“…to deny denial is to invite powers into our lives we have not yet readied ourselves to meet.” David Whyte
David Whyte writes about the necessity of denial in that it provides space between an emotional crisis and our ability to manage that state. There are times when we are just not ready to deal with it; times when attempts to deal with it does more damage to ourselves than good in remedying our need for closure.
We all live in denial of some psychological or behavioral predicament in our lives and we are almost always chided for such a state of mind because of the popular notion that denial is an unhealthy blockage to sanity and good living. In many situations I tend to agree with that statement. I believe in the profit of managing a situation, such as an addiction, a conflict with another person, or perhaps a character defect.
But even we in AA admit that a person is either ready or not ready to attempt sobriety. If they are not ready then the chances of recovery are almost nil. That’s why we talk about hitting a bottom when it becomes obvious to the self that change is required or the consequences are too dire to face.
If You are Not Ready…
I have no doubt that you are living in denial about some thing right now, this very moment. We all do. And I have no doubt that you feel guilty over it. What if, on the other hand, you were simply to admit that at this time you are not ready to deal with it and your mind has placed it on hold for a while… until you are ready to manage it? So brilliant are our minds and souls to know what is good for us and what requires percolation.
Dealing with conflict is always troubling and difficult. And yet at some point it is most likely best to resolve it. However “timing” is essential: both parties must be at an emotional state where readiness is required, if not then attempts at reconciliation do more damage than good.
Deep wisdom is required. Wisdom beyond our normal state of mind. And yet it remains essential that we embrace the ultimate wisdom of the Divine or Mystery or Source. Until that moment when rational and spiritual clarity arrives perhaps denial is the best place to reside.
Until that time I find the prayer of St. Francis to be most helpful: “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Denial is Often a State of Getting Prepared
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