Quotes Archive, 2022
"In general, we do not attract to our life what we desire or need, we attract what we expect and we expect what we imagine and we imagine what our emotional history makes us imagine. This is why many people find themselves in the same situations over and over and over, though they recognize and abhor it, though they try to do differently. Up high in their mind they imagine it, deep down in their gut they feel it and expect it. The world within creates the world without.
You can interrupt the inner cycle at either end: up high in the mind or deep down in the heart or both simultaneously for a faster transformation. Daydream-pray about God's values, mechanisms, and commensurate outcomes, as Philippians 4:8 says, and your heart's gut-level expectations will progressively reconfigure Godward. The imagination must be given a new channel to watch for the heart to presuppose new outcomes. Address and dig out and heal the diseased deeper issues fueling your heart's troubled expectations; that deep inner plowing will illuminate your mind with new visions and mental TV channels." (11/19)
"Fragile monsters are easy to recognize: brittle exterior, touchy, hypersensitive, hair-trigger temper, everything is a status injury, transactional relationships, reciprocity norms, dramatic behaviors, hubris overreaching. They are constantly in a hot war or cold war with someone. Have the self-awareness to understand yourself in relation to them. You either become their emotional lapdog (if you have unhealed daddy/mommy deficits), their service donkey (if you like being told what to do), their transactional partner of mutual benefit (if your pathology is avoiding vulnerable intimacy and emotional honesty), or their bitter enemy (if you see them and rebuke them for what they are). Make sure you remain their bitter enemy; that is one of the greatest signs of your own spiritual and psychological health." (9/11)
"High Calvinism is an awfully bizarre variant of Biblical Christianity. It says the arsonist started the fire, but it is the wood's fault the house burned down." (8/24)
"The naval wars of the 1800's led to a change in power source from wind to coal. World War I led to a change in power source from coal to oil. World War II introduced yet another power source: oil to nuclear. What a metaphor. War has the unique ability to change what you depend on, who you depend on, and where you get it. If you do not cooperate with the wartime changes and innovations forced upon you, you will, at best, enter a grinding war of attrition that gnaws down your joy of life and will to live, or at worst, lose your personal world and become someone else's subject. The failure to evolve your personality and life philosophies--the failure to change your internal who, what, when, where, why--will bring the same wars to your personal world over and over and over until you do." (7/24)
"People try to feel better about deep inner hollows and conflicts through narratives, storylines, myths, conspiracies, and elaborate gossip about the people and structures around them. They imagine evidence that is not there, or, they reinterpret and exaggerate fragments of facts into creative alternate realities. As silly or as sinister as they might sound, these bizarre storylines serve psychological purposes: they bring the person temporary catharsis from unmet deep needs and internal conflicts of interest. The soul does not easily resolve its deficits and dissonances; it tries to do so by recreating reality (myths) instead of recreating itself (transformation). In Scripture, James called this a "two-souled" person (James 1:8, 4:8). While some English translations render these verses "double-minded", the underlying Greek is far more specific. The word James uses is dipsychos; the prefix di means "two or divided into two" and the word psychos means "soul, psyche, psychology". Dipsychos, then, literally means "two-souled" or "divided soul" (see Young's Literal Translation). Beloved, are you creating feel-better myths about the people and structures around you, or are you focusing on your own internal transformation into wholeness? About the two-souled person, James also wrote, "That person will not receive anything from the Lord...he/she is unstable in all his ways" (1:7,8)." (6/28)
"People tend to trade the abuses of patriarchy for the abuses of matriarchy. It is the trading of one genderocracy for another. It is the seeming solution of Alma Coin for the problem of Coriolanus Snow. It is not a sincere effort for equalism and symmetry, but opportunism for privileged advantages and gender regime change. Beware misogyny in a suit-n-tie, and yet, beware misandry in makeup. The search continues for healthy, mature men and healthy, mature women who can create a genuinely balanced and bilateral relational matrix." (5/29)
"People subconsciously drift to the familiar, but they crave and are loyal to the unique. In the absence of the unique people settle in the familiar, silently tolerating its monochrome reality and mirage of safety. In the presence of both the familiar and the unique most people choose the unique, as long as the greater reality it conveys is, one, riveting enough, and two, they are not paralyzed by deeper fears." (5/14)
"It is impossible to be whole and mature without integrating the fragmented or disassociated or satellite parts of oneself. David prayed, 'Unite my heart to fear your name' (Ps 86:11). David's Hebrew underneath "unite my heart" is more literally "give me singleness of heart". As long as there are unintegrated satellite versions of ourselves, floating around in our souls in orbit on standby, versions of ourselves we occasionally call on to survive or get what we want, we are not whole or mature. As long as there are emotional siderooms and basements we have padlocked shut, we are not whole or mature. Our Maker designed our being to be a unified and harmonious singularity, and when that singularity is shattered or weakened (for any number of reasons), mental health crises and personality disorders emerge. What are the places in yourself or your history that unsettle and terrify you? What secondary versions of yourself have you created to survive or get what you want? Deep inside, and deep backwards, is precisely where you need to go. Recover those detached axe-heads from the bottom of your soul's waters." (5/2)
"When a child's environment is oppression-free, they learn to trust (instead of cynicize); they attach calmly (instead of with jitters, or via conflict, or dismissively); they stabilize emotionally (instead of forming roller coaster neural pathways); they play with carefree gusto (instead of plotting ways to survive, evade, and conceal). A child surrounded by oppression, especially oppression emanating from one individual, has regular ultra-emotional meltdowns in a subconscious attempt to "purge" or eliminate the internalized pressure. Remove the child from the oppression source, or, remove the oppression source from the child, and the child begins to heal and stabilize. The meltdowns decrease in frequency and intensity, and eventually vanish. The child seems reborn a different person altogether. Was is it miracle? Was it a fancy therapeutic technique? Nope. Just an environment free from oppression." (4/12)
"What makes a malignant narcissist radioactive is not their obsessive-compulsive preoccupation with themselves (other forms of immaturity or pathology also have this). Rather, it is their (attempted) instrumentalization of you in that preoccupation, reducing you to an identityless worker in their self-serving supply system. Malignant narcissists, then, are not merely excessive self-lovers (again, true of various forms of immaturity or pathology), but recruiters and commanders of those around them to be self-extensions. In the wording of Gestalt psychology, malignant narcissists do not interpret (or care about) the contact boundary where the self ends and the other begins. To them, the self does not end, contract, or retract...it expands. It swallows the environment and co-opts those in it as narcissistic suppliers. In practical terms, this means a person who is pathologically controlling, who browbeats or manipulates those around them into identityless agreers void of (truly) independent ideals, goals, and sentiments. Reject the childlike illusion that you can have a meaningful relationship with a malignant narcissist. As the Eurasian proverb says, if you invite a bear to dance it is not you who decides when the dance is over." (3/25)
"The Lord is masterful in organizing a multidimensional social experience for His faithful followers. He sends us all kinds of animals (I mean people) to develop our psychosocial health: dogs to adore us (validation), cats to ignore us (indifference), sloths to bore us (contentment), bulls to gore us (persecution), eagles to soar us (exaltation), orangutans to care for us (nurturance), penguins to fall for us (romance), sharks to explore us (counseling), elephants to stand for us (protection), wolves to cry out for us (intercession), otters to dance-floor us (fun). The acceptance and assimilation of these stratified experiences create a soulical infrastructure that is realistic, balanced, multidimensional, emotionally peaceful, versatile, prosocial. The lack of these experiences, or the non-assimilation of them, turns our souls and psychosocial health into lab experiments gone wrong." (3/5)
"When you ignore or suppress someone's voice you force them to whisper, and as the saying goes, a thousand whispers become a roar. The day will come when you will be the target of that roar." (2/21)
"Beware a person who hasn't had enough epiphanies into themselves. They will be hyperfocused on controlling others, hyperfocused on controlling the environment, hyperfocused on controlling outcomes, all to avoid the emotional sewer system inside, which, of course, they swear is 'fine' and 'great' and 'blessed'. Ignore the bluster and boasting, gaze into the behavior." (2/5)
"It is impossible to thrive in life, relationships, and social biomes without the ability to read defenses, like a quarterback. Though defense mechanisms are practically innumerable, they tend to fall into five species.
Phony defenses are fake personas the real self hides behind. Think inauthentic, performative, robotic.
Phobia defenses are avoidance-driven. Think runners, deniers, covering ears, turning a blind eye, to not have to engage reality with the real self.
Impasse defenses are wishy-washy in nature--not avoiding, but not advancing decisively either. The real self is frozen and stuck at the gate because of the perceived risk to itself.
Implosive defenses are when a person turns external stress against the self, instead of addressing the stressor assertively and intelligently, which would require the real self to address reality. Think hyperintroversion, self-cannibalism, emotional isolation.
Explosive defenses are when a person attacks the external stressor preemptively or counterattacking, not calmly and intelligently, but with unhealthy emotion and aggression. Think attack dogs, individuals quick to bite and quick to fight, hiding and protecting the real self." (1/11)
"Conquering and ruling are different skillsets. Getting territory, success, wealth, a rich relationship, whatever--and maintaining those good things--are very different skillsets. Lifechanging blessings often solve one set of problems, only to create new ones that require a new, specialized intelligence and ability. When you win, when you prosper, when you are exalted, when you form critical connections, do not lose the philosophical and practical ethos that got you there. (How many millionaires went bankrupt because they abandoned the first principles that got them there?) However, realize you will have to add new, specialized qualities to that ethos to maintain, and even increase, those lifechanging blessings." (12/26/21)
Back to Quotes page