Monthly Archives: August 2014

Lie #16: I Can’t

I have felt frustration for some time about being on the right track. I know I am—I’m doing everything I know I should—and yet at times I have wondered why I am not receiving what I think I should be receiving. I would like a lot of things, but it seems like all I get to do is prepare to receive them rather than actually receive them. I work toward these things every day, I read, I study, I write my blog posts, I serve others, but I haven’t felt like I was moving forward. I knew I wasn’t moving backward, and it didn’t feel like I was standing still, but it still seemed like something wasn’t quite right. I felt like I should see some physical evidence that I was in fact moving forward—rewards or something—evidence that God was aware of what I wanted and that he was blessing me. Then it occurred to me that if I wasn’t digressing or standing still, maybe I was actually progressing, just slowly and without a whole lot of physical evidence. I know I’m a wiser and kinder person than I was a year ago. I know that physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, I am moving forward. It’s probably not as quickly as I’d like, but progress is progress. And progress is preferable. As I continued to think about it, I began to understand that I had a false belief that I was standing still and not moving forward, which was actually preventing me from moving forward! How powerful our beliefs are!

False beliefs operate at the subconscious level. Beliefs are solid ideas stored in your subconscious mind. Whether or not they are really true, you will believe in them as long as you hold them in your mind. Beliefs get stronger when more evidence supports them and they become weaker when something appears to contradict them. (adapted from “Subconscious Mind and the Belief System,” by M. Farouk Radwan) “Our beliefs make up the foundation of our lives. What we believe becomes what we think, which becomes how we act, which ultimately determines our lives. This is empowering—if we can believe it, we can achieve it. However, the glitch in the system becomes apparent when we consider that most of our beliefs were formed when we were very young, before age seven. As children, we didn’t have a filter on information. Whatever we were told, we believed. This is notable in everything from Santa Claus to the Tooth Fairy—we didn’t even think to question their validity. We also had the same acceptance of limiting thoughts and messages imprinted on us by our parents, teachers, and other people in our lives at the time.” (Jessica Ainscough, “Erasing Limiting Beliefs and False Boundaries”) Jessica eliminated cancer from her body by changing her beliefs about herself. I don’t mean to convince you that such a thing is easy, but it is possible. Anyone can do it.

But there is another factor at play here. The thing I needed to understand is that not only was I holding myself back with what I believed, I wasn’t giving God a chance to teach me. I was in such a hurry to get to where I wanted to be that I wasn’t staying around for the lessons that were mine along the way. When I saw myself on my life path, I pictured myself running full speed toward the goal.

“Too often we pray to have patience, but we want it right now! To wait upon the Lord means planting the seed of faith and nourishing it with great diligence, and patience.” (Robert Hales, “Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done”) A plant laden with fruit doesn’t grow from a tiny seed overnight. We may not know when or how the Lord’s blessings will be given, but in his time and his way, his blessings will come. For some answers we may have to wait a long time. I now understand this to be true. It was something He needed me to learn.

I now set an intention that I will continue to move forward, no matter at what speed, and that I will listen to my body and to the Lord, so that I will understand that even though I would like things to progress quicker, they are progressing exactly how they are supposed to be.

Consider the false beliefs that may be in your way. Is there something you want and it hasn’t come to you yet? Is it because of a false belief or is it because God isn’t ready to grant it to you? Chances are you have exactly what you want and exactly what you have asked for—you just may not have realized it.

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Lie #15: I am Protected, Part Two

Louise Hay, in her bestselling book You Can Heal Your Life, asserts that “we create every so-called illness in our bodies. The [physical] body, like everything else in life, is a mirror of our inner thoughts and beliefs. The body is always talking to us, if we will only take the time to listen.” I believe this. As I have listened and responded to my body’s communications to me, I have been able to heal various pains and illnesses, like the milk and tomato “allergies” which used to be a problem but aren’t anymore.

One of the ways our bodies communicate with us is by gaining or losing weight. In this post I want to touch briefly on unwanted weight gain, because that’s something I have personally dealt with. In my experience, excess weight has lots of emotional layers, but Louise Hay’s explanation was one of the layers I personally needed to address. She says that being “overweight represents a need for protection. We seek protection from hurts, slights, criticism, abuse, sexuality and sexual advances; from a fear of life in general and also specifically.” If this idea seems hard to swallow, I know how you feel. It took me a while to wrap my mind around the idea, but the more I learn to understand it, the more I understand it to be the truth. The lie is this: extra weight protects us emotionally. A lot of the time, it’s the reason our bodies pack on extra weight, because we believe it will insulate us from whatever is a threat. The threat is real for us, but the truth is, extra weight doesn’t really protect us from it.

In some ways, I guess it could. If, for instance, I was someone who had experienced sexual abuse when I was younger, (which I did) and subconsciously I decided that if I made myself heavier and less attractive, people would be less likely to hurt or abuse me, that may be true. But it’s not the weight that’s keeping me safe from people who would hurt me, it’s only my belief that’s keeping me safe. Do you see what I mean?

Margarita Tartakovsky, associate editor at Psych Central, wrote something similar: “Some women…wear their excess weight as a shield. Why a shield? For individuals who’ve experienced a traumatic event, usually some kind of abuse, their weight helps them create a barrier to the outside.” (Wearing Your Weight As Armor)

From the same article, Mary Anne Cohen, CSW, the director of The New York Center for Eating Disorders, writes: “Many survivors of sexual abuse often work to become very fat or very thin in an attempt to render themselves unattractive. In this way, they try to de-sexualize themselves. Other survivors obsessively diet, starve, or purge to make their bodies ‘perfect.’ A perfect body is their attempt to feel more powerful, invulnerable, and in control, so as not to re-experience the powerlessness they felt as children. Indeed, some large men and women, who are survivors of sexual abuse, are afraid to lose weight because it will render them feeling smaller and childlike. This, in turn, may bring back painful memories that are difficult to cope with.”

Another example of how weight protects us is from criticism or ridicule. Carol Tuttle did an amazing healing session with her client Michelle in this video:

Michelle had a belief that if she stayed overweight, she wouldn’t offend anyone. I thought this was fascinating. Carol Tuttle has worked with lots of women to help identify weight-related emotional issues. I recommend her YouTube channel and her blog.

It’s important to understand that excess weight does not actually protect us from real or imagined threats, but I think it’s more important to focus on the real issue. The real issue is not the excess weight. The real issue is the underlying emotional trauma causing your body to gain and retain weight that it doesn’t really need. Once those traumas are resolved, the weight will come off on its own.

I haven’t shed all of the extra weight that I would like from my physical body, but I’m okay with that for now because I’m working through the issues that are keeping it there. I’m working on shedding emotional weight. I fully intend to work through all those layers and be able to tell the world that I became my ideal size by simply improving my emotional and spiritual health. I believe it can be done. And if I believe it, it will happen.

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Lie #14: I am Protected

I used to believe that I was automatically protected by angels, that they were looking out for me and keeping me safe. I learned something this week that has changed my mind.

I work at a grocery store deli, where I frequently use large slicers to cut meat and cheese for the guests. The spinning blade has never frightened me, and I have always been comfortable using the machines. One night last week I was cleaning them as part of our closing routine. We have cut resistant gloves that are supposed to be used when cleaning them, for safety reasons, but I have never used them. I always believed I was just fine without them. So here I was cleaning the last machine, pondering in my mind the fact that I had never been hurt while using or cleaning these machines, while other employees had, wondering why that was and imagining that I must have angelic protection, when suddenly my right thumb hit the blade. It may or may not have been spinning—I don’t want to incriminate myself because that’s a double no-no. I was in shock for a minute, wondering if this had really happened or if it was just a figment of my imagination. I had trouble looking down at my thumb. I didn’t really want to see. I didn’t want to believe it. But as the pain hit my brain and the blood began to flow, I knew something bad had happened even if I refused to accept it. Anyone who has ever lost a finger or part of one knows what I’m talking about. It’s a gruesome scene.

I didn’t lose my thumb—just a good chunk of the outside pad and nail. I didn’t even need stitches and there was really not a whole lot of pain, so I feel really lucky. But it was still pretty traumatic for me. It was tough to go back to work after a couple of days and face that slicer again.

But this is what I learned: I am not automatically protected. I am not protected against my own wrong choices and I am not protected from evil unless I do certain things in order to receive that protection. There are at least two things I could have done to protect my hand: I could have worn the cut resistant gloves, and I could have prayed for angelic protection. Both were available to me and I used neither. As a result, I got hurt.

“The Savior has always been the protector of those who would accept His protection. He has said more than once, ‘How oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not’ (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 10:5)” (Henry Eyring, Finding Safety in Counsel) I believe God is ready and willing to protect us from all of the possible ways we can get hurt, both physically and emotionally. All we have to do is listen and obey and ask for his guidance. Safety measures are often available to us if we will use them, and prayer is always available. I would never get into a vehicle without putting on a seatbelt, because “Research has found that lap/shoulder seat belts, when used, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent. In 2011 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 11,949 lives.” (http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811875.pdf) It’s just a risk not worth taking. Dying in an automobile accident might not be the worst thing that could happen, but I really don’t want the possibility of living the remainder of my life with a serious injury.

It’s hard to admit that you were wrong and that you made a mistake, that you should have listened to those who knew what they were talking about when they warned you to take precautions. There is safety in obedience and in admitting we were wrong. I had to admit I was wrong and receive a written warning from my employer, who had to pay for a visit to the emergency room because I made the wrong choice. It was a humbling experience for me. So put down your cell phone (when you’re driving), put on your seat belt, your safety goggles, your bike helmet, and your cut resistant gloves. As long as I’m working in a deli, I’ll be wearing mine.

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Lie #13: The Devil Made Me Do It

There is some truth to the old adage “the devil made me do it.” While I truly believe that we are in control of ourselves and our circumstances  and what happens in our lives, there are times when we can be overcome with negative entities (company, as one friend of mine likes to call them) and find ourselves doing things we wouldn’t normally do if we were in a good state of mind. The reason why I’m listing “the devil made me do it” as one of the lies is because no matter what state of mind we find ourselves in, we still have a choice to make. Do we continue to feel out of control, do we continue to feel pain, do we continue down a road where we know we shouldn’t be, or do we choose to make a course correction?

Having already established that we all have a common enemy, let’s further explore how that enemy called Satan tries to distract us from our mission. The early American prophet Brigham Young has been quoted as saying, “You never felt a pain and ache, or felt disagreeable, or uncomfortable in your bodies and minds, but what an evil spirit was present causing it. Do you realize that the ague, the fever, the chills, the severe pain in the head, the pleurisy or any pain in the system, from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet, is put there by the devil? … The spirits that afflict us and plant disease in our bodies, pain in the system, and finally death, have control over us so far as the flesh is concerned.” (Brigham Young, *Journal of Discourses, Vol 4, “On the Death of President Jedidiah M Grant” p 133) It’s helpful to read the whole lecture, but what I think President Young was saying is that all physical and emotional ailments, trivial or serious, can be linked to something negative we have allowed into our lives. This, I believe, is the truth.

This is why I have come to understand why it’s so important to focus on positive—saying positive things to ourselves, rejecting that which will bring down our energetic vibration, surrounding ourselves with positive energy in people, media and environments. When we allow ourselves to entertain negative thoughts or beliefs, when we allow negative people, media, or situations to influence us, we in essence open the door for Satan and his followers to attack. I have learned about and had experiences with what some call evil weapons or devices, and how Satan uses them. His tactics are simple and devious. It’s genius, really.

Here’s an example of how it works. As a child, maybe you got in trouble a lot. Maybe your mother said things to you like “You drive me crazy,” or “You’re going to drive me to drink” or even, heaven forbid, “Damn you!” In your little child brain, you took these statements seriously. Your little mind might have believed that you were causing your mother a lot of stress and that maybe you weren’t a very good child. You may have even said something to yourself, like “I’m a bad child. I always cause trouble. My mother doesn’t love me because I cause her so many problems.” At that point, Satan and his minions act upon this negative belief. They place a spiritual device in you somewhere, maybe like a tape recorder in your brain, that replays for you what you believe about yourself, plus maybe a little of his own enhancement. “You’re a bad child. Your mother doesn’t love you. You’re a troublemaker. Nobody will ever really love you.” Then every time you do something wrong, this recording plays in your head and reinforces your belief. Since he’s already placed the device and it’s doing its job, he doesn’t have to whisper in your ears anymore. It’s all taken care of. It will stay in place until you choose to change that belief about yourself. It could stay there 50 years, playing and playing and attracting situations into your life that will reinforce that belief over and over again. Those beliefs will most certainly manifest themselves in your physical body. They may make you sick or depressed. They may cause your back to hurt all the time. Like I say, it’s genius. I know it probably doesn’t seem fair, but it is the way of things, and this understanding helps us realize there is a lot to learn.

There is great power in understanding his tactics. Knowing what’s going on, you can choose to change what you think and start saying positive things to yourself. That’s where it starts. You will need some help in clearing those old beliefs, but choosing to believe something different is the first step.

Another way Satan gets to us is by using others to cause contention. I have a friend whose seven year-old girl was frequently hitting her, jabbing her, and generally causing irritation, sometimes by even saying nasty things to her. My friend knew this behavior wasn’t natural for her daughter, but didn’t know what to do about it. It was pointed out to her that maybe her daughter had some negative company, simply for the purpose of irritating her and driving a wedge between her and her daughter. Once this company was identified and dismissed, through the power of Jesus Christ, my friend has a kinder, gentler daughter, much less prone to hitting and saying unkind things to members of her family. There are lots of stories like this. People just don’t talk a lot about it.

We have protection against these evil devices. “Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Satan and his disciples cannot tolerate the spiritual light of the gospel; they must immediately depart. If we…are obedient and walk in the light, having both the Light of Christ and the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide us, we will make the right choices. If we make our choices without the Holy Ghost, we will make wrong choices that lead us toward the darkness—and we will wander in strange paths and be lost. In our daily lives we must understand how important the light of the Spirit is to us. …the Light of Christ is our salvation and protection from the darkness of the adversary. We will never be left without the Light of Christ even when there is darkness all around us in this mortal probation.” (Robert Hales, “That Ye May Be the Children of Light”)

I am very grateful to have learned these things, so that I can share them with you. I believe there is great power in understanding and fighting the tools of Satan and his evil followers. I wish to be as Captain Moroni from the pages of the Book of Mormon, for “if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.” He was a man “of perfect understanding.” (Alma 48) The more I understand, the more lies I can expose, the more power I believe I can have over my enemy. I wish the same for you.

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