Denial (also called abnegation) is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.
Seems to me that denial can being an immensely powerful force in our lives. Any of a thousand different situations and emotions can cause you or I to simply deny the reality of it.
Why do we do this? Because reality can be the most difficult thing to face.
For me personally, it seems as though when no solution to a problem is available then the only option is to avoid thinking about it. Again, impermanence (anicca) is what comes to mind for me.
And like Bhante Sujatha‘s saying “What to do? Nothing!”, these are the words that remind me to accept even the impermanence of this very thought I have in this moment. Our suffering and struggle comes from wanting to control or change a situation. But if we give it a minute, it will all change. Guaranteed.
Just think about how you felt yesterday, and ask if that is how you feel today. Are you thinking the same things, is the situation the same? I know that it’s not the same. Thoughts, feelings and emotions rise and fall from minute to minute and day-to-day.
Attaching to them is truly the root of our unhappiness and dissatisfaction (dukkha).
My practice has brought me so far on this path over the last many years. But still, it is very easy to fall back into the old habits of clinging (upadana) and aversion (dosa). “I want this, I don’t want that”. “I like this, I don’t like that”…
Samsara, pushing and pulling and going nowhere but in a circle. The only escape (nissarana) that I see is one of acceptance and presence.
This post is a reminder to the self, and perhaps helpful to you also.
We are right here right now – a present, alive, breathing and loving compassionate person.
That’s really all we need to be aware of is this very moment and it’s reality. No denial.
Easy? No, not at all. But possible with practice, absolutely!
May you be well, happy and peaceful.