I have, at times, given some consideration to the psychological concept of “denial.” One of the things I think about is that just about everybody wallows in some form of it, thus working against an honest awareness of reality. The realities of things we don’t like are the things about which we are usually in denial.
Our denial often embraces a mental erasing of sickness and suffering in ourselves and those dear to us because dealing with their reality is too painful or embarrassing to admit to ourselves and certainly too painful and embarrassing to admit to others. Being honest with ourselves about ourselves and about those we love most is not easy. We would rather create imaginary conditions of comfort to absorb all that we lie to ourselves about – and, though false, we accept these as our reality.
There is also a form of this which applies to our spiritual lives. It can be a debilitating factor in at least a couple of ways. First, there is a subtle form of denial easily bought into that says I am not as guilty of hurting You or separating from You as I sometimes think I am. With this form of denial we begin to take God for granted. Then there is the living of the denial that God could see anything worthwhile in me. This leads to pessimism, despair, cynicism and lack of joy.
I am sure there are many more forms of denial in the spiritual life that deal with accountability for one’s words or actions.
The point is, we have to stop wallowing in the conditional comfort of denial. Nurturing it dulls awareness of our true selves. It is our true selves against which our various constructs of denial work.