Cognitive Dissonance

Ever hear people say something like they didn’t know what was missing until that something or someone came along, or something to that effect? Well, how about the converse? Sometimes you think you’re looking for someone, for something, for an event, for a certain kind of life. Then one day it starts flickering in front of you like a hologram slowly stabilising. You can see the shape it’s going to take. It looks like what you thought you wanted, what you had been visualising. As you stare at it, you take a step back. You look at it again. Slowly, you start to recoil a little, in slow motion. It surprises you. The realisation is a little calming–and a little unnerving at the same time.

You realise that you had complained about its conspicuous absence, you had searched for it, you had wanted it and you had made no secret of that. But now…now that it is within grasp, whether temporary or permanent, you don’t want it. Maybe you didn’t want it all along, maybe you stopped wanting it at a certain obscure point, maybe you got used to doing without it, you can’t be absolutely sure what happened to that strong desire but you know it doesn’t exist anymore.

You didn’t know you are mostly happy with the status quo, that you crave that elusive something only a fraction of the time. It’s calming because until now it had not struck you just how content you are. You had given in to the superficial yearning and you didn’t know it. You let the few moments of desire dominate. You let that feeling linger and you simply didn’t know it.

It unnerves you a little too. Why don’t you know yourself better? Why could you not tell what really will and what really won’t make you happy? It’s a learning experience. Make mistakes, learn the lessons and move on. Don’t repeat the mistake. Sure, but what are you going to end up doing in one of those dominant moments? What are you going to give up and what are you going to let in?

4 thoughts on “Cognitive Dissonance

  1. Well written! Food for thought- it could also be that you have been in status quo so long that it has become your comfort zone! And no one wants to leave their comfort zone. So even something u know u want and have been waiting for repulses you. Because it means giving up something that has become an integral part of you! But it is a trap. Don’t fall into it. Persevere! And you will see that it is not as bad as you think! God bless and a happy new year.

  2. I’d like to believe you’re right. You know the saying “you don’t know what something means to you until you lose it, but you also don’t know what you’ve been missing until it arrives”… or something to that effect! In your heart of hearts if you really want something, you’ll know that you do; if you’re unsure – you probably don’t truly want it.

    Not sure how I bumped into your blog – but I find myself reading it everytime I feel a bit unnerved. Therapeutic, at the risk of sounding a little dramatic – kinda like shopping :)

    1. I love that you just said that! I could not be more flattered, Nalini! Thank you so much for your kind words! You have no idea how much you have just encouraged me to continue writing on a regular basis. :)

      And, I have been thinking, you’re right: When something feels right, it doesn’t matter whether you wanted it, ever thought about it, or if it had never crossed your mind. That’s when you just know–in your heart of hearts–that this is worth a risky shot.

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