Addiction & the Main Lie
If you’re in charge of any failing operation, whether it’s a body that gets deeply unhappy if you don’t give it what it wants (addiction) or a political party whose members expect certain kinds of legislation (Brexit), the only way out seems often to lie. The truth feels impossible.
The main lie about Brexit seems to have involved the choice offered in a referendum where one course of action (to ‘take back control’), to leave the European Union, the more popular one, was a very risky one. The risks weren’t spelled out or hinted at.
Addiction presents a risky option as one that feels if not safe, then essential. Something numbs a person to the risk in their behaviour … if they don’t get a kick out of the risk. Denial is an art that doesn’t always involve lying, but it generally perverts the truth. We should treat Brexit like an addiction.
Denial means less pain and more craving. Less denial means less craving but more pain. An aside: denial is often about not wanting to alienate people around you. Making your pain known can have unpredictable consequences. Being in denial isn’t simply about not wanting to accept what is happening in you, or to you. That’s often far less of a problem, especially to someone who doesn’t like themselves, than to lose the people around them. As an impulse, nurtured during childhood, this kind of fear of abandonment is both very understandable and hard to shift. It is, however, possible to shift. The craving? That’s the medicine you look for to avoid the pain, and it may come on a plate, wearing clothes, in a bottle, in a bookies, in a syringe, standing next to you even when you and they wish they weren’t … it’s all a kind of addiction.
Set your intention: your conscious, voluntary intention, as if you are setting out on some kind of a trip. Whether it’s an Antarctic crossing or a visit to the shops is a matter for your imagination, but if you do, this is something you can come back to with strange effect. I mean, something like this: ‘I am being less defensive.’ Just think that and keep coming back to it, as if you are opening a door onto a room. See what happens.