Tag Archives: truth

Lie #28: I Don’t Belong

We all crave acceptance at some level. Sometimes it’s in a community or among peers. We may feel alienated from our friends or even from our families. I’ve heard the phrases: “I don’t have any real friends,” and “I have no family.” I think the lie in all of these scenarios is I don’t belong. I don’t belong to a family, to a community, to a group. Whether or not you actually have a family and a group to belong to, you may not feel like you do, and that’s what is important. We can look and behave like the people around us, but it’s essential to actually feel like we are connected to them through love and acceptance, whether or not we actually look and act like them. And it’s not necessarily about how they treat us. They can be kind and they can do everything to help us feel acceptance, and still we don’t completely feel it. That feeling needs to come from within.

I went to a conference yesterday, among like-minded people. On the surface, these people were part of my faith, my community, they were people who believed as I do, and yet as I sat among them in various classes, listening to them and agreeing with them, I began to get a headache. Deep down I was listening to voices that were telling me that I didn’t really belong there, that these were not my people, and I began to feel a sense of isolation. I looked around. I wore pretty much the same kinds of clothes as they did, my hair looked similar, my language was the same, and yet I felt apart from them. I even chose to sit apart, not really joining in, not really fully participating. I tried to figure out what was going on.

It wasn’t until the last class of the day, led by a woman known as the Drum Circle Goddess, that I began to formulate the lie that I had been believing. This woman, to lots of conservative people in my community, would seem “weird.” Not because of the way she dressed or because of the way she spoke or carried herself. Nothing about her appearance would make you look twice. But her class was about “healing vibrations.” Now, I am not new to energy, but this was something I had never experienced before, and it made me stop and wonder if I could accept a woman like this into my circle. The class began. There were drums, there was music, people were excited and involved, and I watched with fascination as this woman led the crowd in rearranging the chairs in the room so that there was a large empty area. I watched as they all formed a circle and beat the drums like a Native American prayer. And I found myself wanting to be involved. I felt the energy of what was happening and I liked it. I found my soul drawn to this circle and these people, and I joined them. And my headache disappeared and I finally understood. I am weird. I accept and embrace weirdness in others, but I don’t think until that moment that I had ever accepted it in myself.

So now I say, I am weird. Because weird is wonderful and healing. I enjoy the idea of doing what is different and offbeat. I belong with those who accept that about themselves. I rejoice in belonging with them. They are my family.

Because the truth is, you can’t really feel a sense of belonging and acceptance and connection until you can fully be yourself and accept who that really is. Who are you, really—down deep inside your soul? And do you love that person? Do you allow that person to flourish and thrive? Because that is the joy of being alive! Thank you, Drum Circle Goddess, for teaching me that.

lodrumcircle

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , ,

Lie #7: You are Worthless

One of the most effective weapons the enemy of our souls uses against us is the lie that we are worthless. If the devil can convince us that we really aren’t worth anything, that everything we try will fail, that every good idea we have won’t really work, our efforts aren’t really going to do any good, and that God doesn’t really love and support us because we really aren’t worth it, he has done his job well. If we believe this about ourselves, it will be true. We won’t care what we do and what happens to us. To me, this lie is the single most effective weapon because it is the root of all that we believe about ourselves.

The truth is, you are of infinite worth. If you’re a member of the LDS church you may have heard that phrase a lot, so it may not mean that much to you. You may have heard it but you’re not sure you believe it. You may not have really thought about what it means. Infinite means having no boundaries or limits. Again, and this is a theme with me: it’s all in how you see yourself. Try looking through a different lens.

“…see yourself as a precious child of a loving Father in Heaven. Our children with confidence sing, ‘I am a child of God, and he has sent me here.’ Little children feel and know what perhaps you have forgotten. You are the beloved son or daughter of Heavenly Father, created ‘in his own image,’ and of immense value—so much so that Jesus Christ gave His life for you. God the Father is merciful and has infinite love for you despite your faults. Only the voice of Satan will cause you to feel of no value. In contrast, the Holy Ghost will cause you to feel ‘godly sorrow’ unto repentance in a manner that fills you with hope of positive change. When you feel worthless, ‘remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.’ Refrain from repeatedly thinking or saying negative words about yourself—there is a clear difference between humility and humiliation. Identify and use your unique talents rather than dwelling on your weaknesses.” (Anthony D Perkins, “The Great and Wonderful Love”)

I have always loved stories of superheroes—Spiderman, Batman, The Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, Captain America, The Matrix series. My favorite is Superman. Many of us like these stories about the average guy discovering he has superpowers and then using his powers to help people. We can relate to these stories. Consider Superman. He is born on another world, to super-human parents who send him to another planet to save his life. With him they send clues that will help him understand who he really is and what he can really do. As he grows and gains experience, he discovers his gifts: super-human strength, x-ray vision, the ability to fly. Then he uses his gifts to save and help people. He changes his identity because he knows he’s something special, something more than just Clark Kent. He spends his life fighting evil and standing for good.

I think we like these stories because they represent each of us. Each of us is a superhero—an incredible super-spirit disguised as a human being. Each of us has gifts and talents and abilities we are discovering every day, and each of us is trying to use those gifts to make our world a better place. Each of us has a duty to use what we have been given to make a difference and to help each other.

Please don’t listen to the lie that you are less than what you know you are. You are infinitely more. You are the spirit child of the God who created the universe. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” You have unique gifts that no one else has, and you are here for a reason. You have a unique mission to perform, even if you may not know what it is yet.

Please don’t let labels get in your way. Don’t label yourself and don’t let others label you. You are not defined by your job, what you look like, your preferences or how much money you have. When everything is stripped away, you are still you, a child of God, a superhero in disguise.

Superman-animated-series-by-demmac-on-deviantart

Tagged , , , , , ,

Lie #3: There is no devil.

The devil, Satan, the father of lies, the adversary, author of all evil, whatever you want to call him—is proof that there is opposition that exists in the world.

I don’t want to spend too much time on this one, but I think it’s important to bring out, only because there are people that want to perpetuate the lie that there is no devil. Where did this lie come from? Well, the devil, of course. If you read the scriptures, you know this is false. The Book of Mormon says, “others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.” (2 Nephi 28:22) People don’t like to talk about him, and I get it. I don’t either. James Faust has said, “It is not good practice to become intrigued by Satan and his mysteries. No good can come from getting close to evil.” (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1987/10/the-great-imitator?lang=eng. I recommend this article, by the way. It’s excellent.)

All I feel the need to do is tell the truth, which is this: there is a devil, and he has an agenda. That agenda is to deceive and control and ultimately own you. We need to know that this is a reality so that we can be in control of the situation.

Robert Hales, another apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said this: “Although the devil laughs, his power is limited. Some may remember the old adage: ‘The devil made me do it.’ …I want to convey, in absolutely certain terms, that the adversary cannot make us do anything. He does lie at our door, as the scriptures say, and he follows us each day. Every time we go out, every decision we make, we are either choosing to move in his direction or in the direction of our Savior. But the adversary must depart if we tell him to depart. He cannot influence us unless we allow him to do so, and he knows that! The only time he can affect our minds and bodies—our very spirits—is when we allow him to do so. In other words, we do not have to succumb to his enticements!”

I think the best method of approach on this topic is to realize the devil is real and to be aware of him. If you are trying to do good, trying to change, trying to learn, he will be there to get in your way, to dissuade you to do otherwise. Make no mistake, he will try. But if you are aware and you are diligent, he will fail.

So here are some ways, from my experience, that you may unwittingly invite the spirit of the devil into your life:

  • consciously make a wrong choice, or avoid making a right one (this includes wasting valuable time, not having priorities in order, letting your attention being diverted by things that don’t really matter)
  • view or read entertainment that invites the wrong spirit (especially those that have excessive violent or sexual content or that are blatantly evil, like horror movies)
  • inviting or participating in contention
  • perpetuating negativity—negative thoughts, especially—he thrives on those

And, from my experience, the following can offer protection against the power of the adversary:

  • viewing or reading positive material, especially that which invites the Spirit of the Lord, like scriptures and sacred music (however, any material that is positive and uplifting to the soul is better than its alternative)
  • serving others and seeking to be helpful and kind
  • being obedient to what we know we should do
  • if you’re LDS, attending the temple and “standing in holy places” is the best thing you can do to protect yourself

I used to be afraid of the devil and his angels. I used to think that if I was good they would target me more, so I stood still in fear. I even took some time off from being good, falsely believing that they would leave me alone if I acted like I was on their side. That really wasn’t the best plan. Once I began to study and learn and heal, I realized that while it’s true that the devil doubles his forces when you are trying to change, the Lord also doubles his. While I felt like I needed to protect myself, in essence, I was being protected all the time just by doing good. My friends, the devil’s power is limited. We allow what happens to us. Some of us might need to experience trials like Job from the Old Testament, but I think that’s rare. More often, we are in charge. And our goodness is more powerful than anything Satan can come up with. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

Realize that there is a devil. Accept that he wants to destroy you. But then believe that you are more powerful than he is.

Tagged , , , ,