Tao-Te-Chi - Delving Into The Cloud of Denial

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"De nial… not just a river in Egypt anymore!" For most of us this is how we look at Denial; as a joke or something not to be taken seriously. This position is not really a good one to have as Denial is a very powerful thing that causes a great deal of pain. The reason is not so much because of how we think about Denial, but more because of what it does.

Denial itself is best defined as "the ability to hide the truth of a situation behind a more pleasant lie." For many this may seem like an okay thing to do and not really much of a problem. The reality is that this is one of the biggest problems we face today and destroys more than most realize.

The reason is not so much because of Denial itself, more because of what we do with it. When we don't want to face the truth of a situation we hide it. In all honesty our mind believes that if we hide it, then it will make our lives easier to live and deal with. Sadly, when we hide something we do not stop doing it, we merely look the other way when it happens. This means that we stop or change nothing in the hopes that it will go away on its own.

What complicates this matter is that much of the things we do not want to see are things we also want to keep. This conflict is due to our perception of the situation. If we do something that we have been programmed to see as negative but get things we really want from doing it… then we will keep doing it. Of course we can not admit to doing it because it is negative, so we hide it. All fairly simple and straight forward; however this is only the beginning.

In order to better understand Denial itself we need to look at the underlying cause of it. This is actually the perception of right and wrong. We all have an idea of what we view as right and wrong. What we do not have is a realistic understanding of why we view the things the way we do. In most cases this is because of programming which occurred when we were much younger.

As an example… "Honey don't put your elbows on the table!" Given the situation this then gets labeled as "wrong" in our lives. When we see someone else put their elbows on the table then we see them as doing something wrong as a result. The problem with this is that it is based on whim and situation, not logic and consistency. I am sure we have all heard this particular statement and seen the same people put their own elbows on the table. This then can cause a conflict inside that may result in "issues" being formed.

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This is really the base starting point for why we have Denial in the first place. In truth Denial itself is a survival trait that simply has evolved beyond the need for survival. With it we could live as good a life as we were able at a time when everything was out to kill and eat us. This is a little too much to deal with, so we simply found a means to forget it for a time. Of course as we evolved so did these tools, and as a result Denial has taken on a whole new dimension.

What we now end up with is mental conflicts; ideas or events that simply do not match with what we need them to be. In the idea above, if our parents tell us not to put our elbows on the table while they themselves do it… this causes conflict. We want to believe that our parents are smart and perfect people; they are after all our role models for life. If they are seen as less than perfect then we too become less than perfect. This for most people is something they simply do not want to deal with. As a result Denial is created to hide the inconstancy of the situation. In essence this makes it more tolerable for our minds to deal with. Of course this is only one situation… and a fairly basic one at that.

What happens as a result of all of this is that over our entire lives we create a sense of "Right and Wrong". Of course, as we can see, some of this is not based on reality; merely perception and interpretation. This is the problem! When we have a flawed sense of right and wrong then we need to create defences to defend it all. This is the root of some big issues for most of us and is why someone can just snap because you put your elbows on the table!

I hope you can see the correlation between these things.

So we now have a sense of "Right and Wrong", regardless of whether it is right or wrong. Of course as part of this, every aspect of our lives and the events around us gets added to the mix. We now have to complete system of judgment and evaluation for everything that happens, all filtered through what we consider to be right and wrong. As long as nothing happens to show conflict between anything then we are fine.

However, as soon as there is a conflict then everything changes. As an example… We are in a line up at the store and someone cuts in front of us. The first thing we do is have a look at them and see that they seem pretty shabby. Well this is not acceptable as our judgment says we are better than them and who are they to cut in front of us. This of course triggers our defences and requires us to punish them for this affront to all of humanity.

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Everything was fine until we were required to contradict our sense of right and wrong. In the above example the contradiction is not that someone cut in front of us, far from it! What really happened is we were required to look at the fact they we felt we were better than them; and as a result we were deserving of their automatic respect. As they did not give it to us then we simply had to punish them. This of course is something a good and decent person would not do; so out popped the Cloud of Denial to hide the situation.

This would not be good enough by itself because there has to be something that happened. If there is not then there would be no need to be upset. However, it is also vital that we become totally blameless and the other person completely at fault. This means we now have to create some lie to tell ourselves so that we can justify the situation and come out smelling like roses.

In one fail swoop we have turned this person, that simply cut in front of us, into the next Hitler and sent the troops in to free humanity from their tyranny. While at the same time turned us into a Saint unlike any other because we took the risk to infiltrate their organization and uncover their evils.

A bit over exaggerated, however none the less what basically happens. We took a situation we did not like, made sure we had a good reason to punish the other person, came out totally innocent and at the end of the day we get to think we are great people for doing it. This is the real power of Denial at work. It totally allowed us to change the situation into something a million times worse then it actually was. This situation was really about being insulted because someone cut in front of us… nothing more!

The important question is… why do we do this? As was already said we have a filter system and a sense of Right and Wrong. Under these systems we see ourselves as perfect beings who deserve worship. Someone came in and disrupted this belief system by showing us they did not have any respect for us. Well that is unacceptable because it makes us face the reality we are not as important as we think we are; and as a result out comes the anger. Since being angry is also unacceptable then we had to make it all their fault so we were not to blame. A complete and total waste of time, all because we simply did not want to face the fact that we think we are better than we actually are.

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Many people right now will be spending all their time trying to make this into a lie or justifying it all with some new story. The reality is that this is what happens; in fact it happens all the time. When we look at the facts about how angry we have become as a society, how much things like road rage have increased and in truth how little respect we have for one another… is it really any wonder?

We all want to be respected and treated in a manner appropriate to our own sense of Right and Wrong. Since it does not happen much in our society we feel required to MAKE people respect us. We feel it is our right to have them respect us and we have earned it. Of course we also need to be a GOOD person. This causes conflict as we can not be a good person when we are busy punishing someone for not showing us proper respect.

The only options left to our flawed sense of right and wrong is to hide it all from ourselves. As a result, out comes the Cloud of Denial to make it all go away. In truth we are doing what we think we need to survive in this life. If we were to face the reality of the situation then we have to admit to the fact we are not a good person. Something that we have associated with being very very bad and would mean we have to die or ourselves become punished. This is not good because it means we would have to face a lot of pain and anguish that we see as being detrimental to our lives.

Seems a little extreme, yet sadly these are the facts. However, just because they are facts today does not mean we have to keep them for tomorrow. We have power over our own lives, even though we may not feel we do. All of this is happening because we have either been programmed or have chosen to become programmed with this mind set. We have the idea firmly planted into our minds that if we are not a good person we need to suffer great pain and torment. However we also have firmly planted the idea that we have a God given entitlement to things like respect.

How could we hope to have any other options when God himself has told us we are required to be respected? When we have been commanded by the Lord to take that respect by any means required, no matter what. Of course the fact that we have to be a good and decent person when we do it is really just a silly notion anyway.

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The problem with Denial is that it does not stop us from doing any of these things. It merely gives us a means to make us feel we are the victim while we do all the abuse. The truth is, that in order to deal with the situation we first have to deal with the reality of it. Only when we are willing to face the facts that we have lied to ourselves and hidden the reality of our lives from ourselves can we begin to change.

This is not an easy task to undertake as we have lied to ourselves for most of our lives and hidden a lot of pain away. We know deep down in our hearts the reality of what we have done; there is no real hiding from it after all. The problem is that we also feel that if we unleash it then it will cause even more pain. Thus we keep ourselves locked in this vicious cycle of causing pain so we do not have to feel any of it.

This is all based on the lies we have told ourselves and done everything at the same time to make us totally Worthless!

This really is why we feel we have to be respected at all times. We know in our hearts that we have worth so we have to have some. However, since we have destroyed any change of us getting it from ourselves we have to have it from outside. When this does not happen we have to take it by any means required. This is what is called "overcompensation" which is defined as "balancing one mind set or position with and equal opposite one in order to create a balance between the two".

As a simple example… Let us start with a number scale from 100 to negative 100. If we see that we currently sit at negative 47 then we know we need to introduce a positive 47 to reach zero. The problem with all of this is that we want to be at positive 100. If we are at negative 47 then we need to introduce a positive 147 to get there. However, since we do not see that we sit at the negative 47 position then this gets all messed up.

When we look at where we are then we end up with two numbers; there is the negative 47 that we actually are and the positive 100 that we "Think" we are. If we want to get to positive 100 when we already feel we are at positive 100, then why do we need to do anything? The fact that our hearts tell us we need to improve adds confusion. This causes us to overcompensate and do some very horrible things because our mind is so messed up it does not know up from down. In fact when we do these horrid things, like demand respect, in our minds they are positive ones. We think we are doing really good work worthy of praise and recognition.

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The only way to fix this situation is to find a way to deal with the reality of it. Since this is, as we have already said, going to be painful to do then we are in trouble. Sadly there is not other option available. The only way to uncover the truth about who we are, what we are and where we sit on the scale is the truth. That means we have to face the reality of ourselves… no matter how much pain there is!

Of course there is a catch to all of this. What we have done in the past is just that… in the past. Back then we did not know what we were doing. As a result it should be forgiven from our lives and left where it is. This means that we have to find a new way of doing things out of honesty and truth.

This is not as hard as one may imagine. In fact, all we have to do is look at what we are doing and why we are doing it. If we feel we need to punish someone for their violation, that what has happened is unforgivable or that it was a personal attack then we are living the old way of thinking. If however we can begin to honestly forgive people their mistakes, do not feel we are required to punish others and generally are willing to believe that everything that happens in life is not a personal attack… then we are on the right path.

Most of the things that Denial covers up are things we feel incapable of dealing with; things that we feel are beyond our control. Once we begin to see this is wrong and begin to change, then we not only gain real control over our lives we also get to rebuild some real self-worth and self-respect.

Copyright April 2005
ISBN 0-9739566-1-5


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