In part one, we established that everyone contains the house of God within, and when that house is in trouble on our account, (consciously or not) we need to clean it up, (with God’s help) restoring it to it’s original condition when God put it in us. When we do that, we will reap the fruits of our highest and best life.
We began by writing a week-long journal, a chronicle of everything we said to ourselves (mostly through that voice in our head) that was un-loving, belittling, discouraging and spiteful. Along with that, we stopped when each thought came up and noticed what was happening in the environment around us, what we were doing, what we told ourselves in reaction to that thought, what we may have done in that reactive moment, and how that mental barb and our reactions made us feel.
If you haven’t done that, stop right now and do it; and come back and read this in a week. No one is going to do this for you. We’re meeting the enemy and for the most part, it is us! But with the help of God and our active participation in cleaning house, we can turn our lives around. (If you’ve put doing this journal off, sit in meditation and look at why you put everything off. Give yourself love and compassion, and move past it.)
For those of you who were determined to complete this task, allow me to elucidate what your journal most likely revealed to you – because although your personal history with your mental construct will have some nuances unique to you, for the most part, the human experience has a vast, common thread.
You saw the voice for what it is – a vicious, uncaring and unloving entity (ego) that assaults your perfection by distorting your perception of your self, others and the world around you. In its wake, it leaves you with a vision of a raw, fear-filled ugliness that you perceive to be your reality – your experience of life.
This vision is your greatest enemy; yet, it is not real – even if your reactions to it are.
Sit and really examine each lie that supports that falsity. Scrutinize each one in your meditations. See how the voice wants you to believe you’re inept at everything, how it slanders you and declares your unworthiness for relationship. The only thing it wants you related to is it.
Observe what it says, without believing any of it. Your journal illuminates the pattern of its strategies – how it both overtly and covertly maneuvers you towards suffering. When you recognize the pattern, you won’t be shackled with knee-jerk reactions to it any longer.
Just notice. Don’t try to engage in battle, (God will do the work). Don’t look for it to change. It cannot change. But, you can neutralize your reactions, which renders that nasty voice impotent. Remember, you’re in meditation – answering every accusation with the power of your questions: ‘Is that so?’ ‘Who says so? ‘Is it really true?’ ‘Can you show me that monster within me?’ (It can’t because it was never there.)
Ask yourself, ‘Where did this opinion I have of myself come from?’ (The voice, duh!) ‘What has that belief cost me – spiritually, physically, emotionally, and what collateral damage resulted?’ ‘How would my life be if I did not have this belief, but instead placed my faith in the perfection God created me to be?’
Your spirit will immediately resonate with you because only it contains the truth you seek.
Turn the tables on that malicious voice by replacing its criticisms with true exaltation: ‘I am worthy and lovable.’ And of course you are. God made you to be one-of-a-kind. When you believe in truth, love shows up; and the voice cannot stand up to love. Every time you choose truth, the voice loses ground.
Remind yourself that you only have to answer to one Judge (Jesus Christ), and He loves you unconditionally.
The voice is devious. Sometimes it will hammer you with a little truth about something that you did – an act that didn’t support your highest and best. Instead of reverting to your old behavior, (seeking isolation to punish yourself with shame and guilt) just acknowledge your actions:
‘Yes, that was an unworkable act. I’m forgiving myself for it right now and forevermore. I will act differently for my greater good. I deserve compassion and kindness for acting out my unconscious suffering, not eternal torment. The punishment stops now. I’m letting go of my desire to punish myself forever. I would rather be free.’
If the voice says you don’t deserve something, immediately make it a priority to get / do it for yourself.
Always ask yourself, ‘What is real, true and important in this moment?’ I can guarantee you it won’t be anything that voice has to say. Question everything it utters. There is freedom on the other side, as you redefine your relationship with that mental chatter. When you take your faith away from it, your new and final relationship with it will only be one of indifference:
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with foolish things. 1 Cor. 13:11 NASB
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ… 2 Cor. 10:3 – 5. ESV
We have thought on Your lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of your temple. Ps. 48:9 NKJV
During these healing meditations, you will find that very few things you believed in were really what you thought they were and that will be a good thing…
Step two: The Discovery Journal
You will have rendered that voice in your head impotent with regards to doing further damage. However, while it was on the loose, it planted seeds in your soul that sprouted weeds, which constitute your heretofore strategies for living (and we’ve seen how that’s worked out). It’s time to uproot those as well, so we can start over with a new garden.
Take out a new notebook and write down the questions that follow. They will reveal why you do what you do. Pray for true discernment. Sit down without distractions, and write your answers fast and furiously. That will be your heart at work. The more ‘thinking’ you do, the more your ‘conditioned lies’ show up as answers.
Don’t change those answers! Read them over only one more time and add anything else that quickly comes up and then leave them alone! Your answers will reveal every strategy that you utilize for doing life. Once you can really see them, you can replace them with what works – God’s strategies.
DO NOT JUDGE YOURSELF FOR ANY OF YOUR ANSWERS! THEY ONLY CONSTITUTE A PICTURE OF WHAT YOU FELT YOU NEEDED TO DO / FEEL TO SURVIVE:
1. What is it about other people’s behavior that bothers you?
2. What are the things that keep you from being happy?
3. What brings you sadness?
4. Describe your entire Life Story – from your first recollection to the present day.
a. List your ‘life-altering events’ – what happened, who was with you when it did, and
what they and you did or didn’t do.
b. What meanings did you bring to these events and how did that change your life?
c. Who do you enlist to help keep these ‘life changes’ in perpetuity, and how do you
do that with them?
5. Name all the people in your social and family circles; describe your relationship
with each, and how you would like them to change.
6. List all the people whom you believe have caused or are causing you pain.
7. List all of the people (including yourself) that you’ve chosen not to forgive.
8. Who are your enemies?
9. List your worries and what you are afraid of should they come to pass. Also, list (in
sequence) all your thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and actions you take
before each worry is full-blown.
10. What do you see your future holding for you?
11. What overall meaning(s) do you bring to life?
12. Are you dissatisfied? In what areas? Why?
13. What makes you angry?
14. What does each person you know think about you?
15. What things do you think is wrong with you, and how do you punish yourself and
others for possessing them?
16. What don’t you accept about yourself?
17. What secrets are you keeping?
18. What lies do you tell?
19. How do you feel when someone thinks your are wrong?
20. What conflicts are you having with things and people in your life?
21. How do you try to manipulate people into believing certain things about you?
What are the beliefs you want them to have? Is this a way you try to control
22. How do you listen in conversation? How effective is your communication?
23. What are your fears? How do you react to them? How do you avoid them?
24. How do your avoid the present moment?
25. List the repetitive dramas in your life.
26. Who has abandoned you?
27. List your impulsive behaviors – include addictions. What is the nature of the relief
they bring? What does your indulgence in them cost you?
28. What are the emotions that upset you? What happens as you experience them?
What happens just before you experience them?
29. What and who do you cling to?
Don’t dally with this list. Be brutally honest with yourself. The reward will be immense. We’ll examine your answers next week.
Goodnight and God bless.