“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
~ Matthew 16:24-25
In the Gospels, the word “denial” takes on a whole new meaning. As this verse from Matthew show us, denying yourself doesn’t mean living a life without hurt and pain. Denial is natural, necessary, and important as we progress through the stages of life. By denying ourselves and embracing our cross, we will find new life in Christ.
What does it mean to experience denial? Can I recognize my own behaviors of denial?
Temporary denial can be a necessary step in the grieving process; it allows us to deal with hurts and losses that would otherwise overwhelm and paralyze us. The more we avoid our cross and deny negative feelings, the less capable we are of experiencing the positive and lasting feelings of joy and love.
If we want to live in the present moment and be free, we need to be conscious of our denial behaviors and see how they trap us.
To help you on your healing journey, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and Life’s Healing Journey have produced a new online resource: Healing Through the Grieving Process: A Guide to Dealing with Denial. This guide will show you how denial is a very real and valid human emotion, and how to recognize when the time for denial is over.
We invite you to use this guide on your healing journey as you learn to recognize and overcome the signs of denial.