Denial has something of a dopamine shot.
It immediately transforms reality and allows people to view it through their very own lens. It strengthens their belief of how life should be and enhances the way they feel about the current situation.
Denial served many of us during the pandemic in multiple ways. It eased remote work by making it feel more convenient than commuting. It eased social distancing by making it easier to stay away from people who had been less comfortable to meet or work with. It created space for maintenance work that had long been postponed.
As always, many aspects of human nature are there to protect us and make us more effective with what we can handle in a given moment.
Where human nature is less effective is in keeping track of what we are doing.
It uses experience to modify our habits and adapt our reactions to a given situation. But it will not proactively assist us in verifying if the learning is adapted to the situation we are in. It assumes that experience is true.
That’s where awareness steps in. It’s also where denial can step in to prohibit awareness.
It depends on the power we give denial. Does it get the power to hide our needs from our sight or does it serve us to acknowledge that they are not accessible in that given moment?
Allowing it to hide things out of our site is a way to buy into the ideal of a perfect life. One that isn’t disturbed by anything.
Using it to distinguish between past, future and present serves us to stay aware of the here and now. That is the moment in which we can act.