Have you ever met someone that never seems to be living in reality? We question their sound judgment based on the choices they make against the undeniable world that surrounds them. It’s almost as if physical pain would encompass their entire body if they had to make a decision based on reality versus the world they believe to be true in their head. In laymen’s terms, we would say that this person is in denial; but for the sake of our friendships and or familial relationships we just agree with them and move on as if we are supporting the madness. Even for ourselves, how do we expect to reach our fullest potential if we are not able to accept the reality of where we are in life.
One of my favorite school of thoughts comes from William Glasser when speaking of those needing psychiatric care, “In their unsuccessful effort to fulfill their needs, no matter the behavior they choose, all patients have a common characteristic: they all deny the reality of the world around them (Glasser, 1965).” We all know someone that lives in their own reality. This person may express their own reality through lying, creating chaos in their world, or never admitting a wrong. Whatever the behavior, it is an effort to avoid the truth, and they only deceive themselves! No one is exempt from this behavior from time to time, but to stay in the state of denial is to the detriment of a healthier life, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Jeremiah 17 tells us the heart is deceitful! Why do we want to deceive ourselves? To avoid reality. Sometimes, reality is scary and we can’t find the strength we need to conquer our circumstances. The truth of our circumstance could reveal some things about ourselves that we may not be ready to deal with, so instead of doing the work, we just deny the issue. The truth may mean that we have to let go of an unhealthy relationship or a loved one. The truth may mean that we stop saying the dryer is shrinking our clothes and admit you need to get in touch with a treadmill. The truth may mean facing that you have allowed fear to keep you from going to the next level in your career. The truth can HURT! But, denying the truth does not bring us any closer to resolving the issue we need to resolve.
People around you may begin to throw subtle hints or ask gentle questions. Be mindful of how often this is happening; more importantly, listen to your response. If you find yourself making excuses…you may want to check in with the possibility that you are in a downward spiral to D-Town (denial). Being off track is sometimes hard to admit because as stated above, that means that we will have to make necessary changes that may be difficult. One of the most valuable assets we have to help get us back on track and hold us accountable is community.
The best and worst things about living in the digital world is the access to community right at the tip of those manicured nails. It’s the best due to its accessibility, it’s the worst because if you are not focused on what you are trying to achieve, what information you are gathering, or how to use/contribute to the community effectively, we will run the risk of not benefiting from resources that are so readily available. This is not to neglect the people that are with your immediate touch. Developing a support system is paramount to any level of success.
Be encouraged to find a community, in real life and digitally. Begin to surround yourself with people who love you enough to tell you when you are off track. Let’s love others enough to gently prompt them back on course if they are heading to Denial Town. It’s not judgment, it’s accountability.
P.S. Additional reading to this article are 3 Reasons You Are Losing At Life and Who Really Has Your Back: Why Accountability Matters. Having a healthy community is important. These articles will help you narrow down characteristics of those you should surround yourself. Also, the photo is by Photo by Morgan Harper Nichols.