I discover how denial meets surrender as I reread my book, Flight Instructions: A Journey Through Guilt to Forgiveness, while preparing for a workshop I’m facilitating about writing, “The Write Remedy: Healing through Writing.” I use the wisdom and awareness I’ve gained from writing about my journey to wholeness. As I read, I internalize the material for the umpteenth time and get flashes of new insight about denial. I used denial as a veil to “protect” me as I navigated my way through the guilt of leaving my husband of fourteen years, and my three young children.
As I translate the defense mechanism of denial now, PMS, Post Memoir Syndrome, I sense that perhaps denial was surrender in disguise. With this recognition I gathered more clarity as to why I had to take this journey. In the early years after leaving, the consequences of what I did were so punishing I plunged into persistent, prolonged denial in order to survive.
So, yes, denial did get me through – through to the place where I could begin to shed the guilt and “surrender” to the next steps of my journey – leading me into my true nature, living into my spirituality and my authentic self. That doesn’t mean the pain of leaving wasn’t real in its buried state. On this heroine’s journey the dragons I had to slay were societal norms about women’s role, about the construction of family, and mothers and nurturing. In the 1970s, there were not many ways for a woman to fully express her multidimensional self without her defiance being vilified.
My legacy to my daughters’ is a new model. My journey was not about feminist rebellion, but about a woman bringing three daughters into the world, then having to leave them to find her way back to mothering in a new, albeit nontraditional way. As God would have it, I married the right man to father our daughters and keep them safe. Not by choice he let me go to take the journey I came here to embark upon.
In the end we were all set free.
Science of Mind tells us that denial is knowing that negative conditions need not be, and clears the way to the truth as thought rises to the spiritual perception. – Ernest Holmes