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Friday, June 10, 2016

The Saving Grace of Denial

Denial--A Soft Cushion Against the Harsh Realities of Life

Sometimes life throws us a curve ball we didn't see coming that overwhelms us on impact. In that moment--when we need time to garner our inner strength and resources before meeting an issue head on--a shroud of denial envelopes us.

Being in denial isn't a bad thing. Denial is a wonderful coping mechanism, born out of the body's wisdom, designed to protect us when we're overwhelmed and frightened.

The saving grace of denial is it provides us a soft cushion against the onslaught of the harsh realities of life and gives us time to wrap our minds around something we just aren't ready to deal with.

Denial allows us to sit in the situation awhile as our brains work off-line preparing us to come to terms with our need to acknowledge what's caught our attention and what we're going to do about it if we are to move on with our lives.

Welcome Denial like a Compassionate Friend

Treat denial like a good friend, acknowledging and welcoming it when it comes to visit--instead of chastising yourself for letting it stay. Let it rest undisturbed awhile before engaging in conversation with yourself about the secrets you've sequestered from view.

Understand the time you sit in denial does not weaken you. You are merely idling while you're feeling vulnerable and afraid. Your strength and courage are still there ready to emerge when the time is right for you to competently handle the issues that initially overwhelmed you.

Turning Fear into Faith

Moving Beyond Soul-Crushing Experiences

Sometimes you can live in a state of denial for years--too bruised by major soul-crushing experiences to do anything but push the horrifying experience deeper out of consciousness sometimes with the use of drugs or alcohol. Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse or other life trauma--especially in childhood can have you living a life of denial.

Yet when you're ready, these things that happened to you--leaving you feeling weak, vulnerable, hopeless and helpless--can be moved beyond with the assistance from others to help you rediscover your courage, strength and personal power.

Unwrap the Gift of Knowledge Lurking Behind Denial

When you're ready, allow yourself a quick peek behind the curtain of denial to see what you're hiding from yourself.  No worries if it's dark back there and you can't see anything when you 1st look. Close the curtain, acknowledge your wisdom in letting it sit awhile longer, and get back to doing what you were doing. Don't give it another thought.

If you find you're now ready to apply your strength and resources to dealing with the issue at hand, allow the veil of denial to slip open and look at what you were previously afraid you were unable to handle. Consider whose counsel you might seek to help you find your strength and courage to move you from the fear you can't handle the truth to having faith in your ability to handle life--and emerge healthier and stronger.

When you peek behind the veil of denial:
  • What little niggling thoughts rise to the surface of your consciousness? 
  • What gems of knowing come through that you can now act on?
  • What inkling of issues too-big-to-handle yourself emerged?
  • Who comes to mind to help you create a bridge from denial to acknowledgement to action?
  • What is one thing you can do this week to move yourself toward unloading the burden you've been denying?

Seek support from family and friends, and if necessary, professionals, to help you find your way forward.

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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

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Jean | said...

Sue, this is the first thing I've ever heard or read that puts denial in a positive light. Again, such wisdom!

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Thanks, Jean. I'm always looking for a way to put even those so-called negative aspects of ourselves to work! If we look carefully, there is always a positive use for our failings and foiblies!