Greetings from a very sunny Scotland. Oh what a fabulous week it has been here.
And I would be doing the country a dis-service if I didn’t tell you that Scotland looks spectacular in the sunshine. I mean it probably looks impressive in all weathers, but it’s harder to find the motivation to go explore when you are battling the elements, don’t you think?
I’ve got to be honest with you – I have been taking advantage of the weather and spending a lot of time outdoors. Some might say ‘avoiding’ key tasks – many of which have been on my ‘To Do’ list for way too long.
I admit, I’ve been a bit lazy and so when thinking about my subject matter this week, – ‘why we procrastinate’ seemed like an appropriate topic (secretly, I was hoping that it may even help to shift my resistance.) But as I began to write, the subject evolved.
And so instead, I want to talk about situations that we avoid in life – not because we are procrastinating, rather because we haven’t even acknowledged the truth of our circumstances.
I’m thinking about those situations where we don’t take action because we are living in denial.
Denial is a very common coping mechanism.
It serves us well at different points in our lives. But it can numb us out to the experience of feeling ALIVE and can also undermine the wonderful possibilities that await us.
It takes a lot of courage to look at the areas in our lives where we might be living in denial.
The most common expression of denial manifests itself in personal relationships. I think most of us have known (of) the woman who has fallen in love with a married man. She has been holding on for years, believing that one day, he will be all out of excuses and will finally commit fully to her. She is in denial to the truth of the situation.
Maybe you are denying the fact that you have outgrown your present role, because when you face the truth, you have to do something about it. Either something about the job has to change or you have to leave and embark on a new path. That’s a big, important decision. And it can be scary. So often, if we face what we have been denying, we have to make big choices and sometimes those can be extremely painful and uncomfortable.
Denial paralyses us, robs us of our energy, and makes productive next steps impossible, so much so that it feels like we are walking around in a fog.
When you face the truth, you may feel completely vulnerable and naked, and you might be overwhelmed by the suppressed feelings that emerge.
In this situation, you need to be self-supporting, self-loving and self-forgiving, so you can take the necessary steps to handle something you have been denying for years.
I recently worked with a Client who was concerned about her health. She knew that she had put on weight over the last few years, but the full extent of the problem only really hit her, when her doctor informed her that they could not proceed with a (non-essential) operation until she lost some weight. She was mortified. But it was an important wake-up call.
And it forced her to face the truth of her situation. She had to let go of the self-judgement and consciously take better care of herself. She felt so much more empowered when she took back control and put herself in the driver’s seat and now, she has lost the weight, developed new habits and is waiting for the date of her operation to be confirmed.
Maybe you have been thinking “I’m stuck in this job, but it’s too late to change career now” or “I’m stuck in this relationship…. but I don’t want to be alone in my 50s”. Maybe it’s “I will never be able to lose the weight”, or “I’ll never get out of debt”.
Whatever it is that you are in denial about, I’m here to tell you that until you face up to the truth of your circumstances, you are missing out.
You are missing out on the multitude of choices and opportunities that are available to you, both internally and externally.
Are you afraid to acknowledge that you are capable, strong and dynamic?
Why do you deny your power?
In owning our power, there is no excuse NOT to have what we really want.
When you have let go of denial, you can experience living in the present moment and finding solutions to the most challenging areas of your life.
Tap into your courage, follow it, trust it, honour it, and know that this true wisdom will guide you to new beginnings.
x Until next time, sending you love x
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