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"The matrix is all around us”, Morpheus declares to Neo after he’s made the conscious decision to take the red pill, offered to be shown only the truth.

After choosing to take the red pill and deny the blue pill-along with going back to his “normal” life, Neo awakens to find himself in a pod amongst millions of other pods containing humans that have no clue what their reality truly is. While these human beings exist in a state of delusion by being plugged into the matrix and seeing that which has been programmed for them to see, their bodies waste away and are being used as an energy source to run machines- artificial intelligence that’s taken over the world.

Neo realizes there’s something missing in his life, and searches everywhere to find the answer to the burning question he’s had for years; what is the matrix? When Morpheus shows him that everything is an illusion, that the human race is living a lie, a program, he doesn’t want to believe it. Not only is his life turned completely upside down (or right), but he’s told he’s the "chosen one"- that he’s going to save humanity.

He still doesn’t believe it and his meeting with an all-seeing oracle confirms that he is not The One, but just another guy (or so she allows him to believe). Neo has a conversation with a man named Cypher, who eventually pulls a Judas Iscariot and betrays everyone on his team. Cypher hates the real world, he wants to go back to the matrix and will do anything to achieve that, even if that means killing his friends. In a scene where Cypher sits at a restaurant table with one of the bad guys, he’s just about to put a piece of steak in his mouth and says something like, “you know, I know this steak isn’t real, or the fact that it’s juicy and delicious has been programmed into me, I don’t care, ignorance is bliss”. He then says to the bad agent that he doesn’t want to remember anything, that he wants to wake up and go back to the matrix with no recollection of reality. He also adds in that he wants to be rich, someone that’s important. Isn’t that what the matrix is all about?

Cypher wishes he would have chosen the blue pill and stayed living in his pod, submersed in a jelly-like substance plugged in through a tube while his muscles slowly atrophied from never using them if it meant his mind could stay in a false sense of reality. How often do we wish for the same thing even though what we desire is fake and means nothing in the end? 

I’m sure there’s a whole philosophical discussion to be had on the topic, but to be honest, people just want to live in a world that pleases their senses, regardless of what’s going on around them. Most of us take the blue pill and continue to reach for external things to make us feel like we’ve achieved something significant in life, like we haven’t failed. We end up finding ways to distract ourselves with anything we can that takes us out of our reality, just so we don’t completely come undone mentally.

Most of us can’t handle reality because we haven’t been properly equipped to deal with reality. We’re told that everything turns out good no matter what, that if you work at something hard enough, you can achieve anything. The reality is though, not everyone can be outstanding at everything, it's crazy to believe that. The reality is, someone is always going to be bigger, faster, stronger, better looking, smarter, etc. than you- that’s life. But we go around giving every kid a gold star in school and tampering with tests to make everyone a “winner”, because heaven forbid a kid actually fail at something and experience real life.

Bad things happen all the time. In the end, not everything works out the way you hoped it would have. My husband’s first wife, who he was married to for twenty years, got ovarian cancer and died. Sure, my husband met me, but he had to lose his wife, the love of his life. My uncle lost his fight to lung cancer caused by working in facilities that had asbestos in them. Later, a law would be passed in his name requiring all buildings to have signage stating whether or not that building was contaminated with asbestos. Things can turn around for the better, but not everything turns out good. My husbands wife still died even though he met me, and Uncle Howard still died, even though something significant was done through his death. People die, they lose their jobs, they get divorced, they kill innocent people. 

We want to make every kid believe that they are going to be the next President or Beyoncé, even if those kids suck at singing or have no interest in politics. When’s the last time you heard someone say to little Johnny, “one day, you’re going to grow up and be the best construction worker anyone’s ever going to be”. No, we devalue jobs and careers that the majority of people get and do for the rest of their lives, only to make them feel like a failure because they didn't do something more "significant" like becoming a doctor or lawyer. But the fact of life is, we need construction workers. That house you’re sitting in right now, needed someone to build it. That toilet that you used this morning needed someone to plumb it in. Being a plumber isn’t fancy, but everyone uses their toilets and sinks, don’t they? We'd be screwed without what most people believe are "common jobs". 

We live in a society that sees exceptional all the time. We look at magazines, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, billboards, and everything is exceptional. Exceptional hair, exceptional abs, exceptional teeth, exceptional looking couples, exceptional clothing, exceptional looking food. I remember feeling de-motivated to cook at one point when I was posting all my food pictures on Instagram because my food didn't look as appealing as other people's food. WTF??? 

But we do this, don't we? We won't take pictures unless we look as close to exceptional as we think we can get, or we'll go around looking for the "perfect" place to take that next snap shot so we can get as many likes or follows as we can from it. We're so superficial, and boring. I do it too, I'm stuck in the matrix sometimes. We've been programmed to see what "they" want us to see (the proverbial they). 

The only way to get out of "the matrix" of the modern world is by realizing all the toxic methods used that are keeping you trapped. Spending hours on social media, taking endless selfies of yourself. Fixating on pictures that are airbrushed, fake, set up and comparing yourself or life to those pictures. Comparing yourself and your life in general. Not thinking for yourself and being told what's going to make you happy or feel successful. Instead of spending hours online, go outside for a walk or read an actual paper novel. Get unplugged and get real, right now. Don't waste your time walking around looking for the perfect place to take a picture, be the picture.

And remember, you can bend the spoon when you realize there is no spoon at all. 

All my love,

LJ

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