Why Don't You Just >Insert> Jesus?
Bob Bodenhamer, D.Min.
L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.
It's funny about the way we "think." We make pictures in our heads full of sounds, smells, sensations, and things. Obviously we don't do this literally. It only seems like we really have an internal movie running in our minds. If you took philosophy in College, you might recognize that we call this phenomenology.
Regardless of what we call it, we experience "thoughts" as the internal re-presenting to ourselves of what we have seen, heard, smelled, felt, and tasted on the outside. NLP accordingly describes such thinking as our sensory representational systems (or VAK-- Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic). This reduces "thoughts" to more specifics.
Much. Because knowing about these component distinctions of "thoughts" gives us many leverage points for renewing our mind, changing our mind, running our own brain, taking charge of our mental-and-emotional states. This amplifies and puts some real meat on the old Proverb that asserts that "as a man thinks in his heart, so he is." (Proverbs 23:7).
Recently, I (MH) wrote the following ideas to Bob in an email and offered them as suggestive of some interesting ways to take charge of our brains and create new some patterns for transforming everyday experience.
I find it interesting that when I stop my internal films of whatever ... and turn them into a mere snapshot, this process solidifies those pictures. By freeze-framing them, they become static. Solid. More real.
But.... when I then realize, and visualize the space between one image on the screen and the next image--whether 32 images a second or 64 images, or however many... if I stop the moving picture, then suddenly I can become aware of the space between the images and when I send my brain to those spaces, I end up in ... The Void that you have spoken about so often.
Try it and see. In that pause ... inside that pregnant pause, when you stop, in your mind, with the knowledge of the previous picture ... and of the upcoming picture, then in that void it seems we have a place in which we could stick in a whole new Image and thereby totally transform everything!
Now in that Void of the Pause ... we could embed all kinds of things... then later, when we rewind the picture a bit, and then let it go forward as it normally does, then all of a sudden a New Image and even an entirely new World could magically pop into existence. How about that, Bob, for a different kind of a Swish?
Well, sure enough, Bob began to play with this idea. He put it to various people in his trainings and his consulting work. In the following paragraphs, Bob shows his application and installation skills in the context of his pastoral heart.
Meta-Stating Your Movies With an >Insert>
To illustrate visually how this language pattern works in stopping a movie (i.e., a strategy interrupt), I (BB) had some of my students experiment. They ran an internal mental movie and then they stopped it abruptly, just to see what would happen. For some this minimized the negative feelings connected to the internal memory.
When I asked one client to stop the movie, all of the frames that occurred before the place of the stop simply collapsed. However, the client could still re-run the unpleasant movie. So I ran some additional meta-stating processes with her in order to completely blow out that movie.
After making sure the class knew how to abruptly stop a movie, I asked them to insert "Jesus" into the point of the stop, and to then finish the movie. They were to get their representations of Jesus. When they did, I then asked them to re-run the total movie with the new insert of Jesus in it. This >Jesus insert> pattern seemed to really make a lot of difference for every one of them. You could say, it provided a specific way for them to put off their old mind, and to put on the new mind, thereby "renewing their mind."
Several years ago Alethia's father shot himself and thereby ended his life. At the time of the shooting, Alethia was in the house and saw her father's body immediately after the shooting. This "memory" had given her problems for years.
In the class, she began to run the movie and then stopped it midway through the horror. She then ran the movie again, stopped it midway, and became aware that Jesus was in it all the time. So now she finished the movie. Next, she ran the entire movie with a conscious seeing of Jesus in it. Alethia reported by becoming consciously aware of Jesus' presence allowed her to see Jesus usher her deceased father into heaven. She later reported that this procedure removed "much of the negative emotions that had been associated with the memory."
As a teen, David engaged himself in an incident that has bothered him on into adulthood. The confrontation between himself and his parents ran especially vivid in the movie in his mind. So in class, he ran the movie of himself and his parents discussing this bad deed. He then stopped the movie midway, inserted Jesus into the movie, and completed running the movie.
This procedure effected a lowering of David's negative emotions about it. He then went back and ran the movie with Jesus in it from beginning to the end. As he did, he saw himself, his father, and Jesus in the context of this confrontation over his misdeed.
"Wow." David said. "The content has stayed the same, but I see Jesus as 'meta' to us. The anxiety I have always felt is gone. This works great. I see Jesus right in there with us. Wow!"
Calion chose a really bad scene to test out this procedure. Though now divorced, Calion endured a horrific marriage with a terribly abusive man. Her husband wanted her to go with him somewhere, and she refused. She went into the house and he followed her. Inside the house he physically assaulted her as he severely beat her in the face. The bruising was so severe, he bruised her around the eyes.
When Clarion described the movie before placing Jesus in it, her language indicated that she associated in the memory. In questioning her, she described the scene as "click," "click," and "click" indicating that she focused in on each frame as she slowed the movie down. She described this just as Michael discovered. When we slow our painful movies frame by frame, we thereby intensify the feelings as we focus on the hurtful content encapsulated in each frame. In accessing this movie, Calion saw each frame distinct and clear. She expressed a lot of hurt and emotion prior to placing Jesus in the scene.
I loved the way she described the movie after placing Jesus in it. Like the other students, she stopped the original movie midway and inserted Jesus and completed it. Then, Clarion re-ran the entire new movie.
She reported, "I saw Jesus, or maybe an angel, come in the room with me and He stood with outstretched arms protecting me from my husband. He can't get to me anymore!"
In actuality, her husband is in prison for murdering his second wife. This happened after she had divorced him. Her present mind knows that "He can't get to her anymore." She now has the meta-protection of her guardian angel. This procedure allowed her to recall that scene with laughter. What a change from when she first recalled it as the tears flowed and her face indicated much pain.
All the above anonymous names come from my students. However, Linda is not an anonymous name. Linda is my wife. So the final test for this new procedure--the best test of all--my wife. Recently we went out to eat. At dinner I asked my wife if she would like to try out a new procedure that Michael and I had developed. With her permission (I highly recommend getting permission from your spouse before you test out your expertise as an NLP Practitioner.), I had my wife run a movie of some bad event at work. At that moment I did not know the content. She came up with one and nodded yes. I asked her stop the movie half way through. I then led her to insert Jesus at the point she stopped the movie and to finish the movie with Jesus in it. She couldn't even run it anymore. "Bob," she said, "It want even run with Jesus in it." Next I asked her to insert Jesus at the beginning and run it all the way through with Jesus in it. Her response, "I can't run it! It want run!" I checked with her one day later and again two days later and she said, "It was an old old thing when Barbara (anonymous) was teaching me HR stuff. No!! That doesn't mean anything to me anymore." (Linda trained in Human Resources under Barbara many years ago. Let's just say that my wife has worked with far more pleasant people than Barbara.)
So When Will You STOP IT From Being A Limitation?
I worked with Sharon for a few weeks. Our time consisted of two meetings plus a more recent one with her and her daughter, Carla. As a single parent, Sharon raised this daughter since she was six years old. In briefly meeting Carla, I realized that this young lady carried intense anger and that her mother had lost all control with her. My worse fears came true all too soon.
When I next saw Sharon, her daughter Carla run away from home. Eventually, Sharon located Carla at the home of a girlfriend who also came from a broken home. Sharon didn't want Carla to spend even one more night with that girl as Carla's friend is in the custody of the Department of Social Services and lives in a group home for rebellious teens.
When Sharon notified the police of Carla's disappearance, they could do little. In North Carolina, children sixteen and over are considered adults. But over-determined to take her daughter home, Sharon tricked Carla out of the friend's house. A fight then developed between mother and daughter. Just when Sharon lost her temper and hit Carla, the police arrived. Sharon found herself under arrest. She then had Carla move to her grandmother's home in another state.
In describing the trauma of these events, I asked Sharon to run a movie of the confrontation and subsequent arrest. As I checked it out, I discovered that Sharon had dissociated from the event. I asked her to run the movie and stop it abruptly right before the fight. She did. I then invited her to re-run the movie and insert Jesus in the movie just before the fight, and to then complete the movie. She did that as well. Next I asked her to run the movie from beginning to end with Jesus in it.
Afterwards, Sharon described how she would have behaved much differently had she realized the presence of Jesus during the event. Then Sharon described a most interesting awareness. She said that on her way over to get her daughter, she prayed and then put on "the whole armor of God."
"I put on the breastplate of righteousness and I had the sword of the spirit." Sharon said this raising her arm up, symbolizing the sword in her right hand.
"You went as a soldier and so you ended up fighting, didn't you?"
"Yes, I sure did." she said.
Later that day, Sharon called me and said that she had called her daughter Carla at her mother's home, and had apologized to her.
This reflects the power of the metaphors that we bring to bear upon our thoughts and emotions. Lakoff and Johnson mentioned this in their 1980 book, Metaphors We Live By, which you'll find described in Meta-States Journal (Nov. 1998). As Sharon lived by her soldier and war metaphor, she went forth in a fight mode and nearly got herself locked up. How much better of an outcome would Sharon received had she gone to get her daughter back with Jesus as her companion instead of a warrior's armor. I (BB) notice teens wearing these "WWJD" arm bracelets that reminds them to ask themselves, "What would Jesus do?" What a great question to ask oneself, and the arm bracelets provide a fantastic anchor. However, this procedure suggests another question, "What would/will I do when I have Jesus with me?" Michael E-mailed me about this pattern, "This pattern works a lot like your 'Taking a Bitter Root to Jesus' pattern. It outframes some piece of bitterness with a 'Flavor of Heaven'. Makes it irresistible."
©1998 L. Michael Hall, Ph.D. and Bobby G. Bodenhamer, D. Min. All rights reserved.