I can see and use a word hundreds or thousands of times throughout my life, barely noticing it, and then one day it magically appears new to me as if I’ve never seen it before.
This happened recently with “disillusioned.”
I’d seen and used this word countless times before, usually in a context meant to convey disappointment, but looking at it the other day I suddenly saw it as if for the first time. Dis-illusion. The removal of illusion. What is so disappointing about being freed from illusion? Why isn’t that a good thing? Shouldn’t disillusion be a happy word?
If you’re living a life filled with illusion, you are, by definition, cutting yourself off from reality. I suppose that could be a good thing if you live in North Korea or suffer from a debilitating disease or are serving 10 to 20 in a state penitentiary, but for most of us I would think that it is better to live a life in the realm of reality. Reality is more likely to give us a meaningful and rewarding existence, particularly when one considers that most of the illusions being spun around us these days are marketing-driven dreams designed to stoke our insecurities to the point where we spend money we shouldn’t on things we don’t need.
So I’m looking forward to more disillusionment and, though I don't want to be greedy, I'm also hoping for some disenchantment too.