There is cozy, little town down the road from Reality.
It is a town filled to capacity with smiling souls that have an emptiness in their eyes.
It is a town that feels good to it’s residents most of the time.
It is a town surrounded by high walls that keep intruding thoughts and
feelings, safely secured, from the town folk.
It is a town of controlled emotions.
It is a town comfortable for those that are afraid of looking at themselves.
It is a town without any mirrors for the citizens to see themselves. Someone else is always responsible for a person’s happiness or loneliness.
And residents never hold themselves accountable to themselves.
Someone is always in their corner to defend and save them from facing their own truths.
This town is a long, long way from Reality.
This cozy, little place, deep within the mind of man, is the Town of Denial.
I have a place to stay where life seems pure and sweet;
A place for me to stay where I control whatever I meet.
The Town of Denial has streets lined with the shade of strong oaks.
Leaves never fall from these trees since there are no seasons in Denial.
The trees always protect from the sunlight and moonlight of Reality.
The mayor of Denial is a rapscallion called Rationalization.
He is an ugly sort to those who live in Reality, but a revered soul to Denial’s faithful.
A two-faced demon, born of the loins of Lucifer, he shows a comfortable, calming side to his clan members.
But, the people of Reality know him for what he really is.
A jail keeper who locks up the souls of his prisoners and holds them tight even against their inner will.
Rationalization is a folk-tongued soul who can delight;
Can seem to keep you secure and safe throughout your night.
In every town, there is a power broker in the shadows working his own brand of black magic.
Blame is an evil partner of Rationalization.
Blame rarely shows his face to the town folk.
Instead, he hides in the darkness as he goes about spreading his debilitating sickness on the unsuspecting.
His insidious plan, partnered with the mayor, drove the Twins of Good
Relationships from Denial long ago.
His scheming found no place for them if Denial was to swell the citizenry and expand the bountiful cofers for Rationalization and himself.
So, he drove the Twins out.
Smiling, facetiously, in the light and grinning that evil grin at night.
Blame is a powerful force in this town;
He can seize a mind and turn it around.
False Expectations is another long established face in this town.
With his brother, Unrealistic Expectations, they have been known to wrestle the strongest into submission.
Easy pry is what they seek.
Perfection, a cousin, is another powerful force in Denial.
While he seems to be a noble, lofty goal, the relentless pursuit of Perfection is, in fact, evidence of imperfection and confuses a soul.
Perfection in matters of material and occupational concern can even be admired in Reality.
But when Perfection strikes at affairs of the heart, the result is often difficult and tragic.
There is another sinister character lurking in town.
Though a lesser player in the ruling structure, nevertheless, another
formidable force with which to deal.
Control is his name.
He is a distant relative of Perfection and the brothers, Expectation.
A bastard child of inbreeding that tears at the fabric of a being.
He, too, has many faces and can loom large in the eyes of some.
Control is frequently accompanied by Anger.
Anger is always lurking on the perimeter of everybody’s space.
Ready to pounce, berate, belittle, and stir up the cauldron.
False Expectations and Perfection will eat at your soul;
And will bring out your worst in the presence of Control.
The mayor of the Town of Denial is selective in whom he permits to stay within his walls.
Most are encouraged to come and to stay, but some have been asked to leave.
Compromise, Sincere Regret, Compassion, and Forgiveness were all burned at the stake while Rationalization whipped his followers into a frenzy and they cheered the flames licking at the feet of the victims.
They were replaced by Strong Wills, Never Sorry, a dastardly cousin of Rationalization, and the ever present, Relentless Pursuit.
There are no reeds in Denial.
Nothing tender and gentle that will bend with the wind.
Nothing that will restore it’s shape to carry on.
For in Denial, the will to modify, to bend, is left to the outsiders.
In Denial, there is black and white.
In Denial, there is strong and there is weak.
In Denial, there is standing tall or there is laying down.
In Denial, there is no middle ground.
And there is no middle of the street.
People walk on one side or the other.
Some are allowed to stay and some are required to go;
Whether you stay or go depends on what you think you know.
My house in Denial sat high on a hill.
It was a older house since I had lived there for so long.
It was a pretty house and, outwardly, gave me much pleasure.
But, inside the walls were turning gray and the paper starting to peel.
The paint was fading and the roof was beginning to leak.
Then one day the Hurricane of Personal Change gathered it’s storm clouds.
Personal Change mustered the winds to full force and began to batter the walls of my house on the hill.
There was no protection from this fiercest of the many storms within my mind.
And as the fury of the wind and rain began to reduce my house to splinters, to be cast on the landscape of Nothingness, I found I was out of tokens for the mayor.
Perhaps you did not know it, but the mayor is always willing to save you as long as you have special tokens to give him.
You pay no taxes in Denial, but you must give tokens, little bits of your soul, to Rationalization when times are hard.
The tokens purchase shelter from the storm and permit you to rebuild your house, sometimes of even stronger materials.
But, this time when my walls came tumbling down and were scattered by the wind, my purse was empty of tokens.
The winds of change had cast them afar onto the landscape.
Since I had nothing with which to pay, Rationalization, his deputies, and his followers chased me to the town limits where I leaped across the line and planted my feet on the road to Reality.
The mayor called after me and offered to make me a loan of tokens.
But that would have encumbered me to his breast for the remainder of my life.
Thankfully, my legs and heart were strong enough to win the race to the town limits.
But, just by the smallest of margins.
I had lived in the Town of Denial for most of my life;
A place that seemed secure, but caused nothing but strife.
Now that I have escaped from Denial, I have begun to make new friends.
Grief stopped by for a long visit and then made his way to his next appointment.
Sharing and Compromise, the Twins of Good Relationships, who were exiled from Denial by Blame, are ringing my door bell more frequently than ever before.
And, a new friend, Self-Esteem, has been corresponding with me on a regular basis.
I feel we will become good friends in the future.
I had not know him well in the past and now know what I have missed out on.
Introspection is my difficult roommate these days.
He makes me share much time with him.
He is a hard task-master.
He makes me see things.
He gave me my very first mirror and I did not like all that I saw when I looked into it.
Some of the images made me cringe and turn away.
Nevertheless, I think Introspection and I will always be very close.
Introspection introduced me to another new friend, Forgiveness of Self.
She is a rare creature, majestic in stature and spirit.
An exquisite blend of beauty, knowledge, and heart.
She, and her sister, Forgiveness of Others, are becoming close companions of mine.
Forgiveness of Self is showing me the passageways which will lead to truth.
And she is teaching me to get closer to Compassion, Kindness, Patience, and Thoughtfulness.
And, she is helping me build up my defenses against Anger.
In Reality, I have met a new group of friends and acquaintances;
They are helping me to tear down my old fences.
I can climb the trees of Reality and look over the walls back into Denial.
And, I can see more clearly now what I have left behind.
In addition to leaving Rationalization and his cohorts, I am shaking off Envy, Jealousy, Greed, and Selfishness.
I am not through with my journey into the full light of Reality, but there is fuel in the steel pony for me to start the trip.
I have enough rations to see me through the difficult road and the potholes that I must encounter.
I know there will be long, dark nights filled with loneliness and despair when my only friend will be myself.
And even if there is backsliding in the torrential rains that can move the hillsides along the way, I will never go back to the Town of Denial.
The trip would be too easy….and the price much too high to pay.
Angels of Hope, look down on me from above and smile;
Wrap me in your warmth like a mother wraps up her child.
There is another acquaintance I have met on the road to Reality.
His name is Sorrow.
He is related to Regret and Sadness.
For when I escaped from Denial, I had to leave behind a part of my past.
A part of my past plans, hopes, and dreams.
There was an early false start on my escape from Denial; and I did not even reach the gates.
And, while the spirit was willing and hungry, soon the table became bare.
The hope for the future turned into the unhappiness of the moment.
But now I am on the outside and struggling to move farther and farther away from Denial.
Across the high mountain ranges.
To a place where Denial is only a memory.
A distant memory.
Leaving Denial can be a struggle, alas, it is true;
But, you must leave if you are to find the real you.
I have gazed into the crystal ball trying to see what Reality looks like.
It is very hard to see when you are between Denial and Reality.
Some call it Discovery…a temporary place.
But, the time in Discovery is like the tossing of a small boat in a storm.
First, one way; then, another.
But, the soothsayer of the ball has a prophesy.
He says that Reality is anywhere you can find Inner You.
He says that Inner You is hiding behind a forest of dense, dark foliage.
A dreaded, frightening forest that one must venture into with little or no armor except for one’s commitment to dig into their own dirt.
For you must crawl on your hands and knees through the underbrush, digging your path through the tangles of thorny branches.
The hands get dirty and bleed along the way.
The heart and soul are plummeted by the stones of your past.
The knees ache from the bending and stooping to get past the obstacles.
But, if you ever can reach Inner You, the forest will disappear.
The sun will shine warmly on your back healing the wounds of the passage through the forest.
By joining forces with Inner You, you will become him and he will become you. You will be one.
You will be at peace with yourself.
And, finally, you will be able to experience the fullest pleasures of the balance of life in this plane.
So, the visionary tells me to go look for Inner You.
Grab him, hold him close, and take him into your soul.
Then, I will truly be a past resident of Denial; and a full-fledged member of the society of Reality.
Then, I can embrace Patience, Forgiveness, Compassion, and Love fully.
And, they can embrace me as well.
Then, I will be able to give myself to another in a way that will expand both of our horizons.Then, I can forgive the past and deal with the beauty of the present and the promise of the future.
I will put petty issues behind me.
I can laugh at the things that used to frustrate me.
I will be able to trust and give myself to another without fear.
I can stop holding back because of my doubts about myself.
I can be me.
Escape from Denial is the hardest thing one can do;
I am on the way to Reality. Where are you?