What causes us to cling to denial when the facts around us might suggest otherwise? In this reflection on the 19th anniversary of 9/11, Patty talks about the complex relationship among denial, resistance, and receiving.
We need to recognize that there’s a gift within denial that can be very useful, but it can also cause harm if we grip too tightly to it and remain in resistance. Patty outlines ways to recognize and move through denial so we can release it, accept reality and finally really open ourselves to receiving everything we truly want in our lives.
Ultimately, being able to receive one thing allows you to receive all things—good and bad—and that is how the miracles begin to show up in our lives.
Welcome to the wealth and purpose podcast, where people who are led by their hearts come to learn the secrets to creating wealth in a way that feels really good and live their purpose fully in the process. I’m your host, Patty Lennon. I’m an ex type A corporate banker turned intuitive business coach. I’m also a wife, a mom to two pre-teens, a professor girl scout leader. And well, Hey, you get it. Like you I wear a lot of hats. Whether you’re looking for inspiration to get started or strategies to get growing, I am here to help you create abundance in every area of your life in business. Welcome.
Hey there, welcome to this episode of the wealth and purpose podcast. I’m your host, Patty Lennon. And today we’re going to talk about denial. What inspired me to bring this particular episode to you was a day last week, 9/11, where I spent reflecting on 9/11, 19 years ago, what that day was like for me, I think like most people, at least in the States, and certainly, those of us who at the time lived in New York, it’s 19 years later, still so fresh. And the moment I come back to every single time that I think each year, I think it’s going to feel different. It’s going to look different, I’ll know more. I’ll know differently. And yet there’s one moment that still draws me to it. And that moment is a time that I was working in our offices in the suburbs. So I was not in the city.
And my coworker who sat directly across the office right across from me had a son (who’s also a former coworker) in New York City that day. And he had an appointment in one of the towers. And by the time we realized that the planes had hit the towers, there was a pretty clear understanding that this was very bad. You know, we didn’t understand the extent of it, but we knew at least the beginning stages of the devastation. And my coworker kept dialing his son, trying to get his son to find out if his son had ended up at the tower when it was hit and he couldn’t get through, but none of us could get through to anyone in New York City. At the time, I forget if it was that the cell towers were just shut down or they were overloaded or whatever it was, but none of us were able to get through to the people that we loved.
And the moment stands out to me because I was so sure his son was fine and not in the way that I understand intuition. I was very, very young at the time. I really hadn’t started my journey in working with intuition. And certainly, the gifts that I have today really hadn’t opened up yet, but I had a pretty strong gut instinct, and I was so sure that his son was fine. And each year I go back to that and try and figure out why was I in denial of what the likely truth was? And certainly, hope is valuable in the midst of a tragedy. You know, many, many, many people were hopeful for weeks. We hoped, you know, the people we were looking for had amnesia we’re in hospitals. I mean, there was so much chaos, and yet knowing the time of his appointment, knowing where he was in the building, the likelihood that he would have survived was so slim.
And yet I was so sure he was fine. And I just go back, and I look at that moment when I’m looking at the face of my coworker and wondering what if I had understood something differently I would have done differently. And over the years, the place I’ve gotten to is that I was in denial. Like so many people were in denial because that’s what happens when we’re in crisis. And when grief starts to set in, denial happens, and there’s a gift in that denial. There’s a psychological reason for denial, for our brain’s ability to deny certain truths. But that gift of denial is there for a temporary experience. Meaning denial is not intended from a pure evolutionary standpoint, from a pure psychological standpoint. There’s no value in extending denial. When it’s acting as a gift in its purest sense, it’s there to help us get organized, to get physically organized.
It’s there to keep our emotions from taking over from our fear brain to do anything other than get our physical body and the people around us organized to move to safety, right? That’s really what denial is about. It’s to give us time, our brain time to process overwhelming amounts of information. And in that moment, all of us were faced with overwhelming amounts of information, things that completely violated, what we believe to be true were happening and to our brain had a lot of work to do. To make sense of what was happening. And denial gives the brain time to process that and to catch up to the reality. So there really is a gift to it. For years, years, I felt shame that I had sat in denial in that moment. I had not yet gone for my master’s in psychology.
So I didn’t have the understanding of how the brain works at the time. I thought that I was maybe selfish or self centered or cold. None of those things would have described me at the time. Although my type A personality, I was certainly more rigid. I was never a cold person. And over the years, I did start to see that that denial, you know, is a gift, even though when you look back and you see, so clearly what the truth is, the denial almost seems confusing. Like how do you stand in the face of something that’s so true and not believe it. And I faced it with my mom when she was sick with cancer to stand firmly in the belief that she was going to be okay, that she was going to be a 0.0, zero, zero 5% of the population that was going to recover.
And the thing was that that denial towards the end gave me the space and the time to really integrate the loss when my father died. And it was sudden. I was definitely in denial. Although I was claiming to understand that he was gone, my emotional body was not keeping up with it. I was going through the motions again, all valuable, helpful gifts of denial. But the thing is, denial is meant to be short-lived right now, short-lived could be a year. You know, I’m not saying it should be seconds or even days. Sometimes it takes quite a lot more time to get through the stage of denial. But denial is simply a stage. It’s a stage of grief. It’s when we are faced with a loss that we need to move through the processes in order to be mentally, spiritually, emotionally healthy. We need to move through the process of grief.
And if we get stuck in a stage like denial, we’d lose out on a lot of life because it really does keep us stuck. And specifically, the reason I’m talking about it is that because of the time that we’re in because of the pandemic and because of racial unrest and social justice issues being so obvious, there’s just so many people still hanging on to denial. And that’s because what they fundamentally understand to be true about the world or themselves or their communities is violated by what they’re seeing, by what they’re understanding. And they don’t want to move to the place of integration of this wisdom. But the problem is if we don’t integrate what is happening, if we don’t accept it, if we don’t receive it, we stay in resistance. So denial, when it’s healthy, when it’s pure, when it’s there as a psychological response to a crisis, it is there to live out a period of time to help us process and integrate, and then move through more stages of grief.
But when we stay in denial, when we hold onto it, we grip at it rather than to move to another stage. And another stage could be bargaining. It could be anger could be anything, right? And we could come back to denial, right? We need to take a little pause, again, little more integration. But if we don’t move through all those stages, we get stuck. We stay in resistance. And the problem with resistance is that when we resist one thing, we resist all things, right? And this was the big aha for me last year. This is what brought me to create the receiving method to establish receiving school. It’s everything that I talk about around receiving is this idea that we can’t compartmentalize how we handle situations. And that wasn’t what I understood before last year before my dad died. And then everything that happened after that happened, I always believed that what you focus on is what you affect, right?
And so if I want more money and I’m visualizing money and I’m feeling the flow of money, money’s gonna flow in no matter what else is going on in my life, right? Or if I want a partnership or relationship. And I visualize that and I clear out half of my drawers and I do all the other things that you know is talked about in the manifestation world. You’re going to call me relationship no matter what’s going on in the rest of your life. And that just isn’t the case because resistance, isn’t a focused energy. Meaning if you are focused on allowing in a relationship, but you have resistance around money or career or your happiness, it’s not that the resistance is just there in those areas. And you can stay wide open in relationships. Resistance is a field, an openness acceptance. Receiving energy is a field.
It’s the same field. And resistance is a congested dense field. An openness acceptance receiving is a thinner field. It’s a more porous field. And it goes all around us, the full 360 around us. And so when we’re resisting, when we’re strengthening the field of resistance around us with denial, we’re blocking all miracles. We’re blocking all the things from happening. Know, again, when you’re not pure form of denial, that part of you that has produced denial to get you to a space where you can, from a healthy standpoint, integrate what’s happening. That’s not resistance. That’s not resistance. It’s when you start gripping at denial, when you start forcing yourself to disbelieve, what’s happening to push it away, to not look at it, that’s the energy that creates resistance. And I truly believe that’s our biggest challenge right now in the States in the world. Certainly, in my immediate community is this field of resistance.
We have this wanting so bad to deny the truth of what’s happening because the fear is, if I look at it, then I’m going to have to deal with it. And that’s why people are gripping to denial so much. This happens in marriages. I see this all the time with clients who have mentioned that they think that their partner is not right for them, or that person is standing in the way of their success, or, you know, holding them back. Now, sometimes it’s just a problem that needs to be worked on. But when it’s really a fundamental issue with the partnership, and then the time has come for that partnership to end, what will happen is the person will grip, will grip, and will resist that truth. Because usually when that’s happening, there are people impacted by that truth. Other people, namely children, and money will slow down in the business, and happiness will start to dissipate, and all these ripple effects will start to happen.
And it’s not just because the person’s in a difficult marriage. It’s because the person’s in a difficult marriage and is resisting that truth. Because always what I see once the truth is allowed in once it’s looked at, and what I always offer to my clients is, you know, when this has come up in the past is looking at the truth, accepting the truth, receiving the truth doesn’t mean you have to act a certain way. It doesn’t mean you have to get a divorce. It doesn’t mean you have to separate, you know, could mean a lot of things, but if you don’t accept what’s happening, if you don’t receive it, you can’t receive any of the solutions. You can’t receive any of the other gifts. You can’t receive anything. The universe, the divine, is sending you. And once that receiving starts happening, once that processing starts happening, freedom starts flowing in.
Money starts flowing in awareness of miracles. All of these beautiful gifts that the universe wants to send us, especially when we’re in difficult times can start to flow in. But if we stay in resistance to it, if we want to just keep pushing it away, how we really feel about it or the truth of what it means for us, then the answers we’re looking for will never come. Especially if the answers are that I need more support or I need more money, or I may need more love to navigate this time. You’re not going to get those because your field of resistance is up, and it’s not because the divine doesn’t want to send you these gifts of how it’s, you know, intuition will decrease. I’ve heard from so many people I am having, you know, even people who have gone through the receiving school. Now, these enhanced experiences of their intuitive gifts, seeing they can’t access their intuition, or they can’t hear it, or they can’t quite get to it, or they can’t hear their guides or their loved ones.
And the thing is when we hold so much resistance to anything, all of our energy is going at fighting that reality. We can’t let go and not actually access that intuitive information. We can’t allow in that intuitive guidance, the guidance from our loved ones or our guides, because that field of resistance is so strong. And so ultimately, if we are in denial of what’s happening, the first step is to start to release our beliefs about what it could mean. If we accept the truth. And what I mean by that is if you’re in an initial crisis, you know, maybe you’ve found out about an illness, and it could actually be as simple as a friend that you thought you could rely on, just showed up as someone differently, and you don’t have the friendship you thought you had, you’re going to have to go through grief.
It may seem, you know, “silly” if it’s something on the smaller end of the spectrum, but loss is a loss is a loss. Right? And it requires grief. And so that initial denial that’s okay. But you’ll know when you suspect that it’s something else that you suspect that there’s a truth trying to seep in and you have to keep putting it out of your mind. One thing I hear people say is, I just don’t think about it. I’m just not going to think about it. I’m just not going to think about it now. Do I think you should force yourself to keep re-engaging things that don’t feel good to think about? Absolutely not. But if it’s poking at your brain, right, it’s flowing in, and you can’t seem to shake it. You don’t have to get stronger at resisting it or denying it, what you actually need to do to release it is to actually fully receive it, allow it all to flow in, allow the full truth to flow in because with it where you need to take that is going to become obvious.
It’s only when you fully receive it, that you can fully release it, work and flow through you and out the back of your head. I’m just giving you a visual. That’s not actually how it happens, but you know, when we, I know when we were returning to school, so many parents were in denial of what the reality of this world was, you know, and just wanting things to go back to normal. Well, you can want that all you want, and you can even have facts that you believe support sending children back to school, full time without masks, whatever, but you have to receive all the other information that’s out there receive it so that you can have a firmer understanding of this current reality. And from that current reality that you can ask for the divine for help. Okay. Divine, I see that we’re not getting back to school.
You know, whether I believe that’s right or not. I do see that the reality is we’re not going back to school as normal. Show me how to make it normal for my kids. Show me how to make this a wonderful year. Show me how to rise up in this year so that I can help my kids and be a full contributor to my community or navigate this mentally healthy. I know for something happened with my daughter, who’s been really generally great through all of this. I mean, she’s missed her friends, but you know, some of the issues I’ve seen, some of her other friends have with anxiety and stress and lots of other stuff, she really hasn’t experienced yet. Going back to school, I could see that she really was struggling with it. And it’s so tempting as a parent to just want to, you know, wrap your kid in cotton wool and protect them from the world or help them to like guard their minds to navigate what’s about to happen.
And so I really had to not fall into a pattern of trying to force her into being a certain way or trying, not even force her, trying to accelerate her, getting to a place of ease or health. Right. I had to accept that this was just her reality, that, that going back to school with a mask, with a very weird schedule, that it probably was going to bring some anxiety. And the more I sat with that, the more I realized that this first day of school for her really represented so many things that were going to happen in her future life. I mean, how many times have we encountered a situation that has brought us anxiety simply because we don’t know what’s on the other side of the door. Maybe we don’t go for a promotion, or we don’t go after an opportunity. I know so many people don’t take the stage because of the fear of the unknown right.
Creates so much anxiety that just not going after it gives us relief. And so we choose not to go after something, right? And so this opportunity for my daughter was, or the opportunity I could find and believe me, it took me a long time to get here was to give her tools to navigate a situation where she couldn’t control the outcome, where she didn’t know what was going to be on the other side of the door and where any effort I made to try and help her see what was going to be on the other side of the door, really wasn’t going to happen. And so then I could focus on giving her the skills on how do you navigate a situation that feels scary. That’s anxiety-producing, because you don’t know what’s going to be on the other side. But if you pull back from that and you stay away from that, and you try and avoid that, you might miss out on an opportunity.
And so I just kept telling her, the only thing you need to do is get on the bus. And once you get on the bus, the next thing, the only thing you need to do is get off the bus. And then after that, the only thing you need to do is get into the school. And then after that is, you only need to get to your home. And I promise you, if you just focus on just those steps and right now, and this was the night before school, please just focus on getting to the Homer. And I promise you you’ll be okay. And she pushed back. She goes, but she’s like, but then there’s lunch. And then there’s Jim. And then how am I going to sit all day? We can’t move around and there’s math. And I said, I know, I know all of that.
I do. I hear you. I understand. I’m just telling you, here’s the tool that I believe is going to help you get through the day easier. And I’m just asking you try to release the rest of it and focus on those four things. Get on the bus, get off the bus, get into school, get to homeroom. Just that I gave her lots of reasons why that was going to work, why it would be helpful. I went in the other room and cried that this is her world. And you know, she did not listen to me. She was worried about all the things. And she told me when she said getting on the bus, getting off the bus and getting into the school, she’s basically okay. But once she got into school, she said, you really did feel this tightness in her chest. Things that she’s heard, other people describe as, you know, panic and anxiety, that she hasn’t really experienced generally in her life.
But she just focused on getting to the homeroom. And when she got there and she sat down her desk, she said, you know, it was really bad in the beginning, but then it just got better and better and better. And by the end of the day, I was really happy that I had gotten to go to school and see some people. And the thing is, it wasn’t that I was going to be able to give her the conviction that what I was sharing was going to work. I knew it would work, but I couldn’t make her believe in. I couldn’t make her believe her anxiety. I mean, that would really be asking her to deny it. And I didn’t want that for her, but I wanted her to understand on the other side of it, that the tool does work. Right. And so, yeah, yesterday was a hard day for her.
As of the day, I’m recording this. It was hard for her. But I do know in the future, not hopefully for the reasons that we’re engaged in right now because of a pandemic and returning to school during, you know, a difficult time that you’ll have to employ these tools. But I know that somewhere in her future, there’s going to be something that scares her. That’s going to bring up anxiety and it’s going to be so tempting because the whole of it just feels so big. It’s going to be so tempting to just not go right, not get on the stage, not go after the job now, whatever, go after the opportunity because the anxiety brings up is so big that it feels easier to stop that. Right. And she’s going to remember this day. She will. She’s going to remember how big and the hardness of it felt.
And then she’s going to remember that the hardest part, just getting there and that once she got through the front door, everything just got better and better and better. But the thing is for me to even help her with that, for her to even get there for all of this to happen, we all couldn’t stay in denial. We had to really receive what was happening because receiving was what gave us the tools to navigate it. And so right now, you might be in denial about something that’s just happened. And if you are taking care of that and relax into it, because that is your brain, figuring out how to process all this. But if you’re gripping at denial, if you’re resisting the truth of something that you already know, please start to let it in. Maybe you need to get help with that. Maybe need a counselor, a therapist, or maybe just a good friend to talk to so that you’re not alone in it, but start to let it end.
Because as soon as you do, as soon as you start to release that resistance that comes with gripping at denial, you move into receiving. And when you receive one thing, you receive all things, you receive, all the miracles, all the gifts start flowing in. That’s when you open the door to the divine, being able to help you and guide you and send you angels because the minute you need help your guides, your loved ones, your angels, the divine starts sending help, but it will stay right outside that field of resistance until you let that feel down because that’s what free will is. And all of those beings, your metaphysical team, your team of light, they all respect your free will and your right to hold that resistance. And they will wait patiently right at your doorstep. But I promise you, as you release that resistance by receiving what’s happening, you won’t just have to receive the bad stuff that’s happening. The stuff that feels hard, that creates anxiety. You’ll also get to receive awarenesses and insights. And then the little miracles start showing up and then big ones. I wish you a week filled with lots of miracles and love and receiving all the good stuff. Have a beautiful day.
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