Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Maybe I'm Just Bad at Reducing Cognitive Dissonance

From WikiPedia:

"Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions.[2] Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology."  <--read more here; it's pretty fascinating.

I think the feeling i described in yesterday's post about just feeling "wrong" in that church was just that:  cognitive dissonance.  And i did play the justification game for a lot of years.  So glad that's over!  C.D. also pretty much covers why members of that church try so hard to come up with rationalizations for why people leave.  They will never accept the real reasons; too much dissonance in that!  And that's also why they can't allow themselves to believe we who leave are more happy than ever before.  It's kinda sad.  I feel sad for them.

I'm going to leave you with a quote { to ponder } from one of my favorite movie characters, Lester Burnham from American Beauty (one of the best movies ever made):

 I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me, but it's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it. And then it flows through me like rain. And I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry, you will someday.

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