Archive for June, 2006

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Children and Lie-based Thinking

June 23, 2006

Several of you (notably RA, Alli, Kim and TBM) have been concerned about your children, concerned that maybe your children are accruing lie-based thinking and then wondering how to prevent it. The question asked me frequently is “how do I prevent my child from believing the kind of lies I have believed?” The second question is its sister: “How can I prevent them from believing any lies at all?” Over the years, my responses have probably been a little too glib, generally assuring parents that they don’t have to worry overly much about causing trauma to children. I say this to imply that it is not the actions or inactions of parents that result in children believing lies. It is the meaning the child attaches to the actions of others that can cause ill effect.

But I have always been somewhat uneasy with my incomplete answer to these questions of careful parents. Basic core understanding of Theophostic ministry tells us that all memories are simply containers. The lies in the memories are what radiate the pain to the adult. But what if the person feeling the pain is still a child? Where is that pain radiating from? And can we do anything to thwart lies before they become full-blown LBT? After reading the remarks of several colleagues, I am now convinced there are several ways we can deal with the lies our children bring home from life.

First, let’s review how we acquire our basic core belief system. As we go through life, we have two sets of decisions we are making. The first involves the observations of life’s patterns, our place in those patterns and how others fit into our lives. These observations start out as first-time experiences and over time grow to become repetitive observations. That means that the longer we experience similar things, the more chance we will have a better understanding of the meaning of those events. But not always. If a certain traumatic event (e.g. molestation, violence, lying, alcoholism, unkept promises, etc.) keeps happening around the same child over a long period of time, the Osmotic lie is more likely to become a part of the child than if they experience these traumas only once. That is just the law of averages. It does not mean the child is doomed to believe lies based on these traumatic experiences, but it is more likely. However, even one experience with relatively minor traumas can offer the opportunity to believe a lie. For instance, a child may fail at school and feel like a failure. Few children can say they never have that experience. But they may attach meaning to that failure and believe they will always fail. Because these things happen so frequently, how can a parent prevent this?

The second way we acquire core values is to decide how we will react to what we observe. This is often how secondary characteristics of personality are formed. We may develop characteristics of people-pleasing, shyness, lollygaggism, laziness, acute sense of guilt – all as reactions to lie-based beliefs. We may even discard the lies and still keep the reactions.

A parent can do two things. The most important thing is a standard in any parents’ panoply of weapons: The Question. As parents observe their children voicing lie-based conclusions, they have the opportunity to challenge that thinking. Children are much more maleable with their belief systems than an adult is. Let me give an example. If a child is afraid they will never be loved, the parent can challenge that viewpoint. I don’t mean just stating the obvious. It doesn’t work to just tell a child they are wrong: “What do you mean you don’t think you’ll be loved? Are you an idiot?” will probably cause more harm than it solves. Instead, ask questions and probe the source of the lie-based pain. Find out what leads them to believe it. When you determine what faulty logic or observation it is based upon, you can give another viewpoint. All of us discard most of our LBT by the time we are adults. If we challenge this thinking in our children early then they are much more likely to discard it than hold onto it.

But let’s assume that children latch upon an idea which is dangerous and lie-based. It is also possible to do TP with children. In fact, many practitioners of TPM feel that children are much easier to do it with.

Dr. Karl Lehman has written a paper on the subject. Allow me to quote several parts of this publication:

1. The core/source memories for any given lie are easier to find in children because they are usually more recent and are buried in a smaller pile of life events,
2. It is easier to find and connect emotionally with core/source memories because a child’s
psychological defenses tend to be less complicated and less entrenched. Psychological
defenses with effects that accumulate over time, such as repression, will especially be less
problematic.
3. In general, children seem to perceive the spiritual realm more easily than adults. We have
heard many stories about situations (Theophostic® sessions, worship services, life in general)
in which the children present saw Jesus and/or angels and/or demonic spirits, but the
adults saw nothing.

Don’t feel that they have to have an adult understanding of things to get rid of the lies. Be gentle with them. As you walk through the memories, ask if they want to let go of certain ideas. If they do, then invite God to come into the memory. Another couple that works with children in TPM writes,

“One child we work with is ADD, one is a victim of incest, and one is suffering with chronic depression. The child with ADD is grade-school age and has been coming for about 7 months. It was very difficult to get started with her. After approximately 6 sessions, we accessed a dissociated internal part and things have dramatically changed since then. We have seen God touch this little one powerfully in certain sessions where she has been bouncing off the walls, being distracted by everything in the room to being right in Jesus’ lap and calm within minutes.

When I say we accessed an dissociated internal part, it was completely God’s doing. We had
made no mention of dissociation or alters, and in one particular session she said ‘I keep seeing
something strange. It’s a little baby head and it’s peeking over a wall every once in a
while, and I hear a little sound like a tiny beep when it shows up.’ The details following were
quite interesting. God asked the ‘baby’ to crawl over the wall to the other side and when she
did, she found a big balloon and Jesus handed the baby a pin and asked her to break the
balloon. She said she was afraid to because she felt there was something in the balloon that
would frighten or hurt her. So I asked Jesus to explain to her what was in the balloon, and
within 3 seconds she said ‘a memory.’ So she broke the balloon and instantly had a childhood
memory from approximately age one. The Lord revealed an abandonment lie and brought
truth, and integration took place quite quickly. Since that time we have accessed another
dissociated internal part (recently) which has been a bit tougher to deal with. The only difference
from dealing with this girl in comparison to an adult is conversing in a level she can
comprehend and of course being sensitive to her attention restrictions. Sometimes we just
stop the session and take a break.
“The child who was a victim of incest is a preteen girl. In the very first session, she didn’t
really want to be there but agreed to come and just talk to the facilitators. Within 5 minutes
God had her talking about her inability to trust or like men. Incidentally, there was a man and
a woman in the session with her. Also, we had no idea of her situation. Jesus came quickly
and took her to the abuse issue and the abreaction was extremely intense. He brought truth
and then she ran over to the woman and asked for a hug. At the end of the session she hugged
the man as well, and said how good that felt because she had always thought all men were
bad. This was the first time since the incident that she was able to hug a male. We find with
her that she asks quite often for physical touch (hugs) after her sessions. We were apprehensive
at first as we have a hands off policy with all our clients, but with this child we felt
directed to comply. It seems the Lord is doing a healing through this interaction as well. I
don’t quite understand that part yet. Currently we are dealing with anger issues still in her
life, but she is an amazing little girl so willing to follow Jesus.

The quotations above are taken from Dr. Lehman’s paper and represent very traumatic memories and difficult lies. Your children will be much easier to help. You will undoubtedly find that your children see and hear the Lord with incredible accuracy and detail. Fight the tendency to interpret what they’re seeing. Treat them with respect and let the Lord help them interpret. Do all the same things with your children that were done with you, with the possible exception of relying upon them to voice the names of certain emotions. It might be handy to have a “Feelings Word-Finder” chart handy to work from. You can pick these up at many teacher’s stores.

Other than that, just enjoy the changes that can happen with your child as they grow up without the burdens of the lies you grabbed hold of along the way.

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Are Projected Lies Happening?

June 15, 2006

Several times this week during Theophostic sessions I have addressed an unusual issue with clients and I wanted to bring it here for the perusal of the general public. The particular issue concerns “projected lies”. A projected lie begins as lie-based thinking within an individual (eg. “I will be rejected by everyone at some point”). As other people interact with that person, the “projected lie” becomes a force influencing them to reject this person.

First question: Is this a valid experience?
Second question: Is this a biblically verifiable experience?
Third question: How does this work?
Fourth question: What can we do about it?

First question: Is this a valid experience? In my reading and my gleanings from many sources at conferences, seminars and classes, I have to say that it is. Psychologists world-wide have identified that certain people tend to bring out certain patterns in other people. Someone might say that the lies they believe affect their behavior and therefore the lies become self-fulfilling prophecies. I admit that this is true. But sometimes the lie-based thinking begins to influence others upon the first meeting.

At one seminar I did several years ago, I asked the group to identify if they ever had initial impressions of people that were inexplicable but turned out to be accurate. Almost 80% of the participants had experienced these. As we spoke about it, we concluded that the people about whom we had these impressions were probably projecting their lies, influencing us from the first moment we meet them.

I have seen this in my counseling practice. I will meet for less than 30 seconds with someone and will have an emotional reaction to them before we have even gone beyond pleasantries. Many, many times my first impression matches lie-based thinking that comes out later. For example, the person who believes “I have no value to anyone” will often project that in first meetings. Someone did this recently and my first impression of them was “This will be a waste of my time. I wonder who I can have them counsel with other than me.” I fought that impression and went on with the Theophostic session. After the lie was exposed and eliminated, I no longer felt that they were wasting my time.

For those who take a naturalistic view on life – who do not see anything besides physical stimuli – there doesn’t seem to be a mechanism for projecting what is going on underneath the surface. But there is little doubt this is a common phenomenon. This brings us to the other three questions.

Second Question: “Is this a biblically verifiable experience?” Obviously there is no Scripture that says, “Your inner lies will be projected to others”. So we must look to situations in the Bible where we might interpolate that taking place. The difficulties doing this are two-fold. First, the
Bible is not a psychology textbook. Second, we are rarely given glimpses into the inner workings of people’s minds in the Bible. I do have a number of situations where people’s reactions certainly portray that they are picking up on lies that others project (Peter and the people in the courtyard would be one example), but these can never be verifiable in a scientific way. So we are talking about an experience or issue that the Bible does not verify or deny.

Third Question: How does this work? The soul of man is influential and does project itself. Our emotional level can be sensed by others, even if they don’t know outwardly that we’re angry. Often, when I train people to minister in prayer at the altar in church, I warn them about trying to “read” the people who are there. It is too easy to pick up soulish desires and cues when praying instead of listening to the Lord for what we should pray. In the same way, human beings can project their ideas, emotions, memories and imagination to others. This is not to say that this so-called “psi” ability is very well developed among us, but there are enough situations to suggest it is possible and even likely happening.

Fourth Question: What can we do about it? Fortunately, this is the easiest question to answer. Get rid of the lies. For those who are meeting people with projected lies, simply make up your mind not to treat someone based upon first impressions. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be aware of first impressions. First impressions will often tell us a lot about how the person feels about themselves. But we should refrain from acting upon it.

Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon?

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Cosmetic Surgery and Lie-Based Thinking

June 6, 2006

The other night, while on the road and hideously bored, I flipped through the channels and caught an episode of “Dr. 90210”. These are the chronicles of several Beverly Hills’ Cosmetic Surgeons caught on film for the entertainment of all the rest of us. As I watched several procedures being discussed and performed, it occured to me to ask several questions of no one in particular.

1. Why do people carve themselves up like this?
2. What do they hope to achieve?
3. Do they really achieve it?
4. Where does lie-based thinking fit into all of this?

In the decades of delivering mental health care and teaching on the human condition, I have interviewed many people who either had received cosmetic surgery or were contemplating it. My most extensive experience comes from those who have had stomach staples and breast augmentation surgery. So I will limit my comments to these. I believe the other procedures that are most common (eyebrow lifts, chin carving, ear straightening, jowl removal etc.) all follow the same lines of observation and conclusion.

Before I post my comments, here are two pithy things that others have said. First, in Psychology Today, we read this depressing news:

Women with breast implants are more likely to commit suicide than non-augmented women, according to a Finnish study. The results mirror similar findings from studies conducted in Sweden and the United States.

Implants and the medical procedure of breast augmentation are generally considered to be safe: the procedure did not put women at a significant risk of death. But women who have had their breasts surgically enlarged are three times as likely to kill themselves.

Researchers are at a loss to explain the suicides. Are suicidal women more likely to get breast implants, or does plastic surgery itself lead toward suicide?

Then, from the Mayo Clinic, these observations:

Body image dissatisfaction is often associated with decreased self-esteem, self-confidence and psychological well-being. These emotional and psychological issues cause some women to turn to cosmetic surgery. If women feel they need a new face, a thinner waistline or bigger breasts to be likable and to feel good about themselves, cosmetic surgery may not be the answer. In fact, some studies show that extensive cosmetic surgery may make psychological issues worse.

Neither of these articles paints a rosy picture of the results of cosmetic surgery. I could have quoted a half dozen books just on my shelf alone that reiterate this finding: Cosmetic surgery does not improve the emotional well-being of the one who receives it. Why is this?

Well, first of all, those of us who believe that many emotional problems are caused by lies we believe as children that have never been discarded, recognize that nothing changes inside if you lose 100 pounds on the outside or go from an “A” cup to a “DD”. If a woman believes she is ugly, no amount of physical changing and rearranging and augmenting is going to dislodge that lie. But, you might say, what if it’s not a lie? After all, being 100 pounds overweight is not attractive in our culture to all but a small minority of people. I can hear someone saying “the mirror tells the truth.”

But that doesn’t deal with the core lie. The lie “I am ugly” is not a core lie, but a derivative lie. It is more of a conclusion drawn from the core lie. The core lie is “Something is wrong with me.” That begs the question, “What then is wrong with me?”. One answer might be “I am ugly”. Another: “I am stupid”. Still another: “I am a social misfit” and so on. The derivative lie, “I am ugly” very well might focus on the small breasts or large shape.

I have known a dozen men and women who have had stomach staples, thereby making it impossible for them to eat large meals. All of them have lost significant amounts of weight. Yet, every one of them also has gone through at least two significant periods of depression. Several of them have gained most of the weight back, by the most gruesome way possible…they stretch the stomach by eating more than they can stand. In the end, most of them are not feeling all that good about themselves.

Recently, a friend of mine had her breast augmentation reversed. She did this after going through the Theophostic program. She realized afterwards that her madlong dash to be beautiful did not work at all. After getting rid of the lie inside, she no longer wanted to be saddled with the reminder of that lie. She is now so content in who she is in Jesus.

You see, even if someone who got larger breasts or a smaller waistline could conceivably say they weren’t ugly after all, they would still have to answer the question, “Then, what is really wrong with me?”. Cosmetic surgery just sends them to the next conclusion. Perhaps it will be that they are a misfit, or a stupid person, or a failure. In short, the cosmetic surgery only sends them on another wild-goose chase while the original lie continues to pull the strings.

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