Rationalization and reversals

When we find the grain of truth in reversals of our initial belief, it can look like rationalization. We are finding ways of looking at something that helps us find peace with it.

But is it really a rationalization? It seems that it could be, if we take one particular turnaround and put all truth into that one, clinging to it as the only perspective we consciously hold.

For instance, I may have the belief that he shouldn’t drink, so one of the turnarounds is he should drink, and I can find several reasons why. He does, so he obviously gets something out of it. It triggers beliefs in me, so I get to take a look at them. It may function as a safety valve for him, a temporary escape, which is something we all do.

If it ended there, it may indeed be a rationalization, even if the turnaround itself and each of the truths in it are genuine to me. It is a rationalization because it leaves out a great deal of the picture, it leaves out the other reversals.

Together, all of the reversals gives a much fuller and richer picture. It helps us see a situation from several different angles, and the grain of truth in each one. It gives us the freedom to apply any one of those stories as a guideline for action, and then switch when the situation seems to call for it.

And that is not rationalization. That is owning the truth of each perspective, and freedom and fluidity of engagement.

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