Denial is not a very positive thought for most people. We can be denied entry or denied our rights. We can be in denial or deny the truth. Yet, during this season of Lent we talk about denying ourselves, taking up our cross and following Jesus.
Many a psychological misfire comes from refusing to acknowledge how we are feeling and what is going on for us - so it does not seem likely that refusing to try to know and understand ourselves is the path to take. In fact, denying ourselves, involves letting go of on the surface living and striving for something much deeper. It is only when we begin to see our whole selves we can begin to let go of anything at all.
This is a work of prayer and discernment and this denial is not self-loathing, but rather of self-exploration; overcoming that part of us which wants to skim the surface rather than settle into the water of the pool.