14. Healing Your Memories - How Memories are Formed - How Memories are Healed - An Personal Example
How Memory-Dramas are Formed 1. An experience enters our consciousness through our senses and is focused on our imagination. We then see it. Imagination is like our internal monitor. 2. An experience can be analyzed by the rational adult if it is factual information Interactions between Inner Child and Inner Parent put into words. An experience is analyzed by your emotional brain if it is important to survival in the present and future. 3. When the emotional brain analyzed experience is is condensed into a story with meaning and tagged with a feeling appropriate to the meaning. This is put into deep storage.
Note insight does not influence how Memory-Dramas are created in the first place. The rational verbal brain does not influence the process. It is all internal to the emotional brain. That means that early experiences has a huge influence on how later experiences are interpreted.
4. Our emotional memories are converted to mini-stories or Memory-Dramas that are stored in our heart (Emotional Brain). From the heart our dramas become: A. The the foundation of our personality, B. The source of our passions, C. The true source of our behaviour, and D. Our motivational structure.
Remember now what Jesus said. ‘Foroutoftheheartcome evil thoughts--murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. New Living Translation For from the heartcome evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.’ Matthew 15:18. Jesus knew the psychology of the heart!
Our memories are stored and then recalled as drama – stories about what we experienced in childhood. We might call these memories ‘the stories we wrote’ to honour our part in setting these up. However, we ‘wrote’ these stories long before we understood much about the world. Children under 10 years old are missing important information about how to understand adults and what things mean. Their thinking is very concrete and not very abstract. Ok, so imagine this. Your emotional brain being programmed based on your understanding as a five year old!
What would be your perspective on life based on the important events up to five years old as interpreted by you as a five year old? Imagine if what seemed to be true to your five year old is what got locked into your emotional brain for the rest of your life. Every event after that was understood from that child’s perspective. What would your life look like? You see why some updating of these memories is needed - some healing of memories.
However, you will recall from the last chapter that these stories, lodged and processed deep in our Emotional Brain, are almost impossible to edit or change. At one point 30 years ago, Psychology (1989, 1994) was admitting defeat, declaring that emotional learning could not be changed in any permanent way.
I know that this has since changed. In the early years of 2,000 when evidence began to be emerge that permanent change of emotional learning was possible after all. Therefore, your emotional learning is no longer permanent. The heart can be cured. But not many therapist, psychologists or prayer ministers have heard this or updated their outdated models.
Remember that new concepts are slow to catch on. Remember how Medical doctors thoroughly resisted washing their hands in spite of the evidence. Only a few professionals will know about memory reconsolidation research. Pray that Christian inner healing prayer ministries will embrace these new paradigms and, when they do so, it is in a way that avoids the one error of the original Ed Smith Theophostic Model - addressing demons at the start of a prayer session. Keep the focus on Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit and defeat darkness by not invoking itDo not, for example, ‘bind’ and commanding demons at the start of a counseling session.
Jesus-focused Listening Prayer I call my approach to Christian Inner Healing ‘Listening Prayer Therapy’ using the term Leanne Payne used. I return to the full use of the imagination in prayer to that ‘listening’ can be visual, audio or kinaesthetic. Listening is asking for and hearing God’s voice. Visual is seeing Jesus in our memory. Kinaesthetic is the sense or feel of Jesus being present in our memory. I make use of what I have learned from Memory Reconsolidation to enhance the change in the emotional learning.
Dr. Ed Smith called his approach ‘TheoPhostic,’ now Theophostic from the words for God and Light. Using his approach it was like breaking into a dark place when one listened for God’s truth. The transformation of a memory was dramatic and instant. This would be an example of the power of God’s spoken word referred to in Hebrews 4:16.
Smith’s process tracks from emotion to memory. The core belief was identified. Then was the pause for listening Prayer to receive a revelation of God’s truth.
There are several reasons for the effectiveness of this approach:
It aligns well with the research on Memory Reconsolidation.
It allows the Holy Spirit guide to the best memory to work with.
If focuses on the core belief.
It invokes the power of the spoken word of God - the Rhema of Hebrews 4:16.
Smith’s process accelerated inner healing from a verbal prayer approach (confession of sin, forgiveness and death on the cross) to a listening to God’s revelation paradigm.
This process can be made safer and more effective by ensuring and initial invocation of God, rising a safe place or remembering a previous time when you heard from God. This is incorporated in the my Listening Prayer model or the Immanuel approach. The Immanuel approach has also been called “Emmanuel prayer,” or the “Immanuel process.” This is a listening prayer approach that makes full use of the imagination and starts every session with connecting with Jesus. An excellent, safe and holy model of inner healing whose purpose is to deepen intimacy with God, permanently resolve past pain, and discern God’s ongoing guidance. (Note re avoiding wrongful invocation).
With Jesus-focused listening prayer available, you just need to make use of it. To access them you just need to become vulnerable, humble and good learners to find those who teach these principles, learn from them and apply them. Jesus said we needed to become like little children to enter the kingdom of Heaven and here it is. We need to open our imagination like little children, listen to Jesus like little children and feel the moving of the Spirit like little children. We enter into this healing in the same way we enter into the Kingdom of God by receiving the revelation of God - God’s very word spoken to us. Thus we learn to see what God is showing us, hear what God is saying to us and feel how God’s presence is affecting us.
How to get started in Healing of a Memory
1. You start by asking Jesus to be Lord, Healer, Saviour and Deliverer of your memory. 2. Then out loud describe the memory as you experience it: what happened, how it felt and what seemed to be true. 5. Confess bitterness or strong hatred if that is present toward any abuser. Confess means being open about how you feel but do not go any further with that at this point. 3. Take time to be still and wait in God without any thinking of your own. Just keep the memory active in your mind. Write down what happens.
Three Questions to use in Listening Prayer for the Healing of Memories As you listen to God ask these three questions:
1. What memory do I need to look to look at?
2. What belief , interpretation or meaning has been assigned to that memory?
3. What is God’s truth in that experience?
Three different Styles of Listening Just as we have different learning styles we all have different listening to God styles: 1. You may see Jesus present in the event. (You can invite him to be present as well.) 2. You may hear God’s truth for you. (You can also ask for God’s truth.) 3. You may feel God’s love, and experience peace.
The reason you see Jesus present in your memory is that you invited him to come in and he did. This immediately changes your story. Remember your memory is your story and you are in charge of it. Jesus is master of time so it is quite reasonable that you can invite Jesus to enter into your play. By this you will really experience and recognize that he was present.
The reason you hear God’s truth spoken to you is that you are asking for healing and God’s word spoken to you brings healing. The Holy Spirit allows you to hear God’s word spoken to you just like the presence of the Dove at Jesus baptism is associated with hearing the Father speak to him.
How you felt is often key to a memory. You may discover how you feel before you realize what you believed. Opening up to God allows Spirit access to your memory and that brings in love, joy and peace. Whether you see Jesus or not you can still feel those feelings of love, joy and peace associated with the Holy Spirit. Experiencing those feelings also changes your memory. Optional use of EMDR to facilitate the Listening to God process You may use some form of EMDR or bilateral stimulation to facilitate the listening process. Listen to‘Serenity’ or ‘Simplicity’ or ‘Clarity’ by Jorge Henderson Collazo on earphones. The beat should be going form Left ear to Right ear. Or check into Destined Dynamics for rain or running water backgrounds and a bilateral beat. I use ‘Relaxing Bilateral Music with Rain - Dark Water,’ or ‘Rest and Relax - Calming bilateral music’ when falling to sleep. Find which one works for you and use it with headphones while doing listening prayer. See if that helps your listening and healing process.
Possible Outcomes of this Healing of Memories Process During this process you may have experienced the presence of Jesus. That challenges the sense that you are alone.
When you hear God’s truth the interpretation associated with this memory is challenged.
When your feelings change as this memory is being recalled that may change the feelings associated with this memory.
When Jesus’ Spirit is invited in to replace a demonic-feeling (only if that was sensed) then you will likely experience freedom from that particular demon-feeling.
I say challenged because sometimes memory healing is not instant. Remember each memory stand-in for many similar memories and perhaps related memories that support the feeling and perspective in this memory. Strategic information from Memory Reconsolidation is used at this point to move the healing toward completion.
On the other hand healing may be complete with the first use of listening prayer. 1.You may find that you have a new perspective. What seemed true before does not feel so true. What God said may completely replace the old truth. 2. Negative emotions may be completely gone. New and positive emotions may have taken their place. 3. We may find we have a new and different attitude toward the other actors in the drama including any abuser. This new attitude may be more understanding, compassionate or even include pity toward the abuser. This is the result of heart change created by God’s presence and perspective. When God’s perspective replaces our perspective then this new attitude will be present as a marker of the change.
The Benefits of Healing Memories Imagine being given the key to unlock your Inner Child and set him or her free of all the blocks to a happy life. Lifting fears and phobias that restrict your life. Breaking the chains of patterns of behaviours that you were slave to.
You are not being given secrets to heart change that allow you to get free of the past that shapes your personality. Now you have tools that are effective for the rebuilding the foundation stones of your personality. It simple involves His truth will replacing your childish interpretations, Hi love replacing your bitterness, and his perspective becoming your perspective.
An example of Listening Prayer for my Poverty Complex I found this method was shockingly and pleasantly effective. All one needs to do is guide the process is to set up direct prayer encounters between Jesus and yourself or another. Whenever I did so I found that listening to Jesus or introducing Jesus into the memory drama consistently brought quick and deep life transformation. Never were the results so obvious and dramatic to me personally than when I applied it to my poverty complex. In this instance, as I applied it in my own life, it transformed my imbedded attitudes toward poverty and abundance. It all started quite by accident. I was lining up to pay for some food at a convenience store. Then this thought struck me, ‘What if I did not have enough money to pay for the food?’ That put me into a panic.Panic hit me. My breathing was constricted and my anxiety was building as I checked my wallet. No cash! I was embarrassed until I remembered to use a credit card. Relief! I could relax but the event made an impression on me.
That night I settled into bed I decided to pray about this in the way I was learning:
4. What memory was triggered?
5. What belief in the memory triggered this anxiety?
6. What was God’s truth to counteract that belief?
I asked God, ‘What was this all about? Why was I in a panic at the store?’
What I recalled was my experience of being one of six children in a middle class family with one parent working. At supper there was enough on our plate for everyone to share a can of vegetables, potatoes and some meat. We consistently had enough to eat but not for seconds. At times I went to school wearing my cousins hand-me-downs. My family were definately not big spenders.How did tI interpret this? What is the story I made up?
I must have believed that there was not enough. Or that there was just enough but never abundance. And so it was in my life. I was always just scraping by. Enough but never abundance. And my attitude was poverty rather then abundance.
When I asked Jesus for his perspective on this, I received a dramatic revelation that God was more than enough. “I am more than enough - El Shaddai.” God also asserted that he was my provider. “I am your Provider.”
At that moment a light went on in my heart. I believed that God was there to provide more than enoughinto my life. God’s word spoken to me broke through my poverty complex and began to shift my thinking about finances.
From that time since I have had less worry about finances and made wiser decisions about my fee schedule. I radiate a greater expectation that God will provide. I have a better attitude toward finances but there is still more healing to do in that area.
Yes, there was a significant shift in a major poverty complex after my bedtime talk with Jesus. That is pretty amazing!
Talk to Jesus with a young child Imagine your child fell and cut his hand. For him this was a shock, there was pain and there was blood. You sone was pretty upset for quite a while, slow to accept comfort but eventually settled down. You sense something was causing extra upset.
When things calm down and you are alone with your child you start a conversation about this to see if there was some source of fear that needed to be dealt with.
Parent: You had a bad fall and it really hurt? Child agrees.
Parent: Were you scared because you were bleeding? Child agrees.
Parent: What was so scary?
Child says: “I thought I was going to die.” (This is the belief generating the fear. It can become implanted in the memory even if you reassure the child. So you decide to have the child talk to Jesus.)
So you start a conversation like this: ‘Hey I have an idea. Let’s talk to Jesus about what happened and ask him to help here. Is that okay? You picture Jesus, ok? Tell him, “Jesus I was really scared when I fell. I was bleeding and thought I was going to die.’ Watch Jesus and wait to see what he does.
Child: “Jesus says he understands it was scary and is giving me a hug. Jesus reminds be that I did not die. Jesus says I will be okay.”
Parent to child: ‘Thank you Jesus for being here to comfort my child.’ To child: When you think of the fall now is it still scary?’
Child: it is okay dad (or mom) just like Jesus said. Can I go play now?
You do this because talking to Jesus can heal your child’s memory so it has not power to haunt the rest of their lives. In addition you have taken them to Jesus and given them a positive experience with him.
In this example, A child has a fall that cause a cut and bleeding and is afraid they are going to die. Uncorrected this simple fear of blood and fear of death can shape your life as they are embedded into the foundation of our personality as one of the building blocks. The fear of blood may stop you from going into medicine in the future. The conscious Adult self will have no idea why we are deciding not to go into medicine because it does not remember or understand the significant of simple memories being made into the building blocks of our personality.
Angela’s Story Angela (not her real name) reported this event, ‘I saw myself as little girl age 4 or 5 years standing with Jesus at the end of the driveway and looking at my childhood home. I am holding Jesus' hand as I looked. My adult self was there, on the other side of Jesus, and feeling a little impatient.’
‘Jesus took us on a walk through the house with all the right furniture but no people. After this we went to the kitchen. I then observed the story of my life as mother explained to father how I should be punished. They don't see us and we just observed.I felt suffocating. There was nowhere I could go to get away from this scene that was repeated so many times in my life.’
‘Jesus said 'They no longer have the power to hurt you.”’ That broke her fear.
Listening Prayer Steps- Long Version 1. First you identify an issue that is important to you. Or a recent strong negative feeling. Or, if you are working with a dream, identify the strongest feeling in the dream.
2. Put Jesus in charge of the process of healing. Declare out loud the Jesus is Lord, Healer, Saviour and Deliverer of this issue.
3. Take a minute for quite listening. If you become aware of a particular memory., that is where you start your inner healing.
4. With the help of the Holy Spirit bring the memory to recall and allow yourself to feel this event and to name the feelings associated with it. Identify what feels true in this memory. What is the perspective and belief in the memory. (Do not call this a ‘false belief’ because it is your belief and it felt true to you as a child.)
5. Ask Jesus to be present and share his perspective and his truth. You can put it as a confession and a question. ‘Jesus this is my perspective and belief. What is yours?’
6.Thank Jesus for his truth. Notice how do you feel? Notice if the memory has changed. Specifically has your perspective changed. Does the Jesus perspective feel true.
7. In the memory, does the original belief still feel true at all or is it gone 100%. If it still feels true to any extent then spend more listening time with Jesus being with him and letting his truth sink in.
8. You will know the heading of the memory is complete if the childhood belief has no strength and if your attitude toward the abuser has shifted dramatically. You may have new understanding or compassion. (That is the emergence of heart forgiveness based on healing of the memory.)
10. Gentle Deliverance: If the evidence confirms that the memory is healed but, at the same time a strong negative feeling remains, then one can do a Gentle Deliverance. Simply invite Jesus into the memory Life and Spirit to replace the residual negative feeling and it will go.