Hosted by Jodi Hildebrandt.
Part one of a two-part series. Listen to Part 2 >
In this episode, Jodi goes into great detail about distortion—how we create it, how it affects us, what its consequences are, and how to learn from it. We need oppositional experiences in life. Truth and distortion are opposed to one another, and it is through this contrast that we learn to recognize and live in Truth.
PDF Version: Episode 87: The Necessity of Distortion (Part 1)
Episode 87: The Necessity of Distortion (Part 1 of 2)
Welcome to ConneXions Classroom Podcast. We are so excited to introduce to you the opportunity for you to join us in a classroom setting where you will be taught the principles of connection. For those of you who have already joined us on the podcasts, and for those for you who have not, you are now ready to step into an extensive, hands-on, all-star classroom experience to better understand why you are experiencing and interpreting life the way that you do.
You will be introduced to the foundational principles of personal integrity, which are: how to live impeccable honesty, rigorous personal responsibility, humility, vulnerability, openness, willingness, transparency, and boundaries.
This is a 12-week intensive course that consists of meeting one time a week for two hours. You will be given six workbooks. In each workbook, instruction will be given to you on core concepts of how to live your life from a position of emotional honesty, Reality, Truth, boundaries, validation, being able to recognize your distortions, and how choice plays a central role in all of your experiences and emotional outcomes.
Some of the concepts covered inside of the classroom include: what validation and vulnerability are and how to animate those principles your life; how to live in Truth rather than distortion; how to recognize your distraction and your controlling behavior in your relationships; and how to live a life of peace rather than pain. Powerful concepts that change lives, beginning with yours.
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[00:02:48] Episode 87
Good morning and welcome to September 24th, 2016. I’m Jodi Hildebrandt and you are listening to ConneXions Classroom Podcast.
I want to talk about distortion today. I have done many, many, many podcasts either highlighting distortion and what it is and/or talking about distortion in all of its different facets and faces.
I’ve been thinking about this—why is distortion such a big deal? Why is dishonesty and deception so important for us to understand? For most of us, it’s like okay, I want to live in Truth, and I want to be honest, and I want the fruits of living in that capacity.
However, if I do not understand distortion / shame / self-denigration / self-adulation / deception / dishonesty—all of those different flavors of distortion, then I cannot fully know Truth. There’s no way. And it goes back to this principle of “opposition must needs be in all things.” You cannot appreciate the brightness of the sun if you do not experience the darkness of the night. You cannot appreciate love, and connection, and safety if you have not experienced feelings of fear, and loneliness, and isolation, and feelings of abandonment. There’s just no way. You can’t really have a depth of understanding emotionally and mentally if you do not experience opposition.
So, I’m sitting outside and it’s quite warm still where I’m sitting on the planet, and I’m sweating, and my body is very much responding very appropriately to the heat that’s around me, and I’ve also had the oppositional experience of being in the cold. And so, I know what that feels like to my body as well. I would much rather choose, if I have the option, to be hot than I would choose to be cold. That would be my druther. And somebody else might have a different experience or desire of which one they enjoy.
However, the reason that I can say I would rather be in the heat rather than the cold is because I have experienced this principle of opposition. Now, sometimes when we think of opposition we think of conflict, or fighting, or some kind of angry contentious interaction, and that can be opposition as well.
The opposition that I’m talking about is that you have experienced two opposing—either forces, or temperatures, or activities—so that you can have a sense, you can have a knowledge both mentally and emotionally, of what they both feel like, so that you can have an experience, so you can know. Know. You can see. “Know and see.”
And I’m talking about viscerally know, and at a very deep level be able to see with not only your eyes but your heart.
So, distortion is super important if you are a connoisseur or you desire to live in Truth, you must, must, must understand what distortion sounds like, looks like, behaves like, feels like. You must know that, because if you do not understand that, and you do not experience that, and know very clearly what deception is and how it presents itself, you will not be able to find the Truth. You won’t be able to find it.
Now, here’s the good news, is that everybody listening to the podcast, everybody on the planet, has the ability inside their body to sense Truth. To sense Truth, to know Truth. Now, remember, Truth is about things that are objective, factual, knowable by a third party. Truth is eternal, which means things that have always been and always will. You have the ability as a soul to know Truth.
And so, because you have that skill, that intuitive skill, you also have the ability to see when something is contrary to Truth—which would be distortion.
So, the more you understand what distortion is and how it feels and what it sounds like, and how it gets languaged, you will be more clear about, when you see and hear and feel things that have Truth in them.
So, that is the motive today, that is my desire for myself, to become more aware and to invite you to join this journey as well. However long we have on the earth, none of us ever know, I might only have a few more hours on the earth, I have no idea. And if I have more than a few hours, I want to really hone that skill inside myself to be able to detect distortion, deception, dishonesty, so that I can quickly use my choice—my ability to choose—to shift out of that distortion and back into something that is full of light, and Truth, and real—it has connection in it.
So, let’s describe distortion. This podcast is going to not only describe distortion, but it’s also going to answer questions as to why it is so important for us to know about distortion, and what are the consequences or outcomes of listening or choosing to participate in distortion.
So, let’s define distortion. Some of these definitions are coming right out of Webster’s Dictionary and others are statements that I’ve heard my clients use when they describe distortion. And see if this doesn’t resonate with you.
Distortion is the act of giving a misleading account or impression. That comes out of Webster.
Distortion is the action of distorting—of the state of being distorted.
Now, I was always taught as a youngster to not use the word that I’m trying to define inside the definition, but Webster did that. So, the action of distorting. So, the action of lying or deceiving. Or the state of being distorted. The state of being deceptive. It’s a noun.
Distortion is not being honest nor responsible for your own experiences and feelings.
Distortion is deceptive, and so I looked up deception. It says to cause someone to believe something that is not true. And I would say to cause someone to believe something that is not The Truth. Typically, in order to gain some personal advantage. Or to give a mistaken impression, or to not admit to yourself that something is not The Truth.
Those are all definitions of distortion.
So, distortion can be entered into by many different pathways and avenues, but it always contains the same components. Distortion always has these types of components, and these are just a handful of words and there are many more that would describe dishonesty, or deception, or distortion.
So, here are the characteristics, so the components of distortion: hiding, secrets, falsehoods, craftiness, trickery, fraud, deceit, hypocrisy, dishonesty, cunning, guile, insincerity, dissimulation, duplicity, cheating, scamming, lying, bluffing, a snare, a sham, prevarications, and fibbing.
Distortion gets acted out or gets behaved in a plethora of actions and behaviors. So, when I start thinking or talking in a way that is distorted, I then will start behaving in ways that are distorted. Those behaviors, when I go into distortion, will involve three consistent characteristics.
When I’m in distortion, whether I’m thinking distortedly or whether I’m behaving distortedly, I will have these three characteristics that will be present every single time.
There will be a lack of humility on my part. A lack of humility, so what does that mean? That means I am not being willing, I am not open, I am not transparent, I am not humble, I am not pliable, I am not flexible. That will be present.
I will not be willing to take responsibility. Somebody might ask me to account for the things that I’m thinking or the things I’m choosing, and I will not. I will want to blame, push the focus onto someone or something else.
I am not willing to be honest. I won’t be honest for thoughts I’ve been thinking, choices I’ve been making, or have made.
Those are the consistent components or characteristics that show up inside distortion. One, an unwillingness to be humble. Two, I refuse to take responsibility. And three, I will not—or don’t know how to be—honest with myself about my thoughts, my feelings, and my choices.
So, that’s a really good place to kind of critique yourself. I know when I’m interacting with something or someone, I will look at myself and say, “Okay, am I taking responsibility for me? Am I being honest about what I’m saying? Am I open? Am I willing to listen and be empathic? And look at myself? And own when I’ve done something inappropriate?”
Even if I didn’t mean to. I mean, this isn’t about intention. This is more about when I become aware of something, am I willing to own it?
Because distortion gets acted out in these many, many ways and has these three characteristics, we can either choose distortion consciously or unconsciously.
[00:15:08] Behaviors of Distortion
And here’s how we go into these behaviors. If I’m thinking in distortion, I will behave in distortion. I just got done explaining how distortion always has those three characteristics, and here’s how I will act out my thinking in distortion. Here will be my behaviors: I will go into drama.
Now, I’ve done probably eight podcasts on drama, so if you don’t know what that means, go listen to one of those podcasts. I explain quite thoroughly what drama is.
So, I will go into drama. That’s a way that I act out my distortion. Again, this is either conscious or unconscious. This is not a matter of well, I didn’t know I went into drama so I’m not culpable for it. You are.
I will also act in entitlements. I will act out with controlling behaviors. I will go into addictions. I will isolate myself. I might self-harm. I will show up very selfish and greedy. I will have inappropriate anger. I might start stealing, or have some kind of physical or sexual assaults. I will be judgmental.
All of those characteristics of my behavior could be considered dramatic. There are so many, many ways that I act out my distortions, those are just a sprinkling of how else I could do that.
So, now that you have a taste of what distortion is, and the characteristics of distortion, let’s talk a little bit more about, what is distortion? Why do we go there? Why am I talking about a concept if it’s so not tasteful? Why do we need to know about what distortion is? And what would be the outcomes of listening to distortion and then choosing to participate in it?
The consequence and outcomes of being in distortion—which means you’ve advertently or inadvertently chosen to “hook into something” that doesn’t have pure Truth in it. You might say a sentence and one part of the sentence has the Truth in it, and then the second part of the sentence might be dishonest, or it has some statement of distortion in it.
Here’s an example, like you might say, “I love peaches.” That’s true, I love peaches. And then, you might say, “I love peaches but I never get any for myself.”
So, that second part of that statement following but is a distortion. I never get any for myself? Never and any are words in that particular sentence that are distorted.
Here’s another one: it’s my responsibility to clean the kitchen on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and it’s always a bigger mess on my days. Can you hear what’s true or what the Truth is? And then, can you also hear the distortion? “It’s my responsibility to clean the kitchen on Monday, Wednesday, Friday,” so there’s the Truth, and—here’s my distortion—”And, it’s always a bigger mess on those days.”
Now, some people might go, “But Jodi, that’s the Truth. I have people come over on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and it’s a bigger mess.”
That may be your perception, and it might even be the Truth, but when you say it’s always and a bigger mess, you are comparing it against the days of Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and whoever else is supposed to be cleaning the kitchen on those days. The second you go into comparison, you are going into—in this framework—you’re going into a distorted lens because nobody asked you to compare against it Tuesday, and Thursday, and Saturday. I’ve just been asked to clean the kitchen on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. So, there’s your distortion, because you go into a comparison.
And someone might push back and go, “It’s not a bigger mess.” So, then you go into a comparison with them.
Here’s another example: I own a convertible and people are just so judgmental about people who drive convertibles. I’m being judged all the time.
So, I own a convertible, there’s the Truth. And then, here’s your distortion: and people are just so judgmental about people who drive convertibles. I am being judged all the time. There’s your distortion.
So, it’s very difficult, when you’re interacting with someone or even your own thoughts, to be able to keep a thought in pure Truth. It’s very difficult to do that because the majority of us really like distortion, we like drama, we like to embellish, we like to compare things, we like to feel sorry for ourselves. We really like going into victim, quite frankly.
Here’s another one: old age is filled with complications and pain but I would be rather 40 than 20 again. When you’re 40, you are smarter. So, listen for the Truth or what’s true for me, and then also listen for the distortion. Old age is filled with complications and pain.
First of all, what is old age? And what is “complications and pain”? I think most people would say life has complications and pain associated with it. I don’t know that they’d say filled. Then, they say, “But I would rather be 40 than 20.” Alright, so that might be a true for them. and then, I say, “When you’re 40, you’re smarter.”
There’s no Truth in that. I mean, I know a lot of people who are 72 and 86 that are pretty emotionally, not very sophisticated.
So, you can see how we as human beings speak, and then when we speak in these ways, and especially when we speak into distortion or around distortion, we then start behaving what it is that we say. So, our thoughts are in distortion, and therefore our behaviors can also follow those thinking distortions.
So, distortion contaminates the entire statement, because the distortion invites into your consciousness—into your mind, your awareness—a piece that isn’t real or the Truth. Let me say that again. Distortion will contaminate the entire statement, because you might have Truth on one side of the statement and Truth on the other side of the statement, and have a piece in the middle that has distortion, and if that’s the case, it will distort and contaminate the whole entire statement. You won’t have Truth any longer because it’s come in and put a lie or some deception inside that statement.
So, when we believe any part of dishonesty, we begin to believe that distortion is real. We believe that distortion is the Truth, and then we’ll also experience the consequences and outcomes from those distortions, that will reinforce the distortion, and not the Truth.
That’s very important. I will have an experience, and if I don’t check my experience and my thoughts around that experience, and there’s distortion in it, then I will be reinforced to believe that my experience, and the thoughts that I’ve had, and the outcomes that have happened because of the experience are real and are the Truth when in actuality, they are not.
So, I was talking to somebody the other day and they had made a commitment that they would only get on the Internet if their parent was with them. And so, they got home from school and mom and dad were not there, and so, because this person’s really used to just getting on the Internet whenever they want, they “forgot” about their commitment. And so, they got on the internet anyways, and so when I was talking to this individual, I said, “What about your commitment?”
He said, “Well, you know, my parents weren’t there and I needed to get my homework done, and so I just decided to get on anyways.” And he didn’t even miss a beat, it didn’t even seem to faze him that he had gone into distortion, had deceived himself, and felt like the ends justified the means.
And so, his whole experience was contaminated, and he really didn’t see it until we started talking. It really seemed totally appropriate for him to buy into a distortion, break his commitment, not keep his word, and then be surprised that anybody around him would have an issue with it.
These kinds of experiences are the unfortunate outcomes of listening to and believing in distortion. We go numb. This gentleman was numb, he just kind of looked at me and his parents and was kind of like, “What? Why are guys having an issue?”
Then, over time, if we don’t challenge the distorted thoughts, which will lead into distorted choices, we will gradually be let off the mark of Truth, and not even recognize that we’re off.
So, choosing into distortion will numb us and numb our feelings as to experience the confirming feelings that indicate we are in Truth. So, we need emotion to say this is correct, this is right.
If he had waited until his parents came home before he got on the Internet, he would have felt different emotions, but because he wasn’t willing to keep his commitments, he didn’t really feel any emotions other than entitlement, he felt just completely justified in doing what he was doing. And I would say that that was some semblance of him being disconnected or numb.
We also will feel confirming feelings when we hear distortion or even when we choose to go into distortion.
If we don’t reframe the distortion back into the Truth, we will as a natural outcome begin to not feel the sting of distortion, and will go numb to the choosing or the listening, or the entertaining of distortion.
So, as I say that, I just have so many people’s faces flash through my mind. It’s like this natural outcome, that if I’m not willing to be honest and follow the commitments that I’ve made, I will just not feel a very natural consequence.
So, when I was talking to him, I looked at him and I said, “Do you have any problem with the fact that you are willing to break your commitment?”
And he looked at me quite matter-of-factly and said, “No.”
I said, “Okay, so how come your word doesn’t have any meaning to you?”
And he said, “I don’t know.”
And that was one of these natural consequences or outcomes, that you stop feeling. You don’t feel that sting, that poke in the chest, that intuitive voice that says, “Hey, hey. That’s inappropriate. You’re not being honest. You don’t want to do that. It’s really important for you to tell the Truth.”
You don’t feel it; you just go numb. And so, it becomes easier and easier to choose to be in distortion.
Distortion is a person’s choice, whether it’s conscious or unconscious, to not be honest or responsible for their reality.
Now, I keep saying advertently, inadvertently, whether you’re conscious or not. I just want you to know that you don’t get off the hook just because you forget something; you still are responsible if you make a commitment. If you have become aware, you are then responsible for the awareness that you have or that you had. You really are.
So, a lot of people will say, “Well, I didn’t know.” “I forgot” or “I didn’t understand it was a big deal” or “I didn’t write it down” or “I only said it one time, so I didn’t know that it was serious.”
And we are just full of statements of denial, which are as well statements of distortion.
[00:28:58] Another Definition of Distortion
So, what is distortion? Here’s a second definition. Distortion is the opposition of Truth. Distortion provides elements and components that harm the human spirit. Distortion, if disguised regularly, causes the human spirit not tot recognize its natural proper flow of feasting on honesty.
If you engage in distortion on a regular basis, you won’t feel what is honest. You won’t have any sensation, any tenderness towards being responsible for oneself. You won’t know how important it is to stay open, and willing, and humble.
And it is imperative to know distortion, as to be able to recognize Truth. It’s that oppositional piece. You’ve got to understand distortion and feel it, so that you can immediately make a different choice back into the Truth.
Knowing distortion is different from being or choosing into distortion. So, knowing distortion is different from being or choosing into distortion.
So, knowing distortion means I’ve got it in my head. I know what distortion sounds like. And that is different than choosing distortion, like acting out on it. They’re two different things.
When I know distortion, I can still choose to go into it or I can choose not to go into it. They’re two different choices: knowing and being in distortion. Logically, know what distortion or living in distortion sounds like, how it gets languaged. Know that it’s necessary that you can appreciate the sound of Truth. You’ve got to know that juxtaposition between Truth and distortion.
Truth is like hitting a lovely harmonious chord of an instrument, which resonates and resounds so beautifully inside your body and mind. That’s what Truth sounds like. It’s like, “That’s the Truth. That feels right. I know that’s accurate. My intuition is going off and saying, ‘Thank you, that feels so good.’”
Rather than hitting a chord that is dissonant and flat or sharp. You immediately can tell or hear, or feel the “distortion” in the music. It doesn’t feel fluid, or connected, or flowing, or proper, or meshing, or blended.
So, every choice you make is in one of these two positions: either distortion, which means a lack of humility, responsibility, and honesty, or the other position is you choose Truth, which means you choose to be honest, and responsible, and humble.
And oftentimes, our motive is hidden from our view, as to not appreciate what is moving our choice in one direction or the other. So, motive is inside each of us, and motive gets reinforced by whether we choose distortion or Truth. It’s like a cycle. If I choose to continue into distortion, then I will have a dishonest motive, I will have a selfish motive, I will have a greedy motive, I will feel entitled, I will feel victimized, I will feel persecutory, I will feel justified.
Or I can start choosing Truth and when I choose Truth, that is a cycle as well. The more Truth that I choose, the more I desire to be forthcoming, and open, and willing, and accountable, and giving, and sacrificing, and empathic, and vulnerable, and validating.
So, one is not more difficult to choose than the other. Other than it’s what I’m used to. It’s kind of like a poem I heard years ago, it’s about two wolves and it’s this old Indian adage where an old wise Indian chief talks about these two wolves that are inside every human being, and basically he says when you have experience, which wolf are you going to feed? Are you going to feed the wolf of compassion where there’s vulnerability and honesty? Or are you going to feed the wolf of greed, and selfishness, and entitlements, and anger? And feed this wolf that wants to devour, and take from other people.
Inside distortion is denial. Denial is another layer or flavor of deception. So, denial, distortion, deception, dishonesty, all the same things. And they all start with the letter “d,” I just realized.
So, we’re going to think of it like this: I’ve got this diagram in front of me that I made and it has a picture of some raindrops coming down. The raindrops are symbolic of experience. The raindrops are these experiences that are falling into your life or on your life. And realize that the raindrops, which are the experience, are neutral—they’re not good, bad, right, wrong. They do have discomfort in them, though. Some of the experiences that we have are very painful, are very undesirable, are very unpleasant. And other experiences are joyful, and connecting, and exciting, and things that you would like to duplicate.
However, those two oppositional experiences are necessary so that you can appreciate one from the other. That’s what I was talking about right at the beginning.
So, experience is meant to be seen as neutral, even though it may be enjoyed or it may not be enjoyed, experiences are neutral.
So, each experience that you’re having, and you are having thousands of them every day, because every experience that you have is connected to choices you make. So, your five senses are taking in information all day long and you are perceiving constantly—constantly—and as you perceive, you attach meaning to everything in your life. And this is what creates your reality.
Now, your reality might be different from The Reality. The Reality includes The Truth—the truthfulness of your experience, which means you stay objective, you stay factual, you can understand and appreciate eternal principles, you are balanced emotionally and mentally, your reality can be known by a third party, and you stay centered, and you can separate the Truth from what’s true.
And the definition of what’s true is subjective, emotional, not knowable by a third party, it’s perception based, and it’s your interpretation. Now, that’s fine to know what is true for you, you just have to make sure that you’re honest about it and that you’re responsible. And that you need to keep balanced inside of you when you’re experiencing The Truth and what’s true.
So, when you do that, and you stay balanced, you will not go into distortion. You’ll be able to see the facts or the Truth about the situation and experience, and you’ll also allow yourself to feel the emotion inside the experience, and you’ll be able to blend your perceptions and emotions and the facts and reality together, so you know what is true for you and what is The Truth as well.
And you can only do this if you’re willing to be honest and responsible for each experience that you’re having in your life. That’s kind of cool, that every experience is like this raindrop that hits your life, and you get to decide how you’re going to interpret it. You can distort it, or you know, most of us, what we do is we have some of it in Truth and some of it in distortion. And our goal is to have the majority of it in the Truth and a minimal amount in distortion, so that when we look at it, we can see the distortion pretty quickly and try to get more of our experience into the Truth rather than more of it into distortion.
[00:38:18] Self-Denigration and Self-Adulation
Let’s talk about some experiences. I want to introduce this concept of self-denigration and self-adulation. When I go into distortion, I have two different flavors of distortion that I go into. And when I say I, I’m talking about the human being, the human spirit. All of us go into distortion and all of us will bounce back and forth from these two positions. One, being self-denigration and the other being self-adulation.
So, one side is about believing or talking to myself as though I’m no good, I’m bad, I’m unworthy, I don’t matter. The other side—self-adulating—is more of a prideful, arrogant, I can do what I want, don’t you wish you were me, I’m special, I’m unique, I’m different, kind of position.
And both of those positions have distortion in them because I am neither less than nor more than anyone else. And both of those positions have deception in them and they both feed into a deeper sense of false beliefs about myself.
[00:39:41] Some Examples
So, here are some examples of what I was just talking about.
Number one, I bought new shoes and my friend gave my many compliments about them. Then she asked one day if she could borrow them and I thought about that, and told her no, that they were new and I wasn’t comfortable loaning them out. A week later, I heard from another friend that this other friend has been talking about me and calling me selfish and uncaring because I didn’t loan my shoes to her. There’s my experience.
Now, remember, experience is like these raindrops falling, they’re just neutral. Now, people hear me say neutral and go, “But Jodi, how can it be neutral when that’s so painful?”
And what I’ll say to them is that the emotion inside the experience is real; you are going to feel emotion. I’m just talking about the circumstances are neutral. The circumstances are not there to hurt you. They’re not there to make things better or worse for you, they just show up in the way that they do. It’s like a storyline. And you get to decide what kind of interpretation, and therefore what kind of emotions you’re going to have in this experience.
So, I get to choose. I can either hold this experience in Truth or I can hold it in distortion. So, here are the facts. Here’s Truth. Ready? I can choose to hold this experience in the Truth and here are the facts.
I bought new shoes, I have a friend, she gave me compliments, she asked to borrow my shoes, I told her no, I didn’t loan them to her, I heard from my other friend that she was upset and I heard that I was selfish and uncaring. Those are the facts. Those are the things I know. Those are objective and knowable by a third party.
So, let’s look at the storyline through perceptions. So, here are my trues, and there’s probably more than this but here’s just a handful: I like the shoes I bought; my friend likes the shoes too; she feels entitled to use them; she became hurt and offended when she was told no; she’s trying to hurt me; I made her mad.
Now, think about that. I’ve got the facts on one side and I have my perceptions on the other. Or another way to say it, I have the Truth on one side and I have what’s true on the other. And my true may not be the Truth. She may not feel entitled to use them. I just made that up. That’s what it looks like, that’s what it sounds like, but I don’t know. I’d have to ask her. Like, “How come you’re getting all upset because I didn’t loan you my shoes?”
So, if I go into either one of these two positions, I could go into distortion if I’m not willing to be honest about the facts, and honest about knowing that my perceptions may not be real.
I might tell myself something that’s not real, that’s not honest. And then, I immediately will contaminate the experience and be “off” or be out of Reality and Truth.
So, it’s really important as you list what the facts are, and then you list what is true for you, you’ve got to make sure that in your facts, you’re actually saying the facts, and you’re not writing the facts down when actually they’re in distortion. You’ve got to be really honest with you.
So, here’s another one. I went to my 10-year high school reunion and I didn’t recognize hardly anyone. I was so uncomfortable, I had the same feelings I used to have in high school when I would go to a dance or some other activity. I felt like a fish out of water. I shouldn’t have let my friend talk me into this, she always does that to me. I left after 30 minutes and got a taxi and went home. I will never do that again; I’m so done with high school.
So, there’s my experience, that pure experience that says, this is neither good nor bad, this is neither right nor wrong, this is just an experience that I get to choose how I’m going to perceive. Now, will I hold it in Truth or will I hold it in distortion?
Here are the facts—The Truth—that I came up with, things that actually happened. I went to the 10-year reunion, that’s actually what I did. I didn’t recognize anyone. I was uncomfortable because I chose to be. I had the same feelings from high school because I had not reframed them into Truth from high school. I didn’t hold a boundary with my friend about not going and now, I’m lamenting my decision and blaming her. I left after 30 minutes and got a taxi and went home. I won’t do that again. I’m done with high school. And I’m responsible for going.
Those are statements of Truth.
Now, here is my perception of what was true. Now, I can hold this in Truth or I can hold it in distortion, and I probably have distortion mixed in to what’s true for me, as well as probably the truth—what is really my true perception.
I didn’t recognize people because I was angry about being there. That was what was true for me.
I was uncomfortable because I was blaming my friend for being there.
My feelings were the same from high school because I hated high school when I was a teenager and I still don’t like it.
I felt like everyone was judging me and that I was on display.
I can’t believe my friend did this to me. I will never let her take me somewhere again that I don’t want to be.
So, those are the things that were my perception, and depending on what my meaning was, will determine whether they were in Truth or distortion—not Truth (facts), but like if I was being honest with myself, if I was telling myself what my honest feelings were. Basically, if I’m taking responsibility because when I go into true, I need to take responsibility for what I’m experiencing. I need to check and make sure that the facts are accurate, and then look at the true statements and make sure that you’re being honest, and responsible, and humble in both of those categories, that you’re being honest, and responsible, and humble in the Truth—the facts—and you’re being honest and being responsible in your perceptions.
And when you’re willing to do that, then you can’t blame someone. You’re just accountable for the whole thing. And accountable doesn’t mean you’ve got to be punished or something, it just means that you get to account for where you’re at, why you’re there, how long you stay, who you interact with, who you don’t. You’re just responsible for it.
I cannot iterate enough how important it is for us as human beings to understand the power of distortion, because everything that we experience is being perceived through our lens, and if we are not willing to really get rigorous around how we perceive things and tell ourselves the Truth about what it is actually being presented, then it is so easy to get off the mark and off the path of Truth and be going off in a direction that is dissonant from Reality.
[00:47:45] How to Know Distortion
So, I want to share with you, I was talking about, how can you know distortion? The way you know distortion is that you must know things that have Truth in them. So, I want to share with you a handful of Truths, so that you begin to look more closely at yourself and be able to diagnose yourself around Reality and your own perceptions of reality, so that you can have a higher likelihood to not go into distortion, not go into lies.
Going into distortion and not knowing you’re there, and continuing to perceive inaccurately causes us as humans to become emotionally and spiritually sick.
So, here are some of these Truths. I call these the Paradigms of Truth.
[00:48:25] Paradigms of Truth
There are four different categories that I talk about. There’s Truths around vulnerability, there’s Truths around Truth, Truths around being honest and responsible, and there’s Truths around love and connection.
So, I’m just going to read a handful of these and if you are interested in getting a more full list, you are welcome to come to the classroom. When I teach the classroom, I go over these Paradigms of Truth in great detail. So, in order to know distortion, you must understand Truths.
So, here are some Truths about honesty and responsibility.
You are responsible for your choices and their outcomes.
You are not responsibility for others’ thoughts, perceptions, emotions, and choices.
Thoughts drive feelings and feelings drive behaviors.
Your perceptions and thoughts create your feelings.
You are responsible to share your perceptions and what they mean to you. This will invite you to check out whether you’re in Reality or not.
Saying sorry without feeling the weight of what you’ve done, making restitution, committing to a plan to not go there again means shallow, hollow words. So, just saying sorry without going through a process of feeling the weight of what you’ve done, like feeling sorry, it won’t have any weight to it, it won’t have any oomph to the words I’m sorry.
Distorted thoughts and false beliefs are the outcomes of being irresponsible for self.
You are responsible for the meanings you place on words.
Here are some about love and connection.
You are responsible to create, articulate, share, and hold your boundaries, and honor other boundaries.
Connection is an outcome of living and applying principles of vulnerability, validation, emotionally honesty, personal responsibility, humility, and boundaries. When you live that way, you will have connection.
Love is not something you can possess, or buy, or take from another; it is an expression of how I feel about myself and my desire for you to choose to live similar principles, so that you can experience the all-encompassing warmth and safety of love.
Being loved can only be created by you.
Here are some Truths about Truth.
Truth is constant and unchanging, which means there’s always going to be the facts, they’re unchanging. Things that are eternal or unchanging, they’ve always been that way. They’re constant.
What you feel does not equate to the Truth. That’s a biggie. I’ll tell you, that’s a big one in our world. People are often talking about but I feel that way, but I feel that way. It’s like, I know you feel that way, it’s totally fine to feel the way you feel, and it doesn’t mean it’s the Truth, it just means you feel that way. Give yourself a good burp on the back and you’ll feel different.
What is emotionally true doesn’t equate to the Truth.
Your motive is the center of your choices, so what’s going on inside you is what is going to create your next choice.
Experience is neutral and emotions are neutral.
All emotions are necessary and appropriate.
Pain and discomfort are appropriate and necessary experiences in life.
You need oppositional forces in order to develop, and mature, and see. Or another way to say that is to become aware.
Truths about vulnerability.
You can’t control the outcomes of your choices.
You are vulnerable.
You live out of control 24/7.
What you do is not who you are.
You do and will make mistakes. And you need to make mistakes.
You are limited and have weaknesses.
Optional pain is the result of the stories we tell ourselves. Optional pain is the result. We’re going to talk about optional and inevitable pain in a minute.
Accepting your mistakes and learning from them connects you to your vulnerability and creates safety.
You must give and receive validation to live in connection and love.
So, those are just a handful, like I said, of Principles of Truth that, if you will learn those, and there are so many more, there’s hundreds and thousands more Principles of Truth—as you experience them in life, you’ll be able to go, “Oh, I’m not responsible for somebody else’s reaction to me, so I don’t have to be all upset because so and so says that it’s my fault that they’re angry.” I can’t make someone angry, so I don’t have to own that.
So, I’m aware that we’re at about 50 minutes. I’d like to stop here and start another podcast, so I will talk to you on the other side.
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See the following materials for more in-depth study of the topics in this podcast: