Loss of Discernment (part 1)

Written by on February 1, 2012 in Conversations on the Healing Journey with 3 Comments

Defining and discovering who you are, learning to trust yourself through the good decisions you make and trusting yourself to learn and grow from the bad ones are basic fundamental skills of living. They are critical to mental and emotional well-being. And they require discernment.

Discernment is not self-righteous judgment. It’s not determining how much better you are than another. It’s about assessing reality to the best of your ability, mindful of the impact your perception has on what you see.

Discernment is using your mind in a positive way, a vital, critical way. It’s thinking.

Thinking to discern is not the same as thinking to ruminate. Thinking to discern is creative and proactive. It’s analytical and multi-tiered, working not only with logic but with empathy and intuition.

Ruminating is when you go over and over the same thing just for the emotional ride — usually involving the emotions of anger and hurt. Discerning is when you go over a situation to evaluate, to glean information, insight and understanding.

Ruminating keeps you stuck as it creates a rut that gets harder and harder to climb out of the longer you’re in.

Discerning sets you free. It unveils the truth, giving you the ability to move forward by making empowered choices with knowledge and awareness. You need to be able to discern to navigate through your reality. Discernment is a survival skill.

Covert abuse undermines that.

When you find yourself doubting your own senses or your ability to reason and draw conclusions, when you find yourself deferring to someone else’s assessment of what’s real and not real, over and over again, that’s a red flag — a huge one.

Keep an open mind, seek to understand, but do not substitute anyone’s assessment or assertion for your own discernment. Covert abusers want you to do that. They want you to defer to their version of reality. This is the very crux of what emotional and verbal abuse is – an invalidation of you and your reality.

Whether you confront a covert abuser with the truth or challenge them on a lie is a matter that needs to be decided upon on it’s own merits and costs. It is a judgment call. What I am talking about is telling yourself the truth whether or not it’s in your best interest to tell them.

Value your intellectual abilities, honor your intuition and trust yourself. To attempt to tell yourself what you know isn’t and what isn’t is, is crazy making. Feeling crazy is what happens to your psychological health when you give your ability and right to draw your own conclusions to someone else.

And sometimes we feel it’s worth it to avoid the conflict, the tantrums and rage of an abuser who is crossed.

But know this, whatever temporary peace you buy with the giving up of your power, whatever happiness you purchase with this compromise, you will pay for with interest.

Because every time we sell ourselves out, compromise our integrity in any way, we pay for it with a piece of our soul, a portion of our spirit. It happens so subtly that we don’t even realize how deeply we are in the hole until the debt of our compliance crushes us.

And if there’s ever a day of reckoning, an abusive person will only throw your peace-making compliance in your face.

They will blame you for everything. After all, you went along (the punishment you’d receive if you didn’t is irrelevant), so the emotional trauma you’re experiencing now isn’t valid, because you were in cahoots all along. You are the bad one, you are wrong to try to now make them feel guilty.

And if you’re wrong, then they must be right. Because in the mind of many abusers, only one can be right. And guess who that is? You can’t win.

Take back your power. Even if you make a mistake in what you think you perceive, make that mistake. Let yourself learn and adjust your perception through new information and sharing of ideas. You’re not always going to be right, but that doesn’t mean you’re always be wrong. And it doesn’t absolve you of your responsibility to observe, consider and assess regardless of your track record.

Flex your discerning muscles. The more you use them the stronger and more accurate they will be. And the more empowered you’ll be.

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About the Author

About the Author: Demian Yumei, author, singer/songwriter and artist activist, using spoken, written word and original songs in her human rights activism. Demian is a traveler on the healing journey with a lifelong love affair with the creative process. .


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  • The Path To Peace-Recovery From Psychopathic Manip says:

    CB, I don’t know HOW you get these articles but they are FANTASTIC and this is certainly one I needed to see today. Thank you SO MUCH!

  • Covert Bullying (Abuse) says:

    You always make me smile. 🙂 Oh, and I wrote it.

  • The Path To Peace-Recovery From Psychopathic Manip says:

    CB, it’s beautiful.

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