Tag Archives: denial

Are You In Denial?

denial1     Denial…It ain’t just a river in Egypt!  The degrees of it in our lives vary, but I firmly believe that every single human on Earth has experienced it at some point in our lives.  This is because, for a time, denial serves us.  We deny what we cannot accept or handle, and it protects us from ourselves.  But it cannot last forever.  At some point, the veil falls, and we become hyper-aware of whatever it is we were trying to deny, which can be so painful.  We may feel shame from it, or aggravated from it, but that can be normal when beginning to process things we have denied for so long!

Sometimes, it looks easier to be in denial.  As the saying goes, “Ignorance is bliss.”  Denial does not stay blissful for long.  It becomes a monster that grows and grows, skewing our behavior, creating chaos and unmanageability in our lives.  Denial and control go hand in hand; as long as we deny that we are being controlling and do not change our behavior, we will continue to control and deny as a form of trying to feel in control in the mess that we’ve gotten into. Continue reading

Deepak Chopra: How Do We Deal With Loss?

We all know that death is a part of life. How could we not? And yet even awareness cannot fully soften the blow of losing a loved one, no matter how spiritually prepared we may be. What, then, can we do to deal with loss?

In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak addresses methods for coping with loss, beginning with releasing anger and denial:

Death and the loss of the body and brain is a realm of potential, where thought still forms and consciousness still exists. Local consciousness becomes non-local consciousness, but this local consciousness is where we have our relationships, those who we care about and love. The people who are dealing with the loss of another should try not to grieve with anger or denial, but with love and remembering the great times they spent with the person who passed away. Remembering the life and experiences of the person we lost can bring joy and fill the void the loved one left behind. Ultimate love translates into compassion, empathy, a desire to do good. This helps us deal with loss.

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5 Early Signs of Addiction to Look Out For

Screen Shot 2013-07-04 at 4.30.33 PMThe vast majority of people who have an addiction, regardless of the type of addiction, have very similar patterns of behavior. Often the people who are close to an addict miss the early signs of addiction or accept the behaviors of the addict based on the lies the addict tells. Understanding these “games” that addicts play can help you identify the telltale signs of addiction even in the early stages.

As I talk about in “The Law of Sobriety”, addicts realize that what they are doing is destructive, negative, and harmful. They do whatever they can to hide their addiction from friends and family. Some addicts are very good at this secretive double life but it always comes to the surface when the addiction takes over. For many this is a slow process while for others it can be relatively fast.

There are 5 typical behaviors that are common with addictions of all types. If you suspect someone has an addiction these will be red flags that can help you to determine if you need to reach out to get them the help and support they need.

  1. Manipulating their time –  an addict needs to find time to engage in their addictive behaviors away from who that are critical of the behavior. Watch for absences, irregular schedules, and lack of accountability for time in the addict’s life.
  2. Denial – the addict will deny or minimize any type of behavior that is related to the addiction.
  3. Defensiveness – questioning the addict about their life, habits, behavior, changes in their personality, or any other issues will trigger extreme defensiveness or blaming.
  4. Lies – catching addicts in lies is usually not difficult to do. Telling lies and trying to remember these stories is stressful, difficult, and overwhelming.
  5. Isolation – most addicts remove themselves from the people that know them best because their change in behavior, lifestyle or personality is most obvious to those who are familiar.

Changing from addiction to a clean and sober lifestyle first takes acceptance and acknowledgement of the addiction. Detecting addiction-related behaviors and getting help and support for yourself as well as the addict is essential in providing the right environment for this acceptance to occur.

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Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life, Love & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab  on  VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law  of  attraction to  recover from any addiction. Please download your free E book “Filling The Empty  Heart” and your “Are You a  Love Addict Quiz?” at www.sherrygaba.com Contact Sherry for  webinars, teleseminars,  coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen  to Sherry on “A Moment of Change with  Sherry Gaba” on CBS Radio Take  Sherry’s quiz for a free eBook Filling the  Empty Heart: 5 Keys to  Transforming Love Addiction.

Denial is the Devil

I have a friend who loves to cook and eat. Her talent in life is cooking and she – like Julia Child – brings that joy to her family, friends and community. But my friend indulges herself too much as evident from her weight. She is by all definitions obese and growing larger with age.

I remember the size of Denial. When my husband 25 years ago faced his ‘demon’ alcohol a friend at the time told me he thought he had a drinking problem. I feigned shock and insult; denial was in protection mode.

I wonder if I can help my friend see through this tangled forest of Denial and Self-Protection?

Can a friend – a true friend – sit by and say nothing as someone you love grows larger and becomes bitter with time? For over-eating and obesity usually come with other emotional baggage. I should know I lived 8 years bulimic, gorging and purging to survive.

My bulimia reflected an unsteady relationship I had with myself which may be the source of much over-eating, under-eating, or general poor care of the body. My relationship was built on mistrust and disgust. I used therapy and meditation to uncover and change it but there are many forms of investigation. The biggest challenge is to begin to look, and to look with honesty.

When do I eat for other reasons than hunger?

Why am I hurting my body?

What negative emotions drive my actions?

None of us want to see negative emotions or negative thoughts within ourselves so we project them on the world and people around us.

An easy way to see what might drive your own harmful actions is to make a list of people you like and don’t like: the attributes of those on the ‘don’t like’ list are often the very ones that drive your harmful behavior.

The process of uncovering negative emotions can only come from within: the investigative journey is ours alone.

I once walked on a road with high black brick walls of Denial on either side. One brick was knocked away and a beam of sunlight shown through. I looked in and saw a magnificent garden of colors, butterflies, joy and bliss. I began to chip away the bricks one by one and soon there was no separation of the garden and me.

May this post be a chip in a wall somewhere so that the exuberance of an authentic life can bring a bulldozer to the rest.

Coping With Rejection: Empower Yourself With An Optimistic Outlook

A friend of mine told me once that she was ‘dumped’ by her lover of four years through an indifferent email. Needless to say she felt acutely defenseless at that time and had plummeted into the so-called depths of despair, but after a decent mourning period now she feels like the one who has had the good riddance.

‘You know Nazia’, she jovially confessed, ‘Some lovers live happily ever after, some live happily even after!’

A carefree laughter accompanied this brave declaration of hers and I could not help but marvel at the vibrant and positive outlook she has developed to something as downbeat and heartbreaking as rejection. Fundamentally speaking, rejection is the ending of a relationship, a dream or a hope, and it often is the most dreadful moment of our lives.

Most of the time we are in partial denial of its existence until it hits us suddenly with a force and catches us unawares. Rejection comes in many forms. We feel rejected when we don’t get a job we badly wanted, a seat in a particular college, a house we had set our heart and dreams on, or a lover we were deeply in love with has decided to walk away.

The doomed announcement of rejection may come in a letter, email, or a fax, written out in black and white. Or maybe it was hinted rather catastrophically, during a telephone conversation. Unlike my friend who turned it around later to call being dumped as the best gift from her callous lover, most of us do feel the agony of rejection for quite a long time and it does slowly and surely seep into our psyche to leave us feeling washed up, deserted, and high and dry.

Sigmund Freud said, "We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love, never so unhelplessly unhappy as when we have lost our loved object or its love." True. Rejection feels terribly painful. It often feels like a physical hurt, as if something is slowly breaking down inside us and we just have no power over it. Sometimes when we are going through pains of rejection, it feels like a global conspiracy. Someone we smiled at did not smile back as warmly and it would twirl our heart into feeling miserable. The gatekeeper did not smile as cheerfully as other days while opening the door in a shopping mall. The saleswoman did not attend to us sooner, and we feel the entire universe has conspired against us to make us feel rejected.

Rejection is also the trigger for many suicides and acts as the propeller of depressive feelings. I have worked for sometime in a suicide intervention center and have come across many a weeping eyes and wailing hearts who just want to curl up and die because they have been rejected by their lovers. They are quick to brand themselves as ugly, unwanted and hopeless just because someone they had pinned all their hopes upon has rejected them.

Well, rejection hurts. It hurts like hell. But do you know that paradoxically it is also a moment of supreme potential? Would you believe that the ending of a dream or a passion has great power and energy hidden in its realms? I know it is hard to believe because all our belief systems keep screaming that rejection is so painful! And during that particularly dark phase of our lives we just cannot accept the notion that the new situation in our lives has opened up the entrance to many opportunities.

The main reason why we see it as pain and not power is because we see it as loss of control. Most of us fear loss of control, because we tend to use it in our interaction with another human beings, especially in close relationships, as a powerful tool. When we determinedly believe that we need to have control of our lives then we will suffer grave pain in rejection. But if we relinquish control and begin to believe in the supremacy of surrender, then we will not feel the anguish of rebuff so extremely and the rejection will feel like the opening of a new door.

Just like my friend, who had told me later that she was actually in an abusive relationship and would have never been able to come out of it on her own as she lacked the will to be the one to end it. Her self-esteem was getting corroded every single day and like many emotionally abused women who claim to love too much, she also took it in her stride. When her lover ended it all one fine day, she was free to see things more rationally and realize what it means to be truly happy. The rejection had opened new doors for her and she was ready to find a new love with a much better person, who would respect her as a woman, as a human being, and give her the love and honor that she deserved.

How we turn the despair of rejection into a powerful experience is in our own hands, but of course it isn’t that easy. We will have to train our thoughts to see that there is always a lesson in rejection. We will have to work hard to re-invent our views, and to see the good in it, in order to help ourselves move forward in life. We will have to learn that rejection is a decision. Although the person who is doing the rejection appears to be more in control, we fail to see our participation in rejection when we are nursing our wounds. It is hard to believe that there are many decisions that we as the rejected one had unconsciously made that had given that power to the one doing the rejection. But we must know this: That just as it takes two to humiliate, it takes two to reject. Why we feel rejected is because we had given the other person, event, or happening that much power to control our responses and reactions.

The second option is to choose our reaction. If we stop seeing the rejection as someone’s power over us, then the rejection will hurt less. We must question ourselves that if someone or something can get a reaction out of us, one that causes such heartache, pain and agony, where have we been ourselves anyway? This kind of powerful thinking takes practice and is not gained in one day, but it is all about self-love that we need to hone for ourselves everyday until it becomes a natural habit.

It is ultimately our choice whether we feel humiliated by rejection or not. If only we learn the serenity of choice and decision in the face of all the horrors we are facing due to this awful feeling of rejection, it will hurt less. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between bad luck and new beginnings, but rejections often carry a secret message and we can actually be taught to see that tiny glow in the darkness of forsakenness and emerge a stronger and more confident person. It is all about turning over the stale, damp pages and switch on to the next new chapter. To live happily, even after.


Barack Obama and Peace


Barack Obama is potentially laying the foundation for PEACE ON EARTH in a way that reminds us that everything we create on Earth starts within. 

As the 44th president of the United States, and with 4 being the number of construction, organization, order, system, accomplishment through hard work, and breakthrough, he needs to be – and is – a natural ‘organizer’. He often demonstrates the fact that organizing is not supposed to be the end result, but just the beginning. Organization provides a working foundation – the order and system – from which to accomplish greater things. Organization IS the foundation.

And then, the power of PATIENCE offers additional framework that enables everything to come together in the right way, at the right time, in the right place, and among the right people. However, impatience to see results could be a problem, not so much with him, but with people in general. 

4+4=8, and 8 is the number of power on the material plane. But his is not the ‘old’ kind of power that seeks to control others. It is the new evolved kind of power that wants to empower all people so that they can live the way they want to, by their own free will. This, in turn, enables life to flow freely, peacefully, more abundantly, and with LOVE as its fuel, rather than hate and indifference. Real power has no need to overpower others. It wants to help others empower themselves.

President Obama is in a 5 yearly cycle in 2009. 5 is the number of constructive change, freedom, expansion, and producing new positive experiences by learning from past mistakes. June 2009 puts Barack Obama in an 11/2 month while the world itself is in an 11/2 year. There is a distinct emphasis on the power of PATIENCE and on the intent of PEACE. Here we have a direct instance of one 11 connecting with another 11 and forming the 11:11 signal that so many people all over the world have become aware of in the past decade or so. And this connection is being made in the name of PEACE and EQUALITY, both of which, I believe, are the principle means of evolvement, and what 11:11 is all about.

11 is made of two 1s, and because 1 is the first number, it signifies both LEADERSHIP and PROGRESS. In the past, 1 and 1 competed and clashed, and there was little cooperation between leaders or individuals. We are seeing in Barack Obama a new kind of leadership that is based on the intent of helping to bring about peace and stability on Earth. 11 is the number of ILLUMINATION (shedding light on things), EXPANDED AWARENESS, INSPIRATION, SCIENCE, and FAME.

1 is the number of INDIVIDUALITY, and his ability as an individual to speak to the hearts of individuals all over the world provides a catalyst for peace. He alone cannot produce peace because peace must start on the inside – within each individual. It must start in each of us as a desire for peace.

1 is the number of THE SELF and, rather than continue on the path of pure self-interest, 11 symbolizes one reflecting on oneself and seeing the differences and diversity that exist in the world from an accepting point of view, rather than a judgmental one.

Despite a very poor beginning at the start of the new millennium, it seems that an impressive LEADER did emerge out of the 1000s after all, whose Destiny Path number is 2, (based on adding all the numbers in his date of birth). If Barack Obama really means what he says, then he understands that leadership is not a matter of ‘ruling’ others, but of helping others to lead themselves, which is one of the principles of the 2 energy.

2 is also the number of PATIENCE – something all of us must develop even if we think things should be moving faster, or in a different direction. The enormity of the changes we are undergoing, personally and globally, is beyond the full comprehension of most of us. For instance, bringing the economy back to a more stable position doesn’t mean that the bankers and other greedy individuals actually got away with what they did – it means that, for now, the economy did not slip completely out of control. Many things that we’d like to see happen but don’t seem to be happening will come in due course. Right now, extremes of all kinds are slowly but surely being driven back to the outer edges where they belong, and that really is a top priority. Patience, patience, patience.

So much is wrong with our world that it’s going to take a long time to put things right. Remember that TIME is a natural occurrence in the physical world, and that PATIENCE is the acceptance of time. Without patience, we cannot see the details surrounding the issues, and to ignore the details keeps us in the darkness of ignorance.

Ignorance is denial of reality – which is actually stupidity. Denial of reality is the root cause of racism: the stupid belief that some colors are inferior to others. America now has the darkest president it has ever had, and his light is the brightest it has ever had, too. That’s what happens when ACCEPTANCE of reality occurs within; when mind accepts feeling, spirit accepts emotion, masculine accepts feminine, light accepts dark, yang accepts yin, East accepts West – and vice verse. And we must also remember that acceptance is quite a big step beyond mere tolerance, a step which Barack Obama has apparently taken.

“I AM” is one reality. “WE ARE” is another. Both are real. The shift we are experiencing is that of peaceful coexistence, or at least that is the potential we now have. By accepting ourselves and each other as equals is the ONLY way that peace on Earth will ever be achieved. And we are closer to that now than we have ever been.

1 is the nucleus of all the other numbers and, as more distance (time) develops between the 1000s and the 2000s, Obama’s call to end the weaponization of nuclear energy is ideally timed and essential to our survival. It is also a reminder that when it comes to technology, just because something can be done, does not mean that it should be done. In fact, any technology which is designed to curb the free will, privacy, or basic rights of people, or places us or the environment in danger, needs greater scrutiny than ever.

Barack Obama is also deepening the understanding that war is not a matter of winning or losing, because peace can never hold in an atmosphere of winners and losers. If the goal is to ‘win’ at all costs, then to what lengths will one side go to ensure ‘victory’ against the other ? The emphasis should be on ending war and preventing it.

2 is the number of PEACE THROUGH DIPLOMACY. This has seldom worked in the past because it was never given a chance. Impatience for results got in the way. In many cases, diplomacy wasn’t really being used but, rather, some trick, some compromise, to get one side to accept what was actually unacceptable. In those circumstances, peace could not hold because the feelings involved had not found acceptance.

Barack Obama’s June 4th speech in Cairo addressed the need for true diplomacy in several places, but none more powerfully than when discussing the Israeli/Palestinian conflict which symbolizes much of what we all have to learn in order to evolve. The people there may have different cultures, religions and ideologies, but they also share the same gaping and festering karmic wound of DISPLACEMENT. Obama called it “dislocation” which gives even more emphasis to the pain involved.

Each side fights the other for what it believes is its survival but, in repeating this ‘must-win’ pattern of revenge, generation after generation, each is contributing to their own and each other’s destruction. Each side is unable to believe that sharing the space they are fighting over – in peace – could actually work well and, because there is no trust, and no acceptance or empathy for each other’s feelings, the notion of cooperation, and sharing the peace, does not even compute. What a shame, because that is the only way to heal the karmic chaos they share now. (It is a reflection of the karmic chaos we all have to heal in our own lives, too).

Karma is ‘cause and effect’, and the drawing of experience that will help us evolve to the next stage of existence. The more we let ourselves feel our feelings, the more alive we feel, but denial keeps us trapped in our own karma.

Unless we are completely switched off from Love for one’s fellow human beings, it is impossible to look at cruelty and suffering and not feel anger. When pain and anger cannot find acceptance, there is further displacement because these feelings then believe they have nowhere to go – and that is how rage develops. The problem is that people are so afraid of anger and often deny that anger is what they’re feeling, even when it is quite obvious and justified. Denied anger has a way of bursting out unexpectedly, and it can be very dangerous. Peace cannot develop when pain and anger are denied acceptance. Our emotions are not what have been getting in the way of our evolvement. They are the part of ourselves that we have been avoiding.

Acceptance for people’s feelings is the basis of compassion. Just imagine – and it is irrelevant as to what ‘side’ you’re on – that someone blows up your house with your beautiful, innocent, loving family inside. They’re all gone. Wiped out. Nothing but rubble left. The intensity and rawness of your feelings would surely be beyond description. And imagine then that you’re told, ‘Too bad. Get over it. Your side is just as bad. That’s war.’ …..Or worse. “Forgive those who just blew everything you lived for to smithereens.”

While it is true that forgiveness is the only way forward, it is the non-acceptance – the denial – of the pain and anger experienced on both sides that prevents either side forgiving the other. To expect people to forgive without compassionately accepting what they have experienced – the very acceptance that will soothe and heal – is feelingless and backward. That is why there is so much emphasis in the United States right now on the word EMPATHY. 2 is the number of empathy.

President Obama is the opposite of feelingless and backward. He appears to feels very deeply which enables him to look forward with compassion and intelligence. From his words and gestures, he also appears to know that it is not the feelings themselves that need to be eliminated, but the on-going patterns of non-acceptance and non-caring that cause us to feel the same painful emotions over and over. He was born on the 2 Destiny Path, and 2 is the number of CARING.

2 is also the number of CONNECTION, and our new level of thinking and feeling gives us a marvelous opportunity to connect the body of the human family together by healing the rifts that have split us apart. 2 reminds us that Mother Earth is our home – the one who gives us life – the one who nourishes us.

We are no longer looking at numerology through the prism of the #1 alone. When one reflects on oneself, we get 11, and 1+1=2, making the 2000s a time in which emotional energy – feminine energy – will finally find acceptance. Yes, there is a lot of OLD emotional charge to heal in each and every one of us, layers and layers of it actually, which can take a lifetime to achieve. But perhaps that’s why we’re here at this particular time in the evolutionary journey – to pull together collectively to achieve peace, love, understanding, equality, balance and happiness, so that the human journey can continue.


Obama’s Call: Wake Up!

The urgency that anyone feels, or doesn’t feel, about the 2008 election rests on the issue of waking up. Over two-thirds of Americans tell pollsters that the country is on the wrong track. Dissatisfaction with government is rife. Looming crises such as climate change and global recession call for quick action. But if the conventional wisdom sees this as a race against time before the clock runs out, conventional wisdom is wrong. This election is a consciousness race. Either you see the need to wake up or you want to keep sleeping, which means giving in to inertia and denial.

I make this point because there is no bigger reason in 2008 to ask for change than in 2004. Resentment ran high four years ago; failed policies were evident; the war was seen as dishonest and fruitless; corruption in Congress had been laid at the feet of a discredited Republican leadership. But causes for discontent aren’t enough. A willingness to change must be found. It wasn’t found in 2004, and the same opposing forces are at work this year. They aren

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