagreements with others. Just say you would rather not talk about those things during the holidays. The holidays are not a competition to see who can be the most stressed. Avoiding stress is mainly having a plan to handle and avoid the stress that the holidays can cause.

The Moral Atheist

The biggest misconception about being an atheist by those who see atheism as a bad thing is that atheists cannot possibly have morals because they do not have a God or higher power to guide them away from immoral deeds. Obviously, all atheists chose atheism to avoid being a moral human (and hang out in strip bars). How can you decide on how to do the right thing without guidance from a supernatural being? If your flimsy beliefs are the only thing preventing you from murdering me, you are no longer invited to my house for dinner. I pride myself in being a moral person not because I think someone or something is watching me but because I am a happier person without mistreating other people. I feel good when I do the right thing because what I do impacts others which in turn impacts me.

How do you know what morals are the right ones to follow? By the time you are an adult, your brain, your parents, and everyone else around you should have given you the skills to know right from wrong. If not, prison becomes an option. When your mom takes your hand as a child and walks you across the street, you are learning a valuable lesson about when it is proper and safe to cross the street. The bible tells you to obey thy mother and father but it is life that actually teaches you what is right or safe and whether your parents should be obeyed. If your dad drags you into the middle of the street almost getting you hit by a car, you are going to file this event down as the right thing to do (or file your dad as the wrong person to obey). Especially if your parents tell you to do what the Bible says and you see them openly ignoring their own advice, you are likely to think that morals are merely words that have nothing to do with reality.

Laws in the U.S. do more to keep people doing the right thing than the ten commandments ever did. Laws have changed throughout time because social norms have changed. To still adhere to laws from the past that most people agree do not apply to modern life is to live in the past (where people were much less attractive and the world smelled much worse). Many of the moral lessons of the Bible and other ancient religious documents are good guidelines today, but there are still lessons that are completely inappropriate in today’s world. The world has changed a great deal since these documents were written. Your morals cannot be stagnant. They need to change as the world changes. If you told people in 1937 not to be a Troll on the Internet, they would, at best, misinterpret that statement as a warning to avoid bridges.

A person must be forced to believe in a supernatural being to accept the rules of religious doctrines. These rules are drilled into children at an early age. The focus is mainly on learning these rules because they have to learn what not to do before they can start doing those immoral things. They are told what the rules are but not why they need to follow those rules. “Wait a minute!” you might say. They follow those rules because the religious doctrines tell them to do so. This is the equivalent of your mom telling you to clean your room because she said so. Your mom has no intention of going over the myriad of reasons you need to clean your room any more than religious parents have of telling their child why you do not take God’s name in vane. The difference between these two scenarios is the mom could actually list out the safety, aesthetic, and organizational reasons behind cleaning your room, but she is usually too exasperated to do so. The religious parents can only recite the same illogical religious text that the children questioned in the first place.

We have evidence all around us why someone should follow societal laws in a non-religious culture. When you see someone get hit by a car because they were walking outside a crosswalk or against the light, you see what happens when someone ignores these laws. He puts his safety at risk and he put others safety at risk to save one minute of using a crosswalk. If you look to the rules of religious doctrines, you will not be told what to do in this situation. You will not even be told to follow the rules of the government in which you live (unless the religious rules are built into your government). This creates a conflict between religion and society at large. When the government says all people are equal but your religion tells you that some people are inherently evil, you must decide which rules to follow (and a judge must decide how long to keep you in jail).

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