Whether they’re Christian or not, many of my clients have appreciated the perspective from John 8:32: “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Lies bind us in many different ways. Lies are things we make ourselves believe to justify bad actions or put the blame where it doesn’t belong—and sometimes that means blaming ourselves when we shouldn’t. If we discover the lies that we believe about ourselves, about others, and about the world, then we can free ourselves to overcome negative thinking patterns and negative behaviors.
Feelings That Invite Negative Behaviors
So I have an acronym that identifies what feelings we need to avoid if we want to stay emotionally and mentally healthy and avoid negative activities. The acronym is BLAST:
- Sad, Stressed, or Scared
When we feel those emotions, our perspectives are skewed, and we (usually subconsciously) make and believe lies and excuses much more easily. You have all the power you need to overcome these lies, and you don’t have to do it alone. Through prevention, you can avoid BLAST; and through intervention, you can identify lies even while experiencing BLAST.
Prevention includes discovering what lies we’ve had problems with in the past and thinking through our feelings to examine if they’re rational and truthful.
Imagine you’ve convinced yourself that you annoy others and they want to get back at you. Let’s say you’re trying to sleep, and someone starts chopping vegetables very loudly in the kitchen. You might imagine that that person is trying to annoy you on purpose. Prevention, in this case, would be recognizing the truth that you haven’t done anything to offend this person and that there’s no reason to believe they’re trying to annoy you. It’s a mindset thing.
Part of prevention is avoiding all of the negative feelings of BLAST. For example, when we’re tired, we often are way less tolerant of and patient with others. Good self-care is keeping yourself in a good place so that you can have the strength, rest, and mindset to be patient with others.
When we slip past prevention and we’re already feeling a BLAST emotion, we need intervention. How we combat that is practicing.
- We can have different phrases that we practice, and when we’re angry, we can use those phrases to help calm ourselves.
- We can also practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is about grounding and calming ourselves. We may need to count to ten or breathe slowly with conscious effort. As we recognize our feelings and slow down, we can regulate our anger and not express it in harmful ways.
Another intervention strategy is tapping on acupuncture points. There are many videos and places you can search for that technique.
Remember, being angry is not the problem. It is simply a reaction to fear or hurt. It’s how we express the anger that can cause problems. There is a good purpose of anger. Have the mindset that if you get triggered, that’s okay, and you can take care of it calmly.
And it does take practice! When we are emotionally charged, it’s hard to remember the truth and recognize the lies that get mixed up with our feelings. Here’s more info on how to practice.
An Example of Lies: Childhood Abuse
A common example of a believed lie occurs with child abuse. As children, we rely on adults around us for our survival. Kids often blame themselves for what’s not going right, because if a problem is their fault, that gives them a sense of control. An abuser further manipulates a child to believe that it’s the child’s desire to have that activity, and if something feels good to the body, but we know it’s wrong, that becomes even more confusing.
So in the case of someone who has been abused, they take the responsibility and begin to believe that it’s something they chose, wanted, or deserved, even though the truth was that they were manipulated and told it was their fault. So it takes unlearning a lot of beliefs that we had as a child to let go of the lies that we took on for our safety as we grew up. When we discover the lie and then the alternate truth, then that’s what frees us from the burden.
That’s the goal: to understand those belief systems that aren’t true. And as those are uncovered, then there’s freedom from the chaos and burdens those bring.
A few years back, I also ran a treatment program called the Sons of Helaman. It helped young men who had challenges with internet addictions, gaming, pornography, and other unwanted sexual self-mastery behaviors. If you’re interested in more details about that program, please visit the Sons of Helaman site.
Rodney Limb has always enjoyed listening to people and helping them work out problems and struggles. As a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Nationally Licensed Hypnotherapist for over 20 years, he has helped hundreds of couples create a happy and thriving marriage out of disaster. He also provides counseling for anxiety, depression, stress, PTSD, and overcoming various behavioral addictions.
A Deeper Look into Spiritual Truths
“Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God?” — 1 Corinthians 6:19
“You have to have fuel in the tank before you can give it to others.” — Jeffrey R. Holland
“The man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” — Genesis 3:12–13
People love to point fingers, justify, and believe lies that are easier than truth. Sometimes, the justifications and lies are more understandable than others. But they’re still justifications and lies. God wants us to take care of ourselves and be honest with ourselves.