Fear then Denial
There's a word that has dogged me all my life. It has been my best friend in terms of my behavior. I have relied on it as a mountaineer relies on the sherpa. I have trusted it at least as much as the doctors who treated my lung cancer. And it has been more reliable than any friend or relative in my life. I know exactly what it will do and how effective it will be.
But Denial has a poor reputation. Some say it obscures the truth from me and that's hurtful. But I've never had much use fr the truth. It would get me in trouble when I was a kid. It made me want to study more for tests. It made me think life was too much work, and too boring.
Okay, let's back up. I just described what I did with the judgments I had, all of which add up to my thinking that I was not going to get enough. I wouldn't have enough fun. I wouldn't have any freedom. I was going to be sad.
But again, I am still operating at the judgment level. Maybe the question is, where do these judgments come from? I finally realized I was protecting myself from some imagined future. None of the things I mentioned had or were happening. They were all projections of the future. Or perhaps I could say they articulated my Fear.
As you are no doubt aware, Fear is about the future. I'm only afraid of what's happening now when my life is threatened. Otherwise everything I'm afraid of is in the future. I won't have any fun or freedom in the future. It will be boring. So I need to take care of that now. The problem is that I am in denial about the consequences that will produce. This is Denial in my life.
So let's take a look at what Denial has actually gotten me. It allowed me to be unaware of how prepared I was to take tests, so it allowed me not to study,which allowed me to fail tests and courses. It allowed me to accept lesser performance from myself at work, with relationships truly with all the activities and decisions in my life. Denial has always allowed me to accept less from myself because I couldn't trust myself to do what needed to be done, as I described in yesterday's post.
So, in my case, Fear brings on Denial, which eases my anxiety and widens the gap between who I am and how I am acting. That's what I call a loss of Integrity.