Everything happens for a reason. Every choice, every direction, every path you choose will lead you somewhere. Not choosing isn’t an option, since not choosing is the choice. Denial has its own ramifications–whether it’s feeling disconnected from the people you love, stuck in job you no longer enjoy, blaming others for your problems or feeling unhappy in your own skin. Even if you think that life is a series of random happenings, with a little perspective and time, it’s often easy to see why something happened the way it did. Just because you can’t see it in the moment, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Unless you don’t want it to be. That’s your choice.
Everyone spends some time in denial. It’s a normal part of modern-day life. If I close my eyes while I eat, then I don’t have to admit that I really ate it. If I overlook the fact that my friend has marks all over her arms, then she won’t be a drug addict. If I pretend that he still loves me, then I won’t have to face my fear that he never really did. Denial sometimes feels like the only option because that’s a function of how it works. All lies disguise themselves as the easy way out. But they never are for very long. The reason the truth feels so scary is because it holds all the power. Why is that? Because truth is an aspect of love. And while you might not be able to change someone else’s behavior, you can love yourself enough to accept yourself for you who are and change the things that no longer agree with the way you want to live.
After a long day, the quickest way to feel like I don’t have to think about anything any longer is to turn on the TV. It’s a habit I’m not sure I really like anymore, but unconsciously, I continue to repeat the pattern frequently. There’s so much mind-numbingly bad television I just don’t have room for in my life anymore. Those housewives who are notorious for being incredibly cruel to each other no longer make me feel better about myself. It just makes me feel frightened for the direction society is headed. This is not to say that all television is bad, there’s actually some really wonderful programming, it’s just that there’s so many hours in a day and so many channels to fill–how could anyone possibly get it right all the time and make any money? Especially when the majority of people are content to watch the drunken antics of a handful of jerks from Jersey who want to beat each other up and then sleep with each other. Until the next night, when they will do it all over again. The thing about television is that it makes substantive life somehow seem disposable and boring. Don’t ask why, just do. And then do it some more because people are watching. Society is fascinating by train wrecks–look at all the media attention around Charlie Sheen–so that for that instant they can feel better about themselves. How much better do we have to feel about ourselves before we decide we don’t like what we see? Because let’s be honest, Charlie Sheen knows what his audience wants from him and he’s delivering it at a personal cost he just hasn’t reached…yet.
But I started all of this writing about truth and denial. When I stepped away from writing for a little bit to take my sheets out of the dryer and make my bed, I realized this: There are always different versions of the truth. There’s the act of doing and the reason behind the act. There’s the writing to distraction and the distraction from the writing. There’s the push of seriousness and the pull of “shut the hell up for once.” And in it all there’s the choice to be this or that, either or all of the above. I prefer to make my choices consciously, until I forget, and then when I remember again. But rather than judging my choices as either right or wrong, good or bad, I accept them. And if it turns out I don’t like a choice I make, well then, there’s always next time.