Denial – It’s Okay (Or is it?)

I took a short break from blogging, which turned into a longer-than-expected break. Truth is, I’ve been in a transition period since ‘losing’ my full-time caregiver job, i.e., my father, a few months ago. While he was living with me, this past year, I kept my business going, somehow. Having a work-from-home business can be a blessing and a curse, all at the same time. There is no doubt the blessing part this past year, was being able to be home and take care of my dad. However, taking care of Dad was painfully difficult and created a situation whereby I was unable to focus on anything else – the curse. I would be living in a ridiculous state of denial if I did not confess this truth. Those who know me best know that I pride myself in being real. I don’t believe that putting up a front for others honors our true selves, so I tend to tell it like it is. There will be a touch of this honesty in every future blog post, no doubt, for it is who I am. Consider this your fair warning.

I learned much from watching my father in his last months. He was an interesting character, to say the least. He had an innate ability to live in denial; yet, at the same time he was a huge worrier. It was confusing to observe this, but thankfully I learned some life lessons that will forevermore stay with me. My denial antenna (the one that allows me to spot it in myself and others) has sharpened.

I don’t mean finger-pointing, rather I mean, I recognize it and consider its necessity.

For example, yesterday I followed a FaceBook discussion where folks were debating whether or not feeding one’s children McDonalds is an indication of one’s love (or lack thereof) for their children. One woman had an extremely defensive reaction and stated that she was offended. That indeed she feeds her children McDonalds and (basically) it’s nobody’s business and certainly not a reflection of her love for her children.

This got me to thinking. I have very strong viewpoints on healthy eating and I was supportive of the initial FB post, “If you love your children, don’t feed them McDonalds.” However, I also understood the possible effects that a bold statement such as this might have on those who are unaware. Defensiveness is what ensued, followed by clarification, and then jokes. It is my belief that the offended woman chooses to live in denial that McDonalds might be unhealthy for her children. In fact, she might believe that taking her children to McDonalds is an act of love for them, since they enjoy it so much, denying the fact that doing so might teach them unhealthy eating habits . . . or worse, contribute to future health related problems.

Denying her children the joy of eating McDonalds food could be construed by some as child abuse. Okay, not likely, but the point is, there is a lesson to be learned by our

Real Food
Real Food - No Denial

own defensive response – if we happen to notice. Does this mother’s denial cause her to believe that McDonalds is a fine food for her children? Was there a possible lesson in it for her, that perhaps she could at least limit their McDonalds intake and teach them the reasons why? I hope this is the case.

By watching my father’s ability to completely deny certain obvious truths, I learned to be more aware of my own tendencies toward denial. But I also learned to be less judgmental toward others who are in the midst of a good ole bout of denial. Sometimes denial is good and healthy, after all. Unlike McDonalds.

9 thoughts on “Denial – It’s Okay (Or is it?)

  1. I agree completely. My thinking in making that bold statement was to shake people up, make them sit up and take notice. We all know eating all of the fast, easy food, that we have idea where is actually came from, what’s put in it, or how it’s prepared is in no way good for us. We all know McDonald’s food, inparticular, is not good for us. Period. But we continue to feed it to children, and ourselves. Denial. I think the ones who were most defensive when I posted that statement were the ones who know that food is bad and still continue to eat it or give it to thier children. My hope in putting that out there was to maybe make a difference…just maybe the next time thier child asks for McNuggets or a Cheeseburger from some other fast food chain that they think about it and say “No, let’s find something better for you at home.” That’s love.

  2. * “that have no idea where it came from…” I was thinking and typing too fast….forgive me.

  3. Erin, I actually disagree that ‘we all know.’ I think there are a lot of people who are in complete denial and unaware of the real damage we are doing to our bodies by neglecting to feed ourselves REAL food. When I became passionate about Juice Plus a few years ago it was because of how difficult, if not impossible it is today to eat enough of the REAL food our bodies were designed to eat (in fact it’s difficult and expensive to find raw, fresh, organic, pastured, real food). My passion turned to broken-heartedness over the many many intelligent but unaware people who say: “I eat healthy” and refuse to change. That’s denial. We, as a society, have lost our way because of all the convenience foods, not just McDonalds, but the center isles of every grocery store. Many well-meaning mothers (and dads) grab the box because it’s easy, quick, and it MUST be healthy because it says right on the box: “Low fat, high fiber, less sugar.” Yet those folks refuse to learn how to read an ingredient label and refuse to believe that America’s health problems stem from every bite chosen.

    You’re doing a great thing by risking back-lash and speaking the truth about REAL food and our responsibility to CHANGE the way we eat and feed our families. If more people listen and learn and change and demand, then we can fight the Monsanto’s and McDonalds of the world and make a difference. It’s economics – if consumers demand more better…THE BEST…and we speak with our actions, by refusing to spend our money on factory farmed ‘food,’ they will hear us. Keep at it my friend! Don’t stop fighting for what’s right and good for all.

  4. That’s what I love about you Debbie. You seek truth. What is not to admire about that! Seeking truth is what personal growth is all about. It’s about reaching beyond our comfort zone to search for what is real and accurate. When its’ way easier, because it’s often less painful, to insulate ourselves into a categorized belief system. For example, one might say, my husband isn’t generous or doesn’t love me because he doesn’t give me great presents for my birthday. When the actual truth is that he fears criticism or rejection for the gifts he does give or maybe she implied that she didn’t ‘want’ gifts to not feel selfish, but instead, truth was, she did want them to make sure she was loved. Stuff/games like that. We all play them, unknowingly often. And when we cut through the BS and really look at the truth, we are enlightened with so much more. It alleviates pain and suffering in relationships because misunderstandings are painful. More later my love! I really hope I can go to the HSMG conf, I want to touch base with you IN PERSON! Love Susan

  5. I love your honesty, Debbie.

    Denial, it seems to me, is sometimes a coping mechanism for a situation that otherwise would be overwhelming Other times, it’s a means for resisting change. I’ve been both places, lol.

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