Brain. What wonderful piece of work. One can’t help but wonder how brilliantly it functions. It processes millions of thoughts everyday, helps us cope with problems and an array of emotions. Our brains are what makes us, us, truly. To bear with this workload, it has a clever piece of defense mechanism. Denial.

Denial, is asserting that a statement or allegation is not true. We live in denial every single day. Our brains are hard-wired not to think about facts too uncomfortable, lest it makes our lives difficult. This brilliant coping mechanism does give us comfort, but the comfort is short lived.

Lets take an example. A poll survey revealed that almost 99% of people who watched a disturbing video about global warming and its effects on all life, immediately switched over to a more pleasant piece of news. This behaviour, is classic example for denial. Overwhelming evidences are presented every single day about the ill effects of global warming, but our brains are simply not able to accept it because it is not pleasant. Truth never is.

We are so used to this way of thinking, that our brains trick us into believing that we are not in denial of denial, which in essence is nothing but self-delusion. Overcoming denial can only be done by embracing acceptance.

Accepting what one is, opens up our mind and gives us serenity and strength. It is the only solution for long term happiness. Denial might give us some fleeting moments of comfort, but acceptance lets us live with ourselves and others in peace.

As Ernest Hemingway beautifully put it- “You can’t get away from youself by moving from one place to another.” The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma- Judith Lewis Herman.

sinduja ramanan

avid reader, occassional writer.