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Monday, February 1, 2016

Denial delays – and often denies – happiness

The more we deny, the farther we are moving away from happiness.

Life’s problems don’t always happen all of a sudden. They often build up over a period of time. We don’t see the problem as it is because of the state of denial we are often in.

A smoker knows smoking will lead to cancer. But he or she keeps denying that this reality will affect his or her Life; and so goes on smoking.

Many, many months before my Firm went bankrupt, a wise client (and a close friend) of mine had told me that “if you continue running your business this way, pretty soon you will go bankrupt”. I denied his sage counsel. I thought since he was older to me, he was conservative and hence not a risk-taker. So, I did not heed his advice. Eventually, when my Firm’s fortunes came crashing, I awakened to the realization that I should have never denied the problem we were in all that while.

Someone we know, who is very creative, is struggling to get one of his events off the ground. He just can’t find sponsors. He already owes money to people for an event he staged some months ago. So prudence demands that he does not launch a new event without settling his previous dues and without tying up sponsors. But he simply wants to plough on and is getting all stressed out as the event date approaches. He’s often breaking down and cries aloud that the Universe is not compassionate to him. Indulging in self-pity is a sure sign of denial. What this person must recognize is that the business model he is following is not taking off. So, something new must we worked on. Pushing forward without sponsors will only mean that he is digging himself a bigger grave – of debt!

Denying something even though you know it exists__a financial, relationship, health or self-belief problem__doesn’t make the problem go away. Or simply, denial does not help you avoid experiencing pain in a problem situation. It, in fact, increases your suffering. Because, since the problem doesn’t cease to exist, and continues to nag you, you are forever consumed by your fears. Wherever there is fear, suffering will be there too. To be sure, on the other hand, accepting__and not denying__a problem too does not make the problem go away. But because you accept it, and therefore you attempt to work on solutions__however long they may take__despite the pain, despite the circumstances, you do find inner peace and happiness.

There are no two ways to live Life. There is just one way __ live in total acceptance. The moment you deny whatever is happening, whatever you are going through, you are not saying yes to Life. You are not saying yes to whatever is. Know that saying yes to what is always leads to happiness – whatever be the circumstances!

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