Up De Nial Without a Paddle
Dec 21, 2020 1511
There’s an English expression that goes like this: “Up the river without a paddle.” It means that you are in a bad situation, without the resources to fix it. I’ve also heard this expression said like this, “Up the Nile without a paddle.” It sounds like “denial” doesn’t it? The Nile is a very long river. And denial is a very big problem.
Although most of us refuse to face reality and admit it, the country most of us love to live in is Egypt. How do I know? Because most of us live up de Nial… and without a paddle!
In our contemporary society, we seem to live in perpetual denial of our reality. We live as if death will never visit us. We spend as if money were infinite. We judge others as if we were the ultimate arbiters of right and wrong. We love as if love were ours alone to bestow.
Most of us live up de Nial without a paddle.
In most cases, the person we know the least about is ourselves. Paradoxically, you are also the person you think you know the most about. That’s why it’s so easy to live in denial.
But the reasons why we say the things we do, and why we act and react the way we do are often buried deep within our subconscious, although it’s easy for us to consciously rationalise them in the moment. Often, these triggers and motivations are our hurts and corresponding self-mechanisms which are buried deep within.
To admit our denial is to start on the road to healing
Why is it that we keep saying the things we don’t wish to say? Why is it that our relationships fall apart so easily? Why is it that we have such little control over our lives? These are the things that frustrate us. But we deny that they are even issues, or we deny our role in them by blaming others. The way of denial seems like an inescapable loop that we simply cannot escape. We are truly up de Nial without a paddle!
But it’s OK to admit that you have problems in your life. It’s not only OK to do that, it’s essential if you are going to deal with them and grow as a person. To stay in denial means to stay where you are. Worse, for some it can mean a descent into addictions or abusive behaviours.
To admit our denial is to start on the road to healing. It is to admit that we cannot fix ourselves, our relationships, or our lives. It is to recognise that we need the grace and the power of God to heal and to restore us.
God hasn’t left you “up the river without a paddle.” In fact, by sending his Son Jesus into the world, he jumped into the river right there with you! So, you never need feel alone or powerless in life.
I challenge you to face up to the denial that you have been living in. I know it’s not pretty and I know it’s not easy. But if you’ve been up de Nial without a paddle, it’s time to come in to shore and come home.