Sunday, August 12, 2018

Everyone Keeps Secrets

Keeping secrets is universal. It's human.

Keeping secrets not only from people around. But also, keeping secrets from one's self.

Call it denial, self sabotage, or character flaw, we all have times when we actually don't think or act in our best interests.

Bill, a celebrity attorney and politician, had a long-time sexual affair. When his wife found out, he denied it amidst overwhelming evidences.

"He should know better. His affair partner even admitted it to me," Bill's wife narrated in tears during our conjoint session.

Then, much later, he admitted it. Clearly, Bill engineered his march to progressive marital and family breakdown and dissolution.

What was Bill thinking?

How could a man so intelligent, even famous and powerful, use such poor judgment? In his personal behavior, lie about it, and fail to take into account the damage?

Psychologists speak of "continuum of awareness." That's one explanation.

At one end, you have no or little awareness of your thoughts and actions. Also, the consequences afterwards.

At the other opposite end, you know completely that what you're doing is not in your best interests or health. But you do it anyway.

In between the extreme ends is awareness that may be vague, diffuse, or has conflicting motives to be  able to choose.

No matter where you are on the continuum, something may still be denied internally. Overlooked. Ignored. Unattended to.

I suppose it's part of our humanity. Our imperfection, our incompleteness.

The remedy is deeper, truer self awareness.