Your egoic false self is who you think you are, but your thinking does not make it true… Your false self is a social and mental construct to get you started on your life journey…it becomes problematic when you…spend the rest of your life promoting and protecting it.
~ Fr. Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation
Sue Reeve’s Note: Today’s post continues a series written by my friend Bethany (a pseudonym) in which she describes her journey of healing. (Note: To read the original stories, go to www.suereeve.com, and check archived posts, April 11-April 28, 2016, “The Little Girl Inside Our Story.”) Today, Bethany discusses how she learned to combat the deep roots of little-girl lies.)
A core lie is a thought buried so deep inside us that we begin to believe it. Most of the time we don’t even know it’s there. Our core lies are based on what we put our worth and value in outside of God. In my Pure Desire group, I learned about the limbic brain (the part of our brain that’s in charge of motivation, emotion, learning, and memory). The limbic brain is completely developed by 6 years of age, but it can’t logically tell the difference between truth and lies.
Most lies we believe are formed at an early age, and a child is unable to logically reject them. They become part of who we are and how we think about ourselves. I realized I needed to learn to recognize those lies for what they are, and combat them with God’s truth about me.
One of my deepest core lies is that I am a liar. I remember when I was a child I would often get spanked for things I didn’t do. My mom predetermined I had done something, and nothing I said or did changed her mind. I was labeled a liar and punished not only for the thing I didn’t do, but also for lying. She spanked me until I confessed to the crime. In a strange twist, my confession made me into a liar. I lied about doing something I didn’t do just to get her to stop spanking me.
Over time, I started to believe I was bad and that I was a liar. My mom told me she knew my heart better than I did. I couldn’t even trust what I thought was the truth because I came to believe she knew better than I what was in my heart and what I had done.
Later, this set me up for deep hurts. When, at the age of 8, I was molested by the pastor of my church and told not to tell anyone because they wouldn’t believe me, I trusted what he said and kept quiet about it. I already thought of myself as a liar, so why would anyone else believe me? The person I should have been able to trust with this awful secret was the one who never believed me.
In the past months, I have had to learn to retrain my brain about lies I learned to believe as a child. When I’m struggling, feeling like a liar, I say John 8:31-32
If you hold to my teaching you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
I’ve memorized this and other helpful verses by putting up sticky notes in the places where I spend the most time during my day. I see them over and over, and their truth reminds me to memorize. Then, when those lies creep in, I have something to fight them with. Some people memorize best when they say it out loud, or write it down. You can even find an app for that, such as MemVerse, Fighter Verse, or Mobilize Faith!
I hope my words encourage you. In your journey of recovery from any type of childhood trauma or abuse, I ask you to:
Try to become aware of what lies you are believing.
Find a verse in the Bible that counteracts the lie.
Memorize that verse.
Then, when you find yourself believing the deeply-rooted lie, you can blow it to smithereens with God’s truth about who you are—the true you God meant you to be!
I’m asking God to help you…