When our perception of reality gets distorted by trauma, we are at risk for developing maladaptive behaviors to cope with these cognitive distortions. We may lash out at someone who bumps up against an "emotional sunburn" or choose to avoid people altogether to self-protect. It is easy to see cognitive distortions in others but it can be much more difficult to find our own blind spots.
How many times have you heard the phrase "my ex was a gas-lighting narcissist"? If you've been in the dating world very long, most have heard that numerous times. On the other hand, how many times have you heard, "I'm a gaslighter and a narcissist." We would dare say. . . never! Why? Because such a thing is not something any of us like to see in, or share about, ourselves. This is just one example of many ways in which we can see the sins and flaws in others while being in the dark regarding our own misperceptions and distorted thinking.
What is the greatest sin? Have you ever played that game with a former spouse? The wisest answer has always been "whatever sin I am not willing to recognize and repent of." That's it! That is where our real power lies.
When we are brave enough to find the darkness lurking inside us and bring it out into the light, we can release the shame and disfunction that goes with it, freeing us up to love and live more fully.
This week's very personal and tender podcast is on "Loss & Cognitive Distortions" and it's complimentary video is titled "Am I Gaslighting Myself?" Our short of the week is "Divorce Proofing Marriage," with wisdom from the Gottman Institute.