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Sunday, May 8, 2016

How Do YOU Change the Way You Change?

A friend of mine recently contacted me asking for some advice. Upon reading it, my immediate response was to post this to my blog and have you offer some advice.

So, if you're reading this, I'd like to humbly ask for your constructive, detailed (as possible) advice for this person mentioned below. To do so, just post a comment below. If you don't want to be identified, just comment anonymously. My friend will be monitoring this post's comments...

Here's what my friend sent me:
"I have something I want to throw at you.  It seems like you've had a lot of interesting experiences and have had a lot of people share their interesting experiences.  What do you make of this?

A person has struggled for a couple of decades with intense trials that have left them emotionally drained.  In the process of these trials they have adopted what can be called pernicious patterns of belief.  Despite all the truth and a strong testimony and an nature, etc. they have these pernicious beliefs, lies that masquerade as truth, within their heart (mostly regarding their self-worth and value as a human being).

The issue is most easily explained like this:  These pernicious belief patterns are like a virus or bacteria that has invaded their system and it's too much for them to overcome on their own, so they keep relapsing.  They need the help of the "Doctor", but all their efforts to get to him seem blocked or futile.  No matter what they do, the "bacteria" remains.

This person has not been healed and their health has declined from the great emotional burden.  I know several people with the same sort of issue, that despite doing everything they know how, and even breaking down layers of ignorance as to the reality of the Atonement and the Savior, they remain "sick".  I believe people can be healed quickly and powerfully, but something seems to be missing in these cases.

Any ideas?  Thoughts?  Impressions?  Experiences that might be helpful?"
OK you guys -- here's your big moment to demonstrate that you're committed to being of one heart, one mind, dwelling in righteousness and having no poor (in spirit) among us!  :)

I look forward to reading your advice soon.

25 comments:

  1. As I read this a part of my life came back to me. I have not suffered from failing health or anything like that but I can relate. May I share 2 different things.

    One-unkind feelings would pop up whenever I would see a very close family member of mine. I thought I had already concurred it through a lot of prayer and fasting and using the Savior's atonement. It came down to another Brother getting married and I knew the family would want everyone together for the prayer circle. I knew I wouldn't be able to honestly stand there if the other person was there. There was like some kind of trigger whenever I was around him. THe day before the wedding- I cried before the Lord. I surrendered to him. Looking back now I realized I had a broken heart and contrite spirit. In that moment he burnt those thoughts/feelings/triggers out of me. I was able to participate the next day with my whole family. Those triggers, unkind feeling for this very close family member have NEVER returned.

    Example #2- I have struggles with sugar addiction for years. I would go through phases were I would be good and eat healthy and go weeks without treats. THen I would crave that stuff and eat it and have a hard time stopping. Fasting for a 2 day period would help. But eventually the addition became to strong to over come. During this whole time I would pray for help and ask for the Savior's atonement to help.

    Well a few Christmas's ago he answered my many prayers and pleadings. I have a 3 part blog post on this if you are interested in ready. For me, I had to completely surrender myself to Christ, hold nothing back and cry unto him. I tend to be a very independent and somewhat selfish person. I like to do things myself and not want help. Now I see I am weak without Christ. I love the 3rd verse of "How Firm a Foundation" it was written upon my mind and heart.

    "Fear not I am with thee; Oh, be not dismayed
    For I am thy God and shall still give thee aid
    I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand
    Upheld by my righteous Omnipotent hand.

    Sorry for my rambling. Hope you can make sense of what I was trying to share.

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  2. Ok, this is just for you because I don't want to plagiarize. Have your friend go to friendsofunblog.wordpress.com and have them read the last two posts. They're actually a series of posts maybe 5 or 6 and are all good but those two may be particularly helpful.

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  3. Sally, What is the link to the article you mentioned?

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    1. I don't know how to do a live link so I think you can just copy and paste the link below

      http://followthelivingchrist.blogspot.com

      My Sugar Addiction starts on Oct 29th, 2015. There are 3 parts to it.

      Let me know if you have any problems.

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  4. First, I'd encourage your friend to seek counseling. There are a lot of strategies and therapies available to your friend which are beyond the boundaries of the average person's knowledge. It's also a fact that these strategies can heal us. Don't discount this potential lifeboat which the Lord has made available.

    Second, track your emotions. What are the things that trigger these depressive episodes? Or what are the activities that suppress them? By tracking these things, they may be able to see common denominators in what causes or prevents these problems.

    Third, how much sleep are they getting? How well are they sleeping? I went through quite a long bout of depression as well, and we eventually found out that I was only sleeping the equivalent of 2-3 hours a night -- far short of the 7-8 hours I thought I was getting.

    Fourth, do things that will elevate your moods. Listen to music which invites the Spirit. Believe it or not, there are a lot of contemporary Christian songs which are NOT MoTab and DO bring in the Spirit big time. Another thing: exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which help us feel better.

    Fifth, get out and associate with others. Don't give in to the temptation to focus on yourself. Get out there and serve others in a proactive way (and not waiting until requests for help are given at church). You can't help but feel better when you serve others.

    Finally, sixth -- Fast. There are so many examples of where fasting has helped people rise above the physical/telestial.

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  5. What's working to free my soul is reading books from all sources. Praying and meditation. God will give you the answers you seek and help you to awake and arise.

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  6. Plead, plead with Heavenly Father to help us see ourselves as He does. That is His part. Besides the pleading, our part includes the realization that ANY negative thought allowed on the stage of our mind will multiply. It is harder to battle a multitude than the one. Heaven's grace and blessings on you!

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  7. It is really hard sometimes to get the spirit and heal when we have bought into satan's system of eating. The word of wisdom is also mis-understood and not read right. Your body is a temple and when clean can be a conduit to heaven spiritually, but also, God has made it wonderfully able to heal. 1 Corinthians 6:20 Your were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. And also, 1 Corinthians 3:17 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all in the glory of God.
    Also read, 3 John 1:2, Daniel 1:8-19, and section 89 in the Doctrine and Covenants. Read section 89 carefully and see what it really says. (Dr John Christopher has a good article on this section that may be helpful. I think you can look him up on the internet and find it.) Hallelujah acres, a Christian based health food company also has been very helpful to me and is worth seeing what God has shown them and if it is right for you. God sometimes lets us struggle more so we can be stronger and have more compassion to others struggles so we can be an instrument in His hands to help them also. Don't give up.
    God speed your recovery and I will pray for you. I know you can overcome and be a light to those around you and God can lead you to help others and bring you to Him.

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  8. I may be off base but it seems like this post is more about "pernicious belief patterns" as a root cause and less about health (more as the manifestation of the root cause).

    I had something very helpful explained to me this way about beliefs we come to hold as truth or rules. In life we all come to believe lies that Satan feeds us about ourselves. Essentially we make an agreement with him that these lies are true and come to hold them as rules in our life. These lies are generally adopted because of fear. And fear is just a lie.

    An example that clearly illustrates it is someone struggling with addiction. Lie/agreement with Satan: If I were honest and she only knew what I've really done and who I really am she wouldn't love me. Believing this further isolates the person making the addiction worse and continues the cycle.

    Here are a few of mine: I don't need to be cherished or romanced in a relationship, that's just for fairy tales. (The truth is I deserve to be treated well and cherished in a relationship. That's what God wants for me. Not in the Hollywood fairy tale way but it is not an unreasonable expectation and need.)

    It's better that I go through tough things than other people, I'm tougher and better me handle it then someone else. (The truth is I went through an awful situation and it was not chosen for me because I should be able to handle it or because I agreed to it specifically in the preexistence. It was not my cross to bear for a lifetime and God didn't expect me to stay in it at all costs.)

    I'm reserved, that's just my personality. (Truth is I've probably adopted that personality over the years. Maybe it was born out of past experiences or maybe it is just what the world rewarded. When I was a child I was much less reserved. Who we are as children gives us a much more accurate picture of who we really are - before we have adopted Satan's lies as truths.)

    I'm a terrible dancer and don't enjoy it. (As a child I loved to dance. I don't think I was good at it but I loved it. And now I avoid it like the plague.)

    First, we have to identify the lies we are living by in our lives and identify truth. Ask Heavenly Father who we are and what the truth is. Break the contract with Satan and let him know. Second, the lie must be replaced by truth. If we only identify the lie and do not replace it then it's much easier for that lie to return or another one to take it's place.

    Where are you fearful? What lie have you been living by? What were you like as a child?

    Another thing that is helpful to me is that I am adored by my Heavenly Father. I'd heard for decades that He loves me and is aware of me. But for some reason understanding that He adores me made me feel it. Ask him to show you that you too are cherished, adored and delighted in. And then look for how He is. The more secure I am in His love for me the more peace I feel and the more alive I feel. I like a phrase I've heard, "Live loved!"

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  9. This could be me that you are talking about. In fact, this post has been an answer to my prayers that I have had over the last couple of days. I'm not sure that I have any decent advice as I'm struggling to find the answers myself. At times the Lord has told me that I will not be healed in this life. I have to remember that what I go through is sometimes for others to see and learn from.

    I have to accept that I am emotionally and physically exhausted from the heavy trials that I have been through and it does affect my health too. I fight each day with the thoughts that I am now a worthless human being and that I am lazy. These thoughts and perceptions are not true, but Satan is very good, especially when we are vulnerable.

    I think my advice would be for this person to find some acceptance of what their life has been like and how this experience has affected them. To stop fighting, and just sit back and breath. To look at how these trials have brought changes to them that are probably amazing. They have probably gained many sensitivities and gifts that can be used to help others by experiencing what they have. The Lord gives us trials for a reason. I believe mine are to keep me humble. Have them look for what the Lord sees in them.

    Healing might not come in this lifetime, but glory will come in the next!

    I wish them well. :)

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  10. I suggest you change your paradigm. What a blessing! And before you throw tomatoes at me for saying so, think about the treasure you have! (Perhaps it keeps coming back because you've missed it.) First and foremost, any pain, any suffering, our weaknesses and any opposition we experience--are gifts--opportunities, if we will use them as such. If we suffer them out of love for Heavenly Father and in gratitude for the privilege it is there WILL come miracles. You will see the power of Christ. I have experienced this phenomena first hand. Every time you suffer, first, thank HF for the reminder to remember him. That helps you keep the sacrament witness. The more often you suffer, the more opportunities you will have. (But beware, satan will catch on and you'll have to get inventive and start reminding yourself. We have to EXERCISE our faith--work it--THINK about the "good seeds" until they sprout and grow and produce fruit. Many times we plant good seeds and then neglect them and they then wither and die. Try planting this seed: NOTHING in this world changes my value every child was born with. I am worth WORLDS! The reason Christ is the "beloved son in whom [God] is well pleased" with is because he opened up the way for me and you to come back too.) Use that suffering to pray about the truth you may be struggling with, the faith you may be lacking. Remember that it is faith in Jesus Christ we are to exercise. Do it in gratitude and in love for Heavenly Father and a love for him will grow like it can do no other way, and I promise you in the name of Christ that you will be drawn closer to the Lord and you will see miracles. (I like to think of every opposition as God asking the question: Will you still trust me if______?) The miracle may not be in the removal of the pain/adversity etc., but the removal of our oppositions is not always what we want. "There must be opposition in all things." We want to use those oppositions for what they are designed for: to give us choices (to help us remember Him and keep His commandments so that we can have His Spirit to be with us.) They are choices toward light or darkness. What choices are you making? "Lay aside every sin which easily besets you." (Anything that brings you deeper into the pit of 'I am miserable and woe is me.") Have you reached the point of Paul and can glory in your infirmities? Many times they are removed when we have learned to do so. But to keep us humble we are given weaknesses, too, (and we must remember that they are gifts) and so sometimes the miracle is only in the love we develop for Christ who was willing to go through THAT much for us (and infinitely MORE.) And sometimes the miracle is in the removal of the suffering. And then, if we are slothful, our faith wanes and we have to get creative to remember Him as the reminder/opposition is gone, "and we [do] not progress on our journey." We are meant to find joy IN the journey, not just once we reach the destination. This is a good reminder for me as well. Blessings.

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  11. The answers you received are all good Ones so I would just like to throw out one little thought. Maybe this has already occurred to you,

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  12. The idea I have is that perhaps the problem is not the real problem but a symptom. Also it is helpful for me to pray not to be deceived. Also something that has helped me immensely is reading near-death experiences, After you read a few you begin to get a feel 4 which ones are real. Certain commonalities show up and there are insights that have blessed me. One of my favorites is Return From Tomorrow, Also Proof of Heaven. It sounds strange but when you learn that it's all about love and becoming one with each other and the Savior I find these to be incredibly uplifting inspiring insights.

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  13. Even though it is completely false: an overwhelming number of people unfortunately believe that if we are in difficult times, God has abandoned us, or somehow thinks less of us. If we are well off/healthy/wealthy, we are respected by God. Job proved this to be false. And Jesus Christ himself has descended below us all yet is most beloved of the Father.
    Physical conditions do seem to exacerbate these issues. This will be a multi-factorial issue with multiple remedies that work synchronously.
    There are ways to fully embody the Truth of who you are.
    If you were here discussing this with me, I would likely suggest the following:
    1 - Cast out Satan. Now. He is selling you a lie, the same one over and over. Tell him to depart and never to return, nor his associates. Or have a priesthood bearer do so in a blessing. Ask God to send angels to protect yourself and your home. Every single day ask for the blessings of the Armor of God and live the principles upon which they are predicated. Rededicate the home. Ask God to send healing angels to root out these false beliefs and the veils of unbelief - specifically in regards to the Atonement.
    2 - Sacrifice, be willing to give of everything you are to God. Acknowledge that you are His and only His opinion matters. That His plan is right and good for you. Yielding our will can be powerful.
    3 - Meditate. Meditate. Meditate. I am starting to teach meditation practices because of how much it has changed my life. It can help with anxiety, depression, fatigue and even self esteem issues.
    4 - Medical work-up from an inspired practitioner. Make sure thyroid and endocrine levels are optimal, not just "within normal limits". Adrenal fatigue is even more difficult to diagnose and treat, but saliva cortisol testing is an option. A good resource is Stop the Thyroid Madness. If I were you I would not accept pharmaceutical solutions, many can dull the mind and spirit and side effects are not worth it in my humble opinion. For thyroid medications dessicated Armor is better than synthetic. T3 supplementation is required if you don't convert. But too many practitioners don't accept these premises. There is a list of practitioners on the aforementioned website but most is word-of-mouth referrals.
    5 - Someone already mentioned Word of Wisdom but it bears repeating. Understanding it more fully and choosing to partake in the highest and healthiest foods will change you inside and out. I don't claim to have the perfect diet, but choosing the best that I can has yielded miracles for me spiritually. The Lion in me chooses to lie down with the Lamb, advancing what I know will be the state of all in the Millennium, for myself I have chosen vegetarianism.

    I have noticed in general there is a lack of faith to be healed outright. I am not sure why. Fortunately our Loving God has given us many options I like to call "Implements" of Faith - like bridges that help us get there. "Help Thou mine unbelief" whether it be through blessings, herbs, medications, meditations, etc. I truly believe ALL healing is Faith work, made possible because of the Infinite Atonement of our dear Lord and Savior.
    Prayers sent on your behalf and all in similar shoes. I once struggled with self-esteem - now completely resolved - and anxiety still likes to weigh in when I slack off in my spiritual and meditation practice. Keep up and you will be kept up.
    Love and light to you.

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    1. Jenesse, do you have any suggestions on good reading on meditation?

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    2. There is a free Coursera course called a life of happiness and fulfillment that covers that and many other scientific reasons behind happiness and unhappiness. Very interesting and worthwhile. It explains the science behind meditation and helps you learn how to do it correctly to reap the benefits. I know you weren't asking me, but I thought I would throw that in. It's not religious but of necessity religion comes up along with the benefits of believing in a higher power. :)

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    3. Anonymous, I highly recommend anything written by LDS author Felice Austen. She has multiple books including a book called Meditation explained for Mormons available for purchase on Amazon or for FREE on her website. http://progressiveprophetess.blogspot.com/p/book.html
      I am willing to answer questions, I am currently completing a teacher training mentorship with her.

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  14. Addendum:
    "It is important to understand that His healing can mean being cured, or having your burdens eased, or even coming to realize that it is worth it to endure to the end patiently, for God needs brave sons and daughters who are willing to be polished when in His wisdom that is His will" (To Be Healed," Ensign, May 1994, 7). Richard G. Scott

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  15. There have been some wonderful comments on here and advice. Much of it I agree with. I love the thought of changing your perspective. I'm going to write this and it may or may not apply to you. This sounds similar to a friend of mine who is in this pattern of belief. This pattern has been etched within him from years and years of an addiction. I was reading in Doctrine and Covenants last week and a verse really stood out to me. It is in D&C 93:42. It reads, " You have not taught your children light and truth, according to the commandments; and that wicked one hath power, as yet, over you, and this is the cause of your affliction." I had to pause and evaluate my own life. What choices am I making that give that wicked one power over me? Am I inviting darkness in by certain habits? Am I flooding my life with light? My husband has battled with an addiction most of his life. He has visited with so many bishops, year after year. The change came for him when he started flooding his life full of light. It is the light and love of Christ that has been changing him. I believe that applies to any addictive behavior (which can be our own thought patterns or any sin really). If this doesn't apply to you, please forgive me and I hope it helps another reader.

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  16. Tomorrow, another post will replace this one at the top of my blog. This one will be pushed down (chronologically speaking) to the second slot. It will remain open to comments indefinitely.

    To my friend, J, who motivated this post: Thanks. I know you hadn't originally planned on the contents of your email being posted. I know all you anticipated was an email back from me. But true to form, God had other (and bigger) plans. Like I said previously here, we ask for the present, and He gives us the entire sleigh. Everytime.

    To J's friend: I invite you to read this post. All of it, especially the comments. In J's introduction of you to me (though you're still anonymous to me), J said that you struggle with "self-worth and value as a human being". As you can see, you're not alone. Many, many others have felt as you do. Some have been blessed with insights from God which have helped elevate them above the clouds and into the warm, rejuvenating rays of the Son. Some strategies are common sense ones, like obtaining more medical facts. Others, like meditation and music, involve quietness or tranquility. Others, like casting out, are divinely-accompanied confrontations. But in all these strategies, and much, much more, there is hope from He who promises hope to us all. J's friend, the sun never sets on this blog. At any time on this globe, somebody is on this blog. You have a lot of people praying for you, even in far away lands. You are cared about. You are loved, by people you'll never meet. So, the next time Satan confronts you and whispers in your ear that you have no worth, just remember this post, these comments and this note from me...and smile.

    To All: Here's an interesting story about this post (and its comments) I'd like to share: I posted this on Sunday, May 8, 2016, On Wednesday, May 11, I received a confidential email from H, who was struggling in ways similar to J's friend. It took about an hour to write a response which I felt good about, and sent it to H. This all happened confidentially, via email, away from this blog. Then, about 7 hours later, "Jenesse" posted a comment to this post which is almost verbatim -- eerily so -- to the confidential email I had sent to H. Sentence after sentence, concepts, etc -- almost word. for. word. Now, you may be thinking that H and Jenesse are the same person, or know each other. No, they are and do not. Hahahaha, not by a long shot! You guys, it never ceases to amaze me just how involved Christ is in our lives. It never ceases to amaze me the little breadcrumbs He leaves behind that say He was involved. It just goes to show how one person -- combined with Christ and charity -- can make a difference in the lives of many others, in ways you can't possibly imagine.

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    1. I can attest to this - having gratefully had the opportunity to read part of your response e-mail to H. It was a true witness to me of the Spirit, having posted my incredibly similar response that same day unknowingly. I hope it is a second witness to those who are seeking further light in these situations.

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    2. This is H. I just want to thank both of you, LDS Perfect Day and Jenesse, for taking the time to share your inspiring words with me and others. I feel indebted to you. You probably don't realize what a big difference you have made to help me see things more clearly from a different perspective. I highlighted all of your notes, and studied them prayerfully with so much gratitude and thanksgiving. Truly, Lord has answered my prayers through His mortal angels.

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  17. Healing Through Christ Workbook is a fantastic resource. It's a free download. Written by professionals and those who have succeeded in healing. You might give it a try:

    http://www.healingthroughchrist.org/family-support-workbook/

    I have struggled with the low self esteem beliefs- even after I've had experiences where the Lord has shown me how much He loves me. You know what I realized? My low self esteem (not necessarily everyone's) was actually PRIDE. I know it sounds strange at first, but I'll try and explain:
    Pride kept me in this unhealthy pattern of facing trials and everyday situations with the mentality that I was worthless, while all the time I held this secret belief (I didn't want to admit to myself) that I was strong enough to handle life's blows without accepting help from anyone- including the Savior. On the surface, it appeared that I didn't think very highly of myself. Below the surface, I thought TOO highly of my capacity to handle life without the Savior's presence- I was holding back from truly letting Him in. I wanted to keep control of every aspect of my life. Why? Because I had survived so much "stuff." Control was something that had been taken away from me so many times by unrighteous actions of others- I wanted to control my life and somewhere deep inside I was saying, "Bring it on! I can take another hit!" instead of asking the Savior for help, healing, and guidance. I wanted to do it my way.

    It was only after I was brutally honest with myself that I realized pride has many forms and I had a bad case of control freak pride in my heart. You know what I had to let go of? All the hurt.
    I had to STOP blaming others for how much I hurt.
    I had to forgive them and love them just as they are: messed up people who messed with me.

    I had to find a healthier set of people to surround myself with. I quit letting the unhealthy people into my private life. I took responsibility for my own happiness and self esteem by deciding that I would not spend time with people who did not know or appreciate the Holy Spirit. I acknowledged that I was too weak to try and fix them. I admitted that I needed healing- Spiritual healing. And it has been over a decade coming, but it has slowly been happening. I had to accept all the good gifts the Lord has given me... instead of throwing the gifts back in His face and saying "I'm not worthy." That was my pride. And I asked Him forgiveness for the times I shut Him out so I could remain in my wallowing state of blaming others for my misery. Don't get me wrong: people can hurt you... very badly. The truth remains that the Lord has commanded us to forgive (that's a whole other enormous topic). Once I started on the path of forgiving others (I'm not done with the process...), I noticed that those negative patterns faded away along with my bitterness and the self destructive tendencies I carried in my heart. I think that's all low self esteem is: Emotional self destruction.

    Have I fully mastered this concept? No. But I've come a very long way towards healing and the road to happiness. I wish you all the best as you attempt to heal from the blows that have knocked you down in life. Just know that healing IS POSSIBLE and that there are those of us who are cheering for you!

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  18. Thank you Anonymous for your post. It is my story exactly and resonates deeply with me. You putting this down is confirming the promptings I have been getting lately that have been teaching me the source of my independence and why I do it, as opposed to getting down on myself for doing things on my own. I had to understand this so I could start with compassion for myself, rather than self-criticism. The compassion has been the basis for me to be able to give my heart to the Lord and ask for His help. Thanks again.
    Nancy

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  19. I know this is a belated comment but I feel compelled to add as this feels so close to my own story. I have literally been on what I would call my own healing journey over the past several years where I have been prayerfully led to the answers that have made such a drastic difference for me. Much of what Jenesse said resonated powerfully with what I have experienced. The thing I would add is to prayerfully look at the Emotion Code (and Body Code, which goes specifically into identifying these pernicious beliefs). I know there are people out there who may go odd directions with it, but I can't deny that as I made great effort to stay grounded and fixed on my Savior, it has brought me to Him and helped me receive the healing He is ready to give.

    I had so many of these kinds of beliefs and so many health issues that had only multiplied over the years. And a crazy series of events that almost seemed eerily similar to Job's story. Especially in the last year or so I have experienced real changes in my health, my emotional and mental wellness as well as growing so much closer to my Savior. And my family has as well.

    Part of my journey brought me to this blog (after closely following the "Unblog" - John Pontius) and it was miraculous how much here has fit and has been a 2nd witness of personal revelation I have been receiving and things I have been taught in the scriptures. I went back to the first post and have been carefully reading and pondering and getting more answers. Bottom line: it has not been a "quick fix" but has accelerated as I continued seeking, which has included the power of priesthood blessings and frequent temple attendance. I can testify that the ministry of angels is very real and how critical ASKing is. He absolutely honors our agency. But the answers will come if you sincerely ask with the intent to receive and act upon whatever direction He gives you. It is worth every effort!!

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