~ Dalai Lama
We all have a defense mechanism in how we deal with hard moments in our lives. Often times, our mental defense mechanism kicks in during pain, loss, tragedy, disappointment, etc. Like the way our bodies have an immune system for diseases, so does our thoughts. We create our own thought defense mechanism as a way to deal with it when our pain is deep.
While such defense mechanism can be positive and necessary, so we do not completely break down, fall into depression or can use it as a catalyst to change, there are times when it becomes negative: when we are in denial about our lives. Denial becomes destructive because we bury the truths that free our mind, which in turn provide the peace and calm for happiness.
Unhappiness often comes from denial, where we unconsciously block the truth. For example, we may be married to an abusive person but we continue on or where we may hate our jobs but we continue on. In an extreme case, a wife may look the other way about her husband who may be molesting their children. For example, Dottie Sandusky, Jerry Sandusky’s wife, refused to believe that her husband was a pedophile. So, we can see that denial can be very damaging not only to you, but to the family members whom you love and extend to people around you. The denial creates a situation where we settle, causing us to go off track and creating dissatisfaction with our lives. Often we settle because of fear, insecurities, and low self-esteem.
So, how do you get to your truthful life? Deep inside you already know it, but often we put up a shield, so we can protect ourselves from facing the truth. The first step is to open your heart and acknowledge whether you are living your truthful life. There are signs that people show when they are not living the truth: a pattern of easy anger and frustration. Also, people in denial do not like to take responsibilities for their actions. Challenges and obstacles occur for each and every one of us, but people in denial like to look outward and blame others for their problems, instead of looking inwards. On the other hand, people who live truthfully look inward, reflecting on how they can improve their thoughts and attitudes in order to change their situation for the better. Look for these signs and if you see such negative patterns, then you may want to examine and question the path of your life.
After you acknowledge those denials, the next step is to have the courage to move away from it by taking baby steps and finding a better situation. While taking the road less traveled is harder now, it will pay off tremendously later. Although change can often lead to your truthful life, it is important to be realistic about it. if your dream was to become an Olympic athlete and now you’re 40, well, that would probably not work. However, if you always wanted to be a writer or a chef, then this change can happen just about any age. So be realistic about the change you make in your life.
Have the courage to acknowledge and live your truthful life, as “the truth will set you free.”
By Moon Cho, Creator of Ying & Yang Living