Today we invite the word “denial” into our hearts and minds.
* The etymology of the word “denial,” brings up the image of turning away from, saying no, refusing, or repudiating.
* The psychological use of the word “denial” is related to the willful but often unconscious turning away of “painful or embarrassing feelings or thoughts.”
* Consider that we covet those things that harm us, those ideas of ourselves that are painful and embarrassing. We desire them, we defend them, and yet we deny their existence at the very moment that we keep them in the private pain of our hearts. You cannot have my pain. You will not see it. I will not see it. It’s mine. The spirit of denial is a secret desire to have what harms and to harm whatever attempts to take away “my” pain.
* How can we deny the world and yet say that we love it? How can we be in the world if the desires of the world so often deny us of freedom and love? You cannot have my pain. You cannot have my world. It’s mine. You will not see it. I will not see it. It’s mine.
* Consider that we also desire all manner of things that will harm us and that the spirit of denial comes to turn us away from the objects of our desire. Each day for love to be real, in some way we must turn away from the world, and yet we cannot deny the world as though we are embarrassed of it or secretly coveting it, for the world is not embarrassed of us. We know this because it desires us fully, without remorse or shame, every waking moment.
* Denial often convinces us that we must turn away from self-care, from love toward others, from affection, and from tenderness, because we do not have time for it, or because the world will not wait for it. Denial convinces us that responsibility is more responsible than love. But love teaches us that responsibility grows out of love. From Love’s perspective, denial is a protective spirit that turns us away from those covetous and false responsibilities and back to the only everlasting responsibility, the force that is responsible for everything and everyone, the force that denies nothing while bringing everything that has turned away from it back to itself: love.
* Why do we meditate or pray or get onto our mats or whatever we might do to center ourselves? Is it really to deny the world? Or is it to find that place where we love the world without possessing it, where we allow the world to love us without being consumed by it?
* Why should it take discipline, focus, hard work, or spiritual sweat to love the world and be loved by it in return? Just as children learn that they are not in possession of their parents or parents of their children, for love to grow it must be free.
* While we are in a physical world, a world where forms come into being and pass out of being, freedom and love have to be cultivated physically as well as mentally because we are physical and mental creatures. If we don’t work the muscles of freedom and love, they will atrophy and we will come to hold or be in the hold of something that denies us of love.
* Why should there be any constraints or lack of freedom, ever? With constraints and separation come the sacred gap across which intimacy and love are shared. A shift of consciousness is required for constraints to be understood as the call of love.
I am not here to be an austere denier of the world. I am not here to be consumed by the world. I am here to sing the call and response hymns of love.
Prayer: Dear Saturn and Mars. Show us where we are living in denial and sing us back to the gentle discipline of loving kindness.