Because when the truth hits, you aren’t going to be ready.

The manic relief that comes from the fantasy that we can with one savage slash cut the chains of the past and rise like a phoenix, free of all history, is generally a tipping point into insanity, akin to believing that we can escape the endless constraints of gravity, and fly off a tall building. “I’m freeeee… SPLAT!”.

Stefan Molyneux

Denial is a Dangerous, Comfortable Place

The scary thing about denial is that it doesn’t feel like denial while it’s happening.

Life is a beach on Denial Island. The laws of life no longer apply to you. Your problems back home begin to feel like they’re hundreds of miles away, and you’re willing to do everything in your power to keep them there.

After a few visits to this magical world of no worries, you eventually decide to pack your bags and make this fantasy place your reality.

Your frequent trips to Denial Island have trained you to become a master negotiator, so you decide to buy yourself more time here by selling empty promises and dreams. Like the best of the best, your persuasion skills have granted you the ability to sell sand to the beach.

But there’s one small problem. The sand you’re selling doesn’t exist, and this carefree beach is nothing more than a ticking time bomb – an illusion with a guaranteed expiration date.

For a while though, your plan works. The beach trusts you enough to deliver on your promises, granting you a little more time rent-free in the magical world of denial. At this point, you still trust yourself enough to eventually deliver. 

But then it happens. 

Ship Out, or Get Kicked Out

In one tsunami-sized wave, your world comes tumbling down. The sand you’ve been peddling reveals itself to be nothing more than a pile of lies, and before you have a chance to redeem yourself or ask for a second chance to deliver, reality smacks you across the face.

You’re sent crashing back home, and when you arrive your world is in even worse shape than you left it.

All the energy you spent crafting a false reality on Denial Island has completely disconnected you from real life. Now you’re left with no other choice but to face the ugly truth.

You had decent intentions when you first went to Denial Island, but now that you’re back you’re filled with self-hatred and guilt. How did I let things get so bad? You ask yourself as you assess the damage you’ve caused.

Out of Options, Out of Excuses

For the first time ever, you are finally taking inventory of your life. You’re facing your problems head on and It’s not a pretty sight, but at least you now see the full picture.

You furiously begin making a list of everything that needs your attention, suddenly realizing that aspects of your life had been falling apart long before you made your great escape.

It’s becoming sobering clear why you visited Denial Island in the first place.

As you pick up the pieces of your broken life, you curse yourself for being so stupid and leaving when things were only starting to fall apart. You could have spent the past few months sorting these issues out at home, but instead you escaped to Denial Island where you only made your situation worse. 

Not only did your problems at home get worse while you were gone, but your well-intentioned sand business didn’t even come close to delivering on its empty promises.

The time has come to pay the piper, and step one is to face the consequences of your actions created while you lived on Denial Island.

What is Denied Cannot Be Healed

As the weeks go by and you chug away at your “Fix My Life” list, The light at the end of the tunnel begins to shine brighter. An unfamiliar wave of relief washes over you.

For the first time in your life, you feel some semblance of control. Not only are you digging yourself out of the hole you made when you ran away, but the problems you were escaping from in the first place start to fade into your past too.

What is denied can’t be healed, and now that you are being honest with yourself things are slowly changing for the better. You’re starting to realize that real life isn’t as bad as you once feared.

You wish you would have done this sooner, because fixing your problems is filling you with a sense of pride you haven’t felt in years. Suddenly, that awful tsunami that sent you crashing back to reality is starting to reveal itself as a blessing in disguise.

Face your past before your past returns to face you, because when the truth hits, you aren’t going to be ready.