It's Too Good to Be True!

By Keith Varnum

 

One of the most prolific clich├ęs in our culture is:

“Well, you know, if it sounds too good to be true, then it is!”

Yes, I know. I know why this precaution is so popular. I know why we let people get away with such a limiting pronouncement—over and over again! I know why we buy into such a dead end deal.

We’re scared. Or is it “scarred?”

It’s both.

We’re scared that we’ll be hurt … again. We’re afraid that if we trust again, let ourselves get hopeful and excited again, we’ll be let down again. Disappointed, deceived, betrayed ….again!

And we’re scared of this doom because we’ve been scarred. Wounded by life’s disappointing adventures. False starts. Misleading appearances. Mistaken identities.

We feel cheated, conned, duped, tricked, taken in by life’s bogus promises. “I don’t want to get all jacked up, just to be let down one more time!”

Hey, I understand. Totally. I lived half my life this way. After the umpteenth deception, I felt I needed to protect myself from any further damage.

And it worked … with a price. A high price!

Catch 22

There’s only one tiny little problem with this surefire safe approach to life’s ups and downs. This strategy is a self-fulfilling prophesy. A self-creating conundrum. It’s a certain path to zero growth. Zero cash. Zero love. Zero fun.

When we safeguard ourselves against pain by lowering our expectations, refusing to hope, turning our back to possibility, and denying our dreams … we die.

Slowly at first. Surely at length.

Catch 23

“Well, you know, if it sounds too good to be true, then it is!”

Yes, our heart can’t be touched by life’s pain. But nor can we be touched by life’s joy.

We’re shielded from life’s harsh twists of fate. But in the process, we’re missing life’s tender turns of fortune.

Catch 24

“It’s too good to be true” is a good pain-proof vest. But it’s also pleasure-proof armor.

Catch a Shooting Star

OK, so this counterproductive approach isn’t the best strategy to avoid being hurt.

So how else can we navigate through life’s pranks and pitfalls without being devastated?

Bare our soul to every person? Dive heartlong into every experience? Lay ourselves open to the slings and arrows of every encounter?

Not exactly … but you get the idea!

Science Class to the Rescue

One of the most helpful Life Tools I ever found, I picked up in high school biology class. Really. … Yes! I learned about a semi-permeable membrane!

Say what? A semi-permanent no brain? Well, yes, but that’s another solution for another article.

A semi-permeable membrane is a barrier that allows passage of some substances through it, but prohibits the passing of others. It’s also called a selectively permeable membrane.

Even as a wacked out teenager, I immediately recognized this device as a cool thing! Like, man, a filter that only allows what we want to come through.

The Good News

The Good news is that each of us has such a useful selective filter already built in! Our discriminating guard at the door is … our intuition!

If consulted, your intuition will sort the good from not-so-good. The nourishing from the non-nourishing. The energy-giving from the energy-draining … People. Groups. Activities. Foods. Thoughts. Beliefs.

Your intuition is like a really good friend who will tell you the truth you don’t want to hear at the moment. Your inner guide will reveal the facts about the new opportunities knocking at your door. It protects you from taking impulsive, kneejerk action on unconscious illusions, denials and wishful thinking.

And intuition will lead you in the right direction to the Promised Land—your dreams, your true destiny.

A Tricky Business

A dicey business … this search for the righteous path to happiness. But your intuition is up for the challenge! Your inner wisdom has seen it all and knows the tricks of the Mind.

For example, intuition knows that if it sounds too good to be true, then it is too good to be true … inside the box! … inside the world you’re conditioned to perceive and operate.

Your inner friend will remind us that the reason a fresh idea sounds outlandish is because the idea lies outside of your normally trod territory!

Intuition knows that if an idea sounds too good to be true, then the idea can be simply outside your box, your explored terrain.

An idea that sounds too good to be true is often only an idea that hasn’t yet been explored by you!

The idea may be outside the realm of your experience, but it may already be a practical reality for other people!

And even if this idea is new to everyone on earth, it may still be valid and enriching. After all, every great leap of discovery by humanity began as an idea that sounded too good to be true!

So, the next time your limited mind whispers to you, “Oh, that’s too good to be true,” thank it for the warning. … And then check in with your truly informed friend, your intuition!