You can close your eyes to reality but not to memories. – Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

You can close your eyes to reality but not to memories.

Stanisław Jerzy Lec

The past, especially if was too blissful or too traumatic, can have a negative impact on our present. When left unchecked, it has the potential to manifest itself into emotional scars that can hamper our everyday lives. In such cases, it either leads to depression, wherein its victim finds themselves unable to go about their lives normally, or to delusion, in which case one simply closes their eyes to reality. While much has been said and written about the former, a delusional lifestyle is just as harmful.

While it is generally not a voluntary choice – nobody willfully chooses fantasy over reality – the unexplored recesses of our psyche often play a key role in pushing us into the clutches of the mirage of a nonexistent realm. An inexplicable escapism can often be at the core of such decisions. Over time, people do tend to prefer turning a blind eye to their scars. It is hard to say whether they hope for those cicatrices to disappear on their own, or believe that they will feel better if they make as though the blemish had never existed in the first place. This, however, simply creates an alternate ‘reality’ that does not really exist, compounding matters for them.

The best way to deal with a saddening memory is to face it. If doing so feels too distressing, one may opt to use professional help for a phased approach. Slowly but steadily, we begin to come to terms with those harrowing experiences, and that is what eventually paves the way for a better present and future. After all, what good can a man, who is constantly haunted by his past, hope to achieve in his present?

In view of this, the legendary Polish poet and aphorist, Stanisław Jerzy Lec, once remarked, ‘You can close your eyes to reality but not to memories.’