Hosted by Jodi Hildebrandt
This episode is a follow-up to episodes 68 & 69, which are about the RAISE process. The final step of RAISE – Engage Truth – is all about recognizing and declaring the Truth about your false beliefs and distorted thoughts. Jodi gives examples and explains how to activate the power of Truth Declarations in your life.
Episode 70: Truth Declarations
Jodi: Welcome to ConneXions Classroom podcast. I’m Jodi Hildebrandt, and I am so grateful that you’ve chosen to join us here this morning.
We’re going to be talking about the power of Truth, and how to learn the skill to declare Truth to yourself and to others if they are interested in what’s the Truth for you.
There is a process that I want to teach you called Truth Declarations, of how to find the Truth for yourself about your own circumstances and situations, so that you can safeguard and as often as possible avoid going into the other state of being which is called distortion. Another way to say it is not being in reality.
There’s two words that I want to describe and juxtapose first, before we get into the Truth Declarations because it’s very important that you understand that these two words are quite different from each other, and often times they get used interchangeably. They are the words true and Truth.
Let me first describe the word true. True is something that is changeable. True describes someone in an emotional state. It is flexible. It’s not constant.
For example, it is true that today I really enjoyed my lunch. That was very true. I had some Mexican food, and really had an enjoyable experience with my nachos. It is also true that I enjoy the color blue. It is also true that my nails are needing to be cut.
Those are all things that are temporary, that are subjective, that can be changed. Those are things that are true.
Now, let’s juxtapose the word Truth with the word true. Truth is things that are not changeable. Things that are everlasting. It describes a non-emotional position as far as it’s factual. It’s things that can be known by a third party observer. Truth is concrete and objective.
So, it is the Truth that I own a blue car, that is the Truth. You could go outside in the driveway and see that I have a dark blue car in the driveway. It is the Truth that it is May 29th. It is the Truth that you can choose to be in reality or not. It is the Truth that tomorrow is a holiday.
These are things that are objective, they’re not changeable. It is the Truth that I’m sitting in a room with four walls. It is the Truth that one of the walls is white.
So, there are some very concrete objective facts that support that Truth is present. So, it’s very important that you recognize the difference between true and Truth because sometimes we will be speaking or declaring the Truth when really we’re talking about something that is subjective, or flexible, or changeable which is true.
And so, you need to recognize that there is a different between those two words, and really start paying attention to what you are claiming or declaring is Truth, and make sure that it really is what is the reality.
This podcast is an addendum to the podcasts 68 and 69 where I talked about the RAISE process, and inside the RAISE process, the acronym of RAISE, the last step is Embrace the Truth. And so, this is a sister podcast to those two to go into more detail about how to do step number five, Embrace the Truth.
[00:05:07] The Question
I want to first ask you a question and have you think about this as I’m going through this podcast. Why would finding the Truth for you be so vital to your spiritual and emotional health? Why would that be important? And not just important, but vital, like necessary.
The answer I’d like to pose is because without the Truth, you would be in a state of distortion. Without Truth, without reality, you would be in another state which is not in reality, which is not in Truth, which would have some kind of deception, or distortion, or falsification being a part of it. When that is presented you, then your thoughts become distorted. When your thoughts are distorted, your emotions will follow those distorted thoughts, and the emotions that will attach to your distorted thoughts will be not in Truth, they’ll be skewed, they’ll be creating emotions for those thoughts that were not in Truth.
When you have feelings that are skewed, you will then behave in a way or react to those emotions. And often times, in very self-destructive manners.
I want to talk for just a minute about distortion. That’s kind of a heavy word, distortion, and I’m saying if you’re not in Truth, you’re in distortion. My intent is not to offend, or cause anyone angst or upset when I say that. However, I want you to think about it. I want you to think about if I’m not in reality, then where else would I be? Just think about that.
There’s only one of two places you can be. Either in reality or not in reality. Unfortunately, for many of us, we spend a lot of time not in reality. And when I say that, what I mean is, is that let’s say that it’s raining outside, and I’m in a place in the world where we receive a lot of rain. And so, when it starts raining, I start getting really frustrated, and I’m like, “Ah, it’s raining again. The rain has ruined my whole day.”
Now, that would not be an unreasonable thing to hear from someone. However, it is a distortion because the rain outside does not have a correlation to me having my day be ruined. So, I would be in a distortion—that would not be the reality. However, my emotions would follow that statement, and I might feel depressed, or angry, or sad, or disappointed, or put upon, or a victim. I could have a whole slew of emotional reactions to that distorted thought because I did not want it to rain, and my wishes were not kept. And so, I go into something called distortion.
So, distortion, just let me explain this for a second. Distorted thoughts, when I have a distorted thought, me telling myself that the rain ruined my day is a distorted thought. And those distorted thoughts fall along a continuum of erroneous statements and beliefs. And one end of the continuum is called self-denigration. The other end is called self-adulation.
So, when we have a distorted thought, it’s going to fall on one of those two sides. So, I either stay in reality or I don’t, and if I don’t stay in reality I will fall on one of these two extremes.
Self-denigration says something like this: over time, my perceived experiences and/or your caregivers—the people that raised you—and that doesn’t mean just your parents, I’m talking about your whole upbringing, all your environment and your upbringing. They did and/or said things that you perceived or processed through a distorted thought.
So, let’s say that you were on a swim team, and you get out of the pool one afternoon and your coach comes over to you and says, “I’ve decided to have Jenny take your lane in this upcoming meet on Saturday.” And then, they walk off, and all of a sudden you go into massive distorted thinking, and you think things like, “I can’t believe that Jenny’s going to take my spot. This is so unfair. I have been practicing for this for the last six months. She has no right. I’m better than her. How could he do this to me?” Those would be self-adulating thoughts.
Or you have thoughts that go like this, “I knew I’d never be able to accomplish this. I’m just not cut out for swimming. Jenny has always been better than me. I’ve been exposed, my swim coach now knows that I don’t have the ability to be a good swimmer, I might as well quit now because I’m never going to be able to accomplish anything.” Those are thoughts that fall on the self-denigrating side.
So, here are some additional thoughts of self-denigration: “Getting a D on my report card means I’m unlovable, and because I’m unlovable I’m not as smart as my sister.” Or, “I’m inadequate because of the inability on my part to be as athletic as my brother, Michael. That means I’m inadequate.”
That’s what self-denigration sounds like, it’s this self-loathing, I’m a victim, life is unfair, I blame other people. It’s really a very self-aggressive, neglecting position that we go into when we distort our reality.
The other side of that continuum is called self-adulation. There are many ways to self-adulate, and to actually teach a child that they are better than another person. So, when we enable a child when they’re young, young, this can start very young, months into living. When you enable a child to not learn about the natural process of choice and consequence, that’s one way that you can teach them self-adulation, and/or you indulge a child. This too creates another opportunity to enter into distorted thoughts. Entitlement forms distorted thoughts that say, “The rules don’t apply to me because I’m special. I’m unique. I’m different.” Or, “I can do whatever I want because I’m perfect, or at least I should be perfect, and I can’t make mistakes, and I don’t make mistakes.”
Self-adulation is an attempt to deny away the knowledge that I’m actually not perfect, and that I do make mistakes. Self-adulation is an attempt to deny, hide, and cover up my intense fear of not being enough or being inadequate. Self-adulation is always a cover or a hiding place for the incredible fear that I am not enough, I’m unlovable, I don’t matter, and/or I am bad. Which as you can hear, all of those kinds of statements fall on the self-denigrating side.
So, when someone shows up in self-adulation, they are actually in the particular distortion that is attempting to mask to themselves that they feel incredible self-denigration.
Both self-denigration and self-adulation are positions in distortion where the person who believes the lies and deception of either position, I’m less than or I’m better than, is invited out of reality and Truth, and uses their choices to either stay in the distortion consciously or unconsciously, or exit the lies and come back into reality and Truth. A person who stays in distortion believes that what they’re thinking and feeling is the Truth. Truth, not just true, but The Truth, and thus needs people they trust to share reality with them so they have an opportunity to leave the distortion.
So, hopefully by hearing that, you can see how important—how vital—it is to find the Truth because your spiritual and emotional health depend on it, that you be in Truth. Because if you’re not in Truth, you will be in one of those two states of distortion. Either one is destructive. Saying that self-adulation and self-denigration is better or worse than the other is like arguing that it’s safer to fall off a tight rope on the left or right side, either way you fall off, you’re going to have some serious consequences.
So, again, as we go through this podcast I want you to really pay attention and think about that question of finding Truth is vital to my spiritual and emotional and health because…
Alright, so being able to recognize Truth is actually a skill. It’s not something that we’re just born with as far as the ability to recognize it. All of us are seeking for connection. Whether we know that or not, we all are looking to connect, and the ability to connect is based upon principles—principles that one must choose to live and then the fruits of the principles will create connection.
Connection means I feel loved, I feel seen, I feel vulnerable, and validated. I know my value, I feel that I can keep myself safe, emotionally, spiritually, physically. That is the outcome of living particular principles of Truth.
[00:16:26] The Three Paths of Pain
So, let’s talk about when we stay in distortion, there are three specific paths that we go down as outcomes of living in distortion. So, I talked about if our thoughts are distorted, then our emotions become skewed, and when our emotions are reacting to these distorted thoughts, then we will react in particular behaviors. And there’s three different particular behaviors that all of us go into. This is not in any order, and when you’re in one, you’re in the other two. Just so you know.
So, I call this The Three Paths of Pain. The first one is Self-Neglect. The second one is Control. The third path is called Distractions. Now, those probably don’t sound new to you; those probably make a lot of sense. When I go into a place outside of reality, I will enter all three of those Paths of Pain: Distraction, Self-Neglect, and Control.
So, these three ways are how we act out our distorted thoughts. And when we engage these behaviors, we strengthen our distorted thoughts and create resistance to feedback. When we take these Paths of Pain, when we are afraid or unwilling to acknowledge and accept our vulnerability.
And all of these paths distract you from your vulnerability by generations emotions and behaviors that reinforce your distorted thoughts. The Paths of Pain keep you from being honest, humble, and responsible for yourself.
I want to share an example from each of these Paths of Pain.
So, Self-Neglect, and like I said, this not in any kind of order. So, Self-Neglect says something like this, “I lie to my friend because I don’t want him to think less of me for not following through with my commitment.” Huh. So, how is that neglectful to self? That I lie to my friend because I don’t want them to think less of me for not following through with what I committed to do.
Well, the reason it’s Self-Neglect is because I’m saying to myself it’s totally fine that I lied to my friend because I’m afraid that they’re going to think less of me. So, that’s the justification to be dishonest. That is neglectful to self because the only way to be in a connecting relationship with myself is to be honest with myself. That’s one of the principles of connection.
So, there’s no way for me to be in a bonding, connecting relationship if I lie. Just doesn’t work. Doesn’t matter how much I want connection; it cannot manifest itself, because what I’m saying is I’m not willing to live the principles to receive the outcomes of the choices that I make.
So, I’m neglecting myself by saying it’s okay for me to be dishonest. That’s an example of Self-Neglect.
I talked about distortion, so I went into distortion because I said to myself, “I lied to my friend because I wanted to make sure that they didn’t think less of me for not following through with my commitment.” So, on the distortion continuum, that falls on the side of self-adulation. So, I feel like I get to make an exception for me because I’m unique, and different, and special because it’s not okay for my friend to think less of me.
Here is an example of control. When I see others do things less efficiently than I do them, I jump in and give them instructions on how to work faster without asking their permission to give them feedback. So, I jump in, there’s my control. I see others doing things and they’re less efficient than me. Hear the self-adulation? Hear the distortion? So, because they’re being less efficient than I would be, it gives me permission to jump in and give them instructions on how to work faster. So, that’s me trying to control the situation.
An example of Distraction, when I don’t want to do something I’ve committed to do, I list all the reasons it’s not fair that I have to do them. So, here it is that when I don’t want to do something that I’ve already committed to do, then it’s okay because I get to list all the reasons that it’s not fair. “You know, I shouldn’t have to do this.” That’s my distorted thought. Well, the whole thing’s distorted. So, I distract myself from something I don’t want to do even though I’ve committed to do it. The Distraction is things aren’t fair, and that’s what gives me permission, it distracts from the issue. The issue is I’ve already committed to do something. That’s the issue.
So, you can hear the massive distortions in all three of those examples, and the different side of the continuum, self-adulation or self-denigration that it falls on.
I talked about the power of distortion, I just wanted you to have a really good understanding of why it is so necessary, vital, imperative, that you recognize that if you are not living in Truth, you will live, or you will visit, or spend quite a bit of time in distortion. And when you are there, your thoughts will be skewed, your emotions will follow those skewed thoughts, and that emotional reaction will invite you into behaviors such as these Paths of Pain, invite you into self-destructive behaviors of Self-Neglect, Control, and Distractions. And this is where addictions show up, this is where depression shows up, this is where anxiety shows up. Those are kind of the biggies. And so I would encourage you to seek for the Truth. I’d do the RAISE process and then I would really become skilled at finding Truths, so that you can declare the Truth boldly and clearly to yourself, so that you can spend much of your time living in a place of Truth instead of distortion.
[00:23:28] Truth Declarations
So, let’s go over the Truth Declarations. Here’s how you do them. This is how you create a Truth Declaration.
So, step number one, you recognize the distorted thought, okay? So, we just spent a lot of time talking about distorted thoughts. Pretty much all of the podcasts that I’ve done, and there’s almost 70 of them, is helping you recognize distorted thoughts. Basically, helping you recognize when you’re not in the reality, when you’re in a spot where you are in denial or you have fear. And so, being able to recognize those distorted thoughts is step number one.
You might need help for this, so calling a friend, calling a family member. I would invite people, who are close to you, I would invite them to listen to these podcasts and if they’re willing, have them start practicing living a life of integrity, living a life in Truth. And so, when you are in need, you can call them, you can call Aunt Mae, and you can call your friend down the street, or you can call a co-worker and say, “Hey, I’m having a hard time with this situation. I cannot figure out where my distortion is. All I know is that I’m in a whole lot of conflict, I’m in a whole lot of pain. And I don’t know how to recognize where I’m not in reality. Could you help me?”
That’s step number one, recognize the distortion.
Step number two, after you recognize the distortion, you are going to, out loud, say your name and tell yourself to stop. And after you say your name and tell yourself to stop, you’re going to say, “That’s not the Truth. That’s not the Truth.” Okay?
So, here’s what it looks like, recognize the distorted thought. The distorted thought says, “I will never be good enough.” Or the distorted thought says, “I can’t (fill in the blank).” So, then you say your name, and tell yourself to stop, and tell yourself that’s not the Truth. You say, “Jodi, stop. That is not the Truth, that I’ll never be good enough. That is not the Truth.”
Step number three, say a one sentence statement that is the exact opposite message of the distorted thought. Begin your statement with, “The Truth is.”
Here’s what it looks like. So my distorted thought is “I’ll never be good enough,” or “I can’t.” so, step number two says say your name, and tell yourself to stop, and say, “That is not the Truth.”
Step number three, one sentence statement that is the exact opposite message of the distorted thought. So, I’ll never be good enough becomes, “Jodi, stop. That is not the Truth. The Truth is it’s not about me being good enough.” Because this says, “I’ll never be good enough.” And so, if you said the opposite, you said always be good enough, but that doesn’t make a lot of sense. So, it’s not about what is good enough. The Truth is it’s not about what’s good enough.
Hopefully that makes sense because you throw that enough word in there and it kind of confuses things. So, when you say I can’t, I say, “Jodi, stop. That is not the Truth. The Truth is I can.” And then, fill in the blank with whatever it is I can.
Step number four, you are going to design a Truth Declaration that overwhelms the distorted thought. The Truth Declaration most contain facts. Remember how we talked about Truth? The Truth Declaration must contain facts that are objective and can be known by others. It also must contain personal honesty and responsibility. This is called Truth.
State the Truth Declaration as powerfully as you can. If you need to reframe each statement, go ahead, reframe every distortion by beginning each statement with, “And the Truth is.” Continue to say and the Truth is followed by as many statements of factual Truth as it takes until you recognize or feel the distorted thought lose its hold on you and leave.
Here’s what it sounds like. Let’s go through all four steps. Step number one, recognize the distorted thought. Here it is, “I always mess things up.” Let me hit the pause button. I want you to recognize in your distortion what side of that continuum of distortion do your distortions typically fall on?
So, this statement of I always mess things up, hopefully you can hear the self-denigration in that statement. So, I’m going to point out self-denigration or self-adulation as we go through this.
So, step number one, I always mess things up. Step number two, “Jodi stop, that is not the Truth.” Step number three, the Truth is I don’t always mess things up.” So, that’s a one sentence opposite statement. Step number four, “The Truth is, this did not go as I planned and that’s okay, and the Truth is I was not as prepared as I would have liked, and the Truth is I will learn from the experience and change it for next time, and the Truth is I’m human, and I get to learn from my experiences.”
Let’s do another one. The distorted thought is “There’s something wrong with me.” Or, “What is wrong with me?” And you can hear the self-denigration in that.
So, step number two, say your name, “Andrew stop, that’s not the Truth, the Truth is there isn’t anything wrong with me,” one sentence opposite statement.
Then, here is where you’re going to inject Truth into that distortion. “The Truth is, the question is not what is wrong with me, it’s that I didn’t see that coming, and the Truth is I wasn’t expecting to have a hundred people show up when only 62 RSVP’d, and the Truth is I didn’t plan for that many, and because I didn’t, I wasn’t prepared for them, and the Truth is this is not about me, it’s about the people who didn’t consider that if they show up without letting me know I might not be prepared for them, and the Truth is, this is a lesson learned and I need to also not take someone else’s lack of follow through personal.”
Let’s do one more example of Truth Declarations, and as I’m preparing this next example, I want to just give my own testimony of the power of this process. This might sound super simplistic, and, great big huge AND, when you use the word Truth, and you say, “And the Truth is. And the Truth is. And the Truth is.” And you really are saying things that are factual and Truthful, that distorted thought will leave, and it will leave quickly. It is so captivating to watch a person declare Truth, and see their distortion just leave right in front of my eyes as I’m working with them in my office.
And I’ll say, “Where did your distortion go?” And they’re like, “I don’t know.” And I’ll say, “Well it’s not gone for forever. It will come back, and every time you speak Truth to yourself, your distortions lose their grip and their grasp on you.” They don’t have the same hold that they used to have on you because what you’re saying is I choose not to believe you any longer. I am going to infuse myself with light, and with Truth, and as you do that it will just dissolve and melt away those distortions that you from a very young age have been believing about yourself.
Last example. Step number one, here’s the distortion, you ready? This is self-adulation distortion. “You are always on my case.” Can you hear the self-adulation and the distortion?
Step number two, “James, stop, that is not the Truth.”
Step number three, “The Truth is they are not always on my case.”
Step number four, “The Truth is, ‘always’ is an exaggeration because it means every time, and that is not true, and the Truth is my spouse, my parent, my friend, my boss gave me feedback because I was affecting them, and it wasn’t intended to insult me, and the Truth is, my distorted thoughts were triggered, and I need to be responsible for what I’m thinking and how I’m feeling, and the Truth is, they care about me and our relationship, and that’s why they’re sharing with me how they feel, and how they were being affected; their sharing is a sign of love and an invitation into connection, it is not an attack, and the Truth is the only things that are attacking me are my own distortions and my willingness to believe them, and the Truth is, I need to stop and think, and call someone who can help get me back into reality so I can see clearly what is happening.”
Wow, that is so powerful. Just even reading is like my goodness, that’s not even my distortion and I could feel the power of that.
So, that is the process of going through Truth Declarations.
[00:34:13] Statements of Truth
Here are some Statements of Truth.
- When distorted thoughts are replaced with Truth, our experience of life is transformed. Amen.
- The Truth is that your spirit cannot be damaged or touched at all without your consent. Your spirit is tucked away inside your body and it is safe.
- Now, you can affect your spirit by the choices that you make, but no one else has access to that. Your distortions are the things that injure or harm you.
- The Truth is that you are of infinite, fixed, and eternal wealth. In spite of what your distortion tells you, nothing you or another have done, nothing that you or another have felt or thought has changed or can change that reality, that fact. That is the Truth. You are of infinite, fixed, and eternal worth.
- No behavior, no body, no possessions, no position, or achievement will ever make you worth more or less than you are today.
- You cannot be in Truth if you are not willing to humble yourself and ask curious questions of honesty and personal responsibility.
- The fact that Truth often doesn’t feel true is evidence that distorted thoughts are present. That’s a powerful one, let me read that again. The fact that Truth often doesn’t feel true is evidence that your distorted thoughts are present.
So, there’s some information for you, if you are speaking the Truth or someone else is speaking the Truth to you, and you are resisting it, and you say that is not true, guaranteed, you are in distortion. So, go check those things out and get back into reality. Humble your little soul and allow yourself to get back into the Truth.
I want to end on this piece of information. I want to read some things to you that are signs that you are progressing into Truth. You will know that you’re making progress on the Path to Peace, moving from the Path of Pain into the Path of Peace when you recognize these characteristics.
You feel more comfortable expressing all emotions.
Mistakes no longer provoke distorted thoughts. So for example, you can make mistakes and you don’t go into distortion around them.
- You feel fully free to forgive and apologize.
- You can ask for help when you need it.
- You are open and teachable.
- You are fully emotionally honest about your thoughts and feelings with yourself and others.
- You feel confident in your ability to keep yourself safe and boundaried.
- You hold others accountable for their commitments and actions.
- You are fully responsible for your own choices and behaviors.
- You have learned how to respect and honor others’ boundaries.
- You can easily validate and show vulnerability.
- You are curious about yourself and others instead of suspicious and critical.
Those are just a handful of characteristics that will give you some information. I’d write those things down and put them on your fridge or on your mirror in your bathroom. These are signs that you are moving into a state where you’re spending more time in Truth, in reality, in connection than you are in distortion and disconnect. Which is a really, really exciting experience to recognize that.
Alright, thank you again for joining me here at ConneXions Classroom. Until next time, stay connected and we’ll talk to you soon. Bye bye.[ENDS]
See the following materials for more in-depth study of the topics in this podcast: