First let’s look at the definition of denial which is; a statement saying that something is not true or real : a statement in which someone denies something, refusing to admit the truth or reality of something unpleasant. Basically it is a psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality. It is then used to allay anxiety by denying the existence of important conflicts, troublesome impulses, events, actions, or illness.
Denial is the refusal to accept reality or fact, acting as if a painful event, thought or feeling did not exist. It is considered one of the most primitive of the defense mechanisms because it is characteristic of early childhood development. Many people use denial in their everyday lives to avoid dealing with painful feelings or areas of their life they don’t wish to admit. For instance, a person who is a functioning alcoholic will often simply deny they have a drinking problem, as will any person who has formed a belief or habit, and they will defend their position, often by highlighting someone else’s flaws in order to elevate themselves, and taking the attention off the revelation of their own truth.
“If human beings were encouraged at an early age to critically question all beliefs for themselves, leaving no sacred cows intact, then they would eventually exhibit the strength and self-confidence, which is based on their own direct experience and of which requires no further justification, proof, or external validation. In that way, there would be far less denial, defensiveness, ideological dispute, and perceived needs to demonize the enemy, hence making oneself right or good, or better. “Self” denial is insidious because one will not question what they firmly believe is right , rather they will resist any such indicators to the contrary, and often very aggressively.” – Patanjali
From a psychoanalytical viewpoint, denial is a pathological, ineffective defense mechanism..On the other hand, according to the stress and coping model, denial can be seen as an adaptive strategy to protect against overwhelming events and feelings. Therein lies the appeal of denial to humans, it allows them to keep going unchanged despite reality. Denial is the path of psychological and moral least resistance. Personally, I believe that living in denial only makes accepting the truth and making the necessary changes that much harder, as Nikki Rosen points out herein, “No denial of the truth will ever invalidate it.”
When I understood that my own denial was on old pattern that was littered with self-esteem issues, I then evaluated and changed many of my beliefs by allowing humility to enter that space. I came to understand that acting with humility does not in any way deny my own self-worth; rather, it affirms the inherent worth of all beings, furthermore, humility dissipates anger and changes old patterns of thinking and action. Jeff Wilson said, “Selflessness is humility…..humility and freedom go hand in hand. Only a humble person can be free”, being selfless is the key to personal freedom, and that is the plain simple truth.
When you are in denial, projection becomes the psychological action of denying your fear and unconscious motivations and then giving these fears and motives to others. When you ascribe your motives and intent or project your hidden feelings onto another person, this distortion of reality harms both you and the other. Projection is often the result of a lack of insight and acknowledgement of one’s own motivations and feelings. Denial is the act of not being aware of inner feelings, fears and motivations, and is the opposite of mindfulness. Therefore it is important to understand the nature and influence of repeating patterns from childhood experiences, without understanding patterns tend to repeat, unnecessarily damaging relationships. Denial for me, is nothing more than an ego driven reaction of trying to reclaim your own personal power, and often at the expense of our relationship with others.
“The ordinary neurotic human being lives in a world of almost constant distraction, avoidance, denial, and ignorance from “reality” — from a deep connection with their true creative potential which manifests in now awareness. There are countless modalities of distraction, many of which the ego holds onto as dear and mistakes as pleasure, prideful possessions, enjoyment, or self gratification.” – Patanjali
This delusional process is most often unconscious, denied, and chronically ignored. This becomes peer reinforced in a society where the mass delusion serves its fears and craving. It becomes willful ignorance or conscious denial/delusion only after one becomes aware that they are lying to oneself. In that step toward conscious evolution, one has the courage to face their egoic mind. Then one starts to take responsibility for one’s mental state, but too often is seduced into playing the delusional game consciously. In short, such people pretend that they do not acknowledge the truth of truth or falsehood, reality or illusion, or any shared common reality with anyone else, as they have conflated freedom with autonomy. It appears to be free and easy as long as their poppycock appears to be functional, but really, the egoic mindset is fooling itself and such a game is still dictated by fear, craving, and confusion.
Essentially, patterns occur as a result of the internal, fundamental frameworks you live by. These frameworks refer to the inner beliefs and values you hold. To get rid of these repetitive behaviors, you need to look inward, examine what triggers them, uncover the underlying causes and resolve them at the root level. The good thing is that since patterns are a result of our beliefs, we can get out of them by changing our beliefs.
“What is revealed to me is what is important to me, what concerns me. Each person must be concerned with him or herself, with making him or herself whole. We have lessons to learn, each one of us. They must be learned one at a time, in order. Only then can we know what the next person needs, what he or she lacks of what we lack, to make us whole.” – Dr Brian Weiss
Shift from denial into mindfulness, so that you can see clearly, without the distortions of the conscious mind, subconscious patterning or childhood conditioning, and in doing so you discover yourself to be a far greater person than you had ever imagined. When you learn to understand the nature of the “Self”, the Real Self, which is immortal, freedom is achieved. This understanding will help you keep things in the proper perspective. What you resist, persists, so rather learn to overcome your fears and make the necessary changes, thereby setting yourself free!
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