Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: Abba Poemen 3

“He who knows himself is a man,” said Abba Poemen.”

Presumably, she who knows herself is a woman.  People who know themselves are true humans, in the process of fulfilling God’s vision of what each individual is created to be.

The concept “being in denial” is not one that was expressed with those words back when Abba Poimen lived.  But it sure does today.

So many of do choose to live in denial. For various reasons, it somehow seems easier or safer.  But living in denial harms us. It prevents us from becoming the person God means us to be.

It really doesn’t matter what one’s reasons are for living in denial because that is choosing a life of lies and God wants us to live in the light.

There are so many ways to come out of denial.  Praying about it, journaling about it. Twelve Step groups.  Spiritual direction. Seeing a psychologist.  Whenever someone tells me psychology is bogus, or they saw one once and that the psychologist was only interested in what the psychologist wanted to say but then fail to shop around for a psychologist who is a better match, then I know that person has embraced a lifestyle of denial.

What God wants for us is so much better than what we can choose for ourselves. So let us come out of denial and discover our real selves.


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