The Delusion of Denial

Denial is self-made delusion. It causes one to focus only on what it wants to see as “protection” from the whole truth. Its a defense mechanism that puts blinders over the eyes by looking the other way, pointing a finger, or blaming others for one’s problems. It shows up so often as rationalization and justification.

Awhile ago, I was counseling a woman whose husband is gay. Despite overwhelming objective evidences, her husband still denied his addiction to sex with men. When confronted by his wife, the gay husband simply burst into anger, recited the defects of his wife, and put all the blame on her.

Indeed, denial only deepens one’s psychological and emotional woundedness. In the midst of addiction or turbulence, one is not looking through clear eyes. With its narrow vision, denial kills off all other realities because it’s stuck in seeing the situation through distorted lens. As one writer put it, “Denial of the truth does not change the truth. It just changes your perception of it.”

As long as you are in denial of the truth or “what really is,” you’ll remain incapacitated to see the entire or big picture. Denial cuts you off from the live beauty of the forest and leaves you in the presence of withering trees. It leaves you angry, resentful, and powerless over the circumstances of your life. To regain the big picture, you need to breathe and reflect deeply, and take the time to separate facts of your present situation from your fears.

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