I have been noticing in my personal life that there are certain habits that are so obvious to me—whether they be physical habits like eating and exercise, spiritual practices such as meditation and prayer, or personal commitments to speak kindly and respectfully and not engage in gossip. While these are all areas I know I need to pay regular attention to, I have observed that if I am not incredibly diligent and persistent in these areas, and if I fail to make them a daily practice, I end up skipping them and not paying attention to them at all.
Why is it that with qualities that are so important and obviously beneficial to me—if I’m not uber-diligent, I end up not adhering to them?
The power of denial—which is different than the power of lying—is so great that if I don’t exercise my denial muscle, I end up acting lazy and not in congruence with my ethical and physical compass.
What do I mean by this? I mean that to me, denial is the power of literally pretending that something doesn’t matter or exist—the power to behave in a certain way and not even be aware of how harmful something is.
For example: engaging in gossip. If I’m not extremely diligent, it becomes natural for me to gossip, even though if asked, I would readily tell you how harmful and hurtful gossip is. Additionally, if I don’t exercise daily, or at least a few times a week, I end up not exercising at all because I forget—even though I know that it’s crucial for my well-being. This is the power of what I choose to call ‘denial’.
How do you make sure you don’t fall victim to behaviors you don’t approve of? And, if you catch yourself engaging in denial, how do you work to combat the behavior and pull yourself out of it?
This week, I’m committing to paying attention to my words to make sure I speak kindly and to not speak about anyone who isn’t with me or right in front of me. Together, let’s exercise our moral muscle that reminds us of how hurtful and harmful gossip is.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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