As a little girl, I was eager to look under my pillow after having lost a tooth and seeing the coins the tooth fairy left for me. I loved the experience of fantasy and imagination as a child. The feelings of excitement tapped into deep longings as I eagerly waited for Santa on Christmas eve; as I anticipated my Easter basket filled with goodies on Easter morning. I was satisfied with my mom’s explanation of Mr. Sandman as he carried his bag of sand all the way up to my bed and carefully placed one or two granules in the corners of my eyes.
As I grew out of the fantasies of early childhood, I faced the reality of where babies came from. Ugh, I couldn’t believe it at first! I began looking at all the married couples I knew from church and had to rearrange my thinking. I can’t believe they had to do that to get a baby! It changed my childish reasoning. I later realized this act of sex was a pleasurable experience. My thinking emerged toward reality; from the tooth fairy to transparency.
Now, as an adult, I have a tendency to have an overly optimistic bias. I tend to live life in such a way that I believe the best in humanity. I believe human beings have the power to transform and grow and live life fully. Christ died to give us abundant life. He must have thought us worthy of His love to make such a sacrifice.
Yes, I know that evil exists in the world. We have an enemy that comes to kill, steal, and destroy. We all have tendencies to manipulate, power over and control others. Some choose to live in the illusion that the world revolves around them. By doing so, others are harmed. Relationships are no longer emotionally safe. Still, the fantasy world is chosen over reality.
Having heard countless stories of others at various stages in their lives, I tend to see individuals as wounded, not evil. Some hang onto their tooth fairy fantasies through risky behaviors such as drugs, sex, and alcohol. Others do it by ignorance, isolation, distrust, or toxic secrecy.
I long to be transparent in my relationships although reality can be initially shocking, just like it was as a child learning there is no tooth fairy. Being transparent and responding accordingly is necessary for growth. Many of us resist that process. It’s comfortable to believe in the tooth fairy.
We, as human beings are designed to grow, change, learn, and develop. Living life fully means stepping out of fantasy and into reality. May each of us respect the reality of another, and choose to let go of illusions of control. May we gain the skills to step out of fairy-tale thinking. May we be open for transparency, yet hold onto the reality of life-giving fullness we are meant to live!