The River Denial: Those Little White Lies
by Jolé Morton
Some see denial as a saviour. Some say denial is what helped our ancestors survive during harrowing trials and tribulations. What is denial actually? Webster’s defines it as:
1: refusal to satisfy a request or desire
2a (1): refusal to admit the truth or reality (as of a statement or charge).
I am learning that the truth differs for many and at times we remain in denial to stay in our comfort zone. Facing the truth takes courage because the truth can be ugly and hard to deal with. However, I have learned that if we deal with truths on the front-end – in the present – at the time they are happening, we save our self from dire consequences later on. Speaking the truth allows us to know ourselves better; gives us permission to continue to make choices that are best for our souls. This in turn fuels our confidence making it a lot easier for us to embrace our strengths and weaknesses.
For me denial has been that thorn in my side. Ever since I can remember, a form of denial or– let’s just let the cat out of the bag – lying, has saved my ass on many occasions.
Today, I chose the unadulterated truth. This truth-seeking has me going through withdrawal symptoms. I find certain situations challenging and this confusion has a tendency to immobilize me. Makes me very nervous and anxious; I must stop and take the time to work through my own cognitive dissonance before I can react, and sometimes it is too late. The moments can and do evaporate.
Truthfully, I feel at times like I must deny my real feelings and desires in order to please others, or be accepted. For so long, I believed that my own feelings and emotions did not matter, so now they are difficult for me to recognize. In the past, when I spoke the truth my memories are of being ridiculed, disciplined or shunned. I rarely remember speaking my truth and being accepted for it. So I made it a habit to go along with status quo.
I am moving away from this cowardly behavior. In order for me to truly heal myself and others, I must be the truth not just speak it. Also, I must be mindful how I “speak the truth.” Truth is compassionate and does not judge. It delivers Denial itself from a place of neutrality, unattached from any emotion.. .but baby steps for me. We will address that topic in another blog. In the meantime, ask yourself, “Am I comfortable speaking my truth? If not, why not?”