We we’re hit with a disturbing reality, our first impulse is to deny its existence. Denial is a defense mechanism to keep us from having to face painful or frightening information, an unconscious refusal to accept facts. And it’s normal and even healthy in some situations, but as with so many adaptive aspects of human psychology, the very thing that preserves us in a crisis, can destroy us if we carry it past the crisis. We need denial to a point, but long term, we must face the truth.
What is that replacement for denial? Well, the obvious answer is truth, but actually, truth can be discouraging. I would like to propose that we add hope and faith to the mix. Hoping your situation will improve, and indeed exercising faith that it will, can help create a safe environment in which to face the worst of our fears. No one will come out of the false security of denial without the true security of hope and faith.
The Bible writer Paul said, “Now abides faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:11 and 13. Why not bring the tools of faith and hope to bear upon our relationships so that we can learn how to love and be loved?