Denial is usually associated with rejecting or denying a certain state of affairs, or thinking or believing that things “aren’t so.” However, denial really encompasses much more than that; wishful thinking, turning a blind eye, and withdrawal are just a few subtle ways of our not wanting to accept the “what is” in our lives. Click here to read “5 Keys to Practicing Acceptance” to learn how to practice more acceptance in your life.
More specifically, denial includes such things as not admitting to ourselves that our spouse has a severe drinking problem or an addiction; not dealing with a recurring health issue; avoiding a serious business or financial matter; not accepting that our child has social problems; and not owning up to a loss in performance in our favorite activities.
Whatever its form or manner, denial is fraught with harm to our happiness and well being.
It makes no difference whether our denial is intentional or not. When we deny the “reality” of our problems and troubling issues, they invariably become harder to deal with later.
And very importantly, denial prevents us from making choices and pursuing paths that could alleviate the very problems we are denying.
Why? Because we usually can’t “see” them!
Consequently, it is better (and healthier) for us to Let Go of Denial!
One thing that can’t be denied, however, is that denial is very difficult to overcome. In most cases, I have observed that there are two, interlinked reasons for this:
*Our ignorance or lack of awareness of “what is”, and
*Our unwillingness or inability to accept “what is.”
Hence, to let go of denial, we first need to be aware of the underlying reality of what’s going on. To wit: Is there a problem? How serious is it? What is the dynamic or cause and effect? And how is it impacting us or others?
Once we are cognizant of the problem or issue, we then need to accept its underlying reality, which is to say, dispassionately see it for what it is. Expressed somewhat differently,
We must be able to see the “truth” and then have the courage and wherewithal to act upon it.
Very importantly, however, this does not mean that we need to like or approve of such things, but rather simply see them for what they are and recognize that we are effectively powerless over changing them.
Unfortunately, it often takes considerable discomfort (often caused by our repeated denials) before we begin to recognize the changes we need to make. We may also need the help and guidance of others—including friends, mentors and therapists—to help shine the light for us. Hearing and reading others’ acceptance stories can also help.
Ultimately, letting go of denial is a gradual process of “awakening,” and as we begin to experience the benefits—blessings, really—of accepting life as it is, letting go of denial becomes much easier.
Please share your acceptance stories in the comment area below of how denial has impacted you and your love ones, and how you learned to let it go.
In the meantime, remember to
Let It Go–and Accept “What Is!”
…and Let’s Help Make Acceptance Go Viral!
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