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The Human Design Systems (HDS)

The Theory of the 4 Human Designs and Why I Embrace My Design

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When I first acknowledged that I was assertive and driven to initiate in life, I was bitterly disappointed that I was not less so. After all, a lady sits and waits, receives never initiates, doesn’t express too much brilliance or logic, and lives in wonder of the fact that all she needs comes to her. I cannot tell you the number of people I am surrounded by who need only sit and wait and the more they do the more they have reason to ward off unwanted attention, turn down opportunities, or simply hide. This has never been my truth. Yet trying to live this way created immense misery for me (depression, meaninglessness, and terrible frustration).

When I found myself caught between my drive to fulfill my most ambitious goals yet feeling stuck and trapped in the level I was in with no foreseeable solutions, I was hit by a monster depression and I swore if I had heard “just be patient and wait” one more time from close female relatives or anyone for that matter, I would have violently exploded and ceased to exist. I would soon come to know that this was simply because of my misguided belief about what I ought to be.

Posting my frustration in a group of which I am a pretty active member (thank God for facebook personality type groups), someone responded with what seemed like ‘yet another’ personality type theory. This one, however, turned out to be just as epic and game changing as when I first discovered I was of INFJ personality type (learn about the 16 personality types here). This new information pulled my life together on a whole different level. If the 16 Personality Types is the skeleton, this new theory brought the tendons and ligaments that attached the muscles to the bones and drew everything tightly together. This was the theory of the Human Design Systems (HDS).

What is the HDS?

The Human Design Systems is essentially an intuitive spiritual theory that posits two types of intelligence: cognitive (mind) and sensory (body) intelligence; and espouses using your body’s intelligence and genetics, rather than your mind, to live your life. It was reported to have been ‘revealed’ to mystic Ra Uru Hu in January 1987 by an intelligence he calls ‘the voice’  whom he also describes as being “far superior to anything he has ever known”.  Born Alan Robert Krakower in Montreal, Canada in 1948, Ra Uru Hu reported that the being taught him highly scientific and detailed knowledge about the mechanics of the universe and people. It wasn’t until 1992, after rigorous study of the knowledge he was given that he began packaging and teaching it to others. The system draws on genetics, personality theory, and astrology (a person’s time and place of birth based on the positions of the sun and moon, and planets) to determine the inner mechanics of each individual and point the way to the inner authority each person must live by. This is mapped on what is called the mandala of Human Designs.

Like other esoteric teachings of the “old sciences” of mysticism, the language used to explain the mechanics which characterize the HDS is technical and scientific yet nonetheless a great intellectual exercise if you love knowledge. The mandala chart itself is decorated with symbols and numbers and is highly technical to the lay person; and the theory is espoused as the “science” of self discovery.

Uru Hu pinpointed 4 major Human Designs. These are: Manifestor, Generator, Projector, and Reflector; though he further informs that we each have a unique energetic map and there are as many design combinations as there are human beings. To get a precise report of your type and the specific design that is unique to you, you must have a ‘reading’ done by a practitioner. However, you can deduce your general type and gain incredible insight just from reading the literature about each type (like I did). The key to harnessing the power of your type, however, is to first identify the inner authority under which your type operates and implementing the strategy that guides it.

Manifestors

Manifestors account for 8 to 9% of the population and operate under the authority of initiating. They are the rulers and law givers of the world and the only group designed to initiate, move, change, and make things happen. They carry an aura that is intimidating, they appear closed and repelling since they are designed to be independent and to influence without being influenced or impacted upon. The strategy that governs the Manifestor’s life is to inform. Manifestors were not designed for physical work but rather to influence and impact. If Manifestors honour their strategy and inform those around them of their intentions to initiate, they get less resistance and more cooperation, people yield to their authority. If they fail to inform, they meet with resistance which builds up anger within them. When they fail to honour their authority, life seems to present situations that call out their natural strengths and force them to initiate.

Generators

Unlike Manifestors, Generators account for 67 to 70% of the human race and are the workers of the world. They are designed not to initiate but to respond. They have an open aura that attracts people to them. They do not go out and get life, it must come to them and their authority is to wait and respond when it does. If they initiate an action without it having been a response (pure generators) or take action so quickly that they skip essential details and get stuck (manifesting generator), this can lead to a build up of frustration in their system.

Projectors

Projectors are designed to recognize others and guide them. They account for only 22% of the population. The authority of the Projector is to wait to be invited in the major areas of life. This type is unique in that it is defined as a non-energy type since it doesn’t initiate or respond but must be invited. They are life long learners and students of human systems. They are gifted in understanding others and are driven to learn as much as they can about how we operate. They usually see in other people what others cannot see. When projectors are invited, they excel in guiding others. However, they secretly fear that they may not be invited but will wait indefinitely. This is not true. If they rush in without being invited, they will meet with resistance and this leads to feelings of exhaustion and bitterness.

Reflectors

Like Projectors, Reflectors are also non-energy types who are even more difficult to define. Their aura is totally open to people and therefore it’s imperative that they only go to those places where they feel comfortable. They are said to be lunar being who are impacted by the moon and therefore must wait 29 days before they make major decisions as their position on a given subject may vary through the moon’s phases. Before deciding on anything they need to practice complete transparency, taking in as much perspective as possible listening to their own responses to determine what ‘is not’ them rather than what ‘is’ them. As such, Reflectors too have an innate drive to study human systems and designs to understand themselves. When Reflectors fail to live according to the authority of waiting and taking perspective, they can be overcome with disappointment over life.

Don't be delicatevitamin sea

By now you may have guessed that my problem arose because I am a Manifestor who was trying to operate under the authority of a Generator or Projector. Seeing myself from this new perspective, I quickly discarded the notion of “waiting” and embraced that I was created to initiate and manifest change in this world. The looming depression vanished as I relished the possibilities of what I could do with this new found permission to be a fearless initiator and never again to be unsure. When I thought about it, those times when I was most inspired and productive, I was also initiating. Now I see that my ability to initiate connection with others is an act of power rather than a fault of desperation, how could I have ever thought it was anything but.

How about you? Which design resonates most with you?

 

Further reading:

  1. http://humandesign.net/basic-concepts.html
  2. https://sites.google.com/site/humandesigngaya/basicstuff/fourtypes
  3. https://mortentolboll.weebly.com/a-critique-of-the-human-design-system.html

 

feature image from mortentolboll.weebly.com

 

 

Lleuella Morris is a Personal Growth Expert who successfully grew herself through adverse life situations and now helps liberate people and set them free by sharing knowledge and creating tools, techniques, systems, and frameworks to grow and develop them. She gifts people with the gift of self-knowledge and self-awareness and context to solve their difficult life situations. She enjoys bringing new perspective about God, godliness, Christianity, navigating life on this earth, people, and thorn-in-the-flesh issues.

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5 Lessons Christian Women can learn from Meghan Markle’s Wedding to Prince Harry

I love fairy tale weddings.

Until now, in true introvert style, I’ve tried to stay away from the media storm around the recent royal wedding but shopping for fascinators recently brought back a flood of memories of exactly why I love fairy tale weddings and happy endings. Looking at the royal couple, we cannot help but admit that they are two lovely young people who are no doubt well suited for each other. They are as normal as any two 30 somethings we know, very in love with each other, carry big hearts for humanity and saving the world.

Many Christian women dream of having a handsome prince sweep them off their feet but what can Christian women learn from Meghan Markle’s wedding to Prince Harry. Here’s me in a red fascinator and 5 lessons Christian women can learn:

5 Lessons Christian Women can learn from Meghan Markel's engagement to Prince Harry

What lesson have you learned from this remarkable event?

 

 

 

Lleuella Morris successfully grew herself through adverse life situations and now helps liberate people and set them free by sharing knowledge and creating tools, techniques, systems, and frameworks to grow and develop them. She gifts people with the gift of self-knowledge and self-awareness and context to solve their difficult life situations. She enjoys bringing new perspective about God, godliness, Christianity, navigating life on this earth, people, and thorn-in-the-flesh issues.

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Why I Rejected Myself and Why You Should Too!

5 Surprising Benefits of Writing Your Own Rejection Letter

“Fear is your friend”. In an interview, inspirational author Elizabeth Gilbert light-heartedly explained: “I am afraid…almost every minute of my life. So, I haven’t conquered it and I am not interested in conquering it. Actually, what my relationship with fear begins with is a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation because fear is the reason I am still alive today…every single one of us can point to a moment in our lives that we survived because we were afraid…that’s its job and it does its job beautifully”[1].

Rejection is a very common phenomenon among writers and academics. The truth is that fear of rejection is one of the greatest of human fears. Just when we get comfortable touting public speaking as our number one fear, Glenn Croston Ph.D. interrupts with the notion that fear of rejection, not public speaking, is the true menace here[2]. It’s not that we really fear public speaking itself as much as being rejected by the audience we stand before. Croston’s revelation has a ring of truth to it; this is why Gilbert’s assurance will do little to calm the nerves of the anxious neophyte, for example, on the verge of making the brave decision to bid out of league.

Why I Rejected Myself- Literally!

My memories of my courageous 6-year-old self writing vampire stories still amaze me. Fast forward to today though, and my stomach slightly cowers at the thought of stepping over the limits of what I can and cannot do as a person of my age and educational status. I drank the Kool-Aid of ‘nothing is out of limit for you’ too long ago and it’s beginning to take effect: While I initially accepted the challenge I now found myself vacillating between ‘send’ and debilitating ‘self-doubt’. When the very act of vacillating became more torturous than the potential rejection I feared, on a whim I stopped and did one of the craziest things I’ve ever done. I rejected myself, literally! I grabbed my phone, pulled up its notepad and penned the most eloquent rejection letter you’ve ever seen, and in that moment, I felt the most relieved and empowered I had felt since I first toyed with the idea of submitting the piece. Later, my sister would remark that maybe said publication should hire me to write rejection letters for them.

Having your work rejected is a common thing. In a 2012 article for The Scientist, Ruth Williams quoted Vincent Calcagno, an evolutionary biologist and ecologist at the Institute for Agricultural Research in France, as saying “I went through the frustration as a PhD student of having a nice piece of research that I really liked rejected by five, six, maybe seven journals in a row before it was accepted,”[3] When he shared his dilemma with colleagues he discovered that he was not the only one. He quickly set about collecting all the life science papers published between 2006 and 2008 from 16 different fields of research and contacted more than 200,000 corresponding authors. The results spoke for themselves. Of the 80,000 respondents, 75% admitted to having a first-time submission of theirs rejected. This does not of course take into account the number of life time rejections their submissions had received.

Transactional Writing

My Rejection letter is merely a form of what John F. Evans describes as Transactional Writing[4]. Even though, he does not know or list it as one, it fits the bill perfectly. Transactional Writing is what he calls “writing to heal”. Evans names 5 kinds of Transactional Letters people may write: compassion, gratitude, empathy, asking for and granting forgiveness. Each of these serves to “complete an exchange of thoughts, beliefs, and feelings with someone else” or yourself, Evans writes in Psychology Today. In other words, create closure. Transactional Writing is effective in taking care of your emotional life and treating with new or unfinished business of the psychological variety. While such a letter follows the convention of letter writing, it requires a shift in your perspective. For instance, in the case of our Rejection Letter, you are writing, neither to your 15-year-old self nor to a deceased parent you wish to forgive, but rather in the voice of the receiving editor to whom you submit. The letter is therefore the editor’s response to you.

 5 Surprising Benefits of the Self Rejection Letter

Rejection is a reality of the human experience and writing a rejection letter to yourself is majorly beneficial because it helps you practice coping with being rejected. The idea here, is to face your fears so that you become more confident and competent. When I wrote my eloquent rejection letter, it served as a vehicle for venting, ‘getting it out of my system’.

However, a Rejection Letter serves to do more than just blow off steam. Though counter intuitive, it may be one of the most productive things you can do for yourself. Here are 5 concrete benefits to writing yourself one today:

  1. Resilience– It allows you to face the worst and cope with it. Very often you’ll find that ‘the worst’ you feared wasn’t so bad.
  2. Perspective– It provides an opportunity to take perspective. Face your style and voice and critically assess your writing.
  3. Inventory– It allows you to realistically and objectively take stock of the strengths and weaknesses of your work and strengthen it (since a real rejection letter usually includes a compliment or two however, subtle). On the other hand, if you feel your work sucks, then doing this exercise will force you to justify why. If you cannot, then you were probably just being too hard on yourself. Here is the opportunity to separate truth from error.
  4. Acceptance– This leads to acceptance (what your writing is and what it isn’t) and redefining the boundaries of your work (what it will and will not be).
  5. Confidence– Finally, you can appreciate the ‘enoughness’ of your unique voice and contribution and be validated in your perspective.

 

Featured image by Álvaro Serrano

 

 

 

Lleuella Morris successfully grew herself through adverse life situations and now helps liberate people and set them free by sharing knowledge and creating tools, techniques, systems, and frameworks to grow and develop them. She gifts people with the gift of self-knowledge and self-awareness and context to solve their difficult life situations. She enjoys bringing new perspective about God, godliness, Christianity, navigating life on this earth, people, and thorn-in-the-flesh issues.

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The Art of Knowing Yourself: Identifying Your Unique Style of Influencing

(written for Leaders in Heels Magazine)

image by Edgar Castrejon

Everyone is an expert in something, or so we are taught.

Honestly, the amount of advising today about influencing, thought leadership and expertise is staggering. We are told that in order to succeed in business, make tons of money, take dream vacations several times a year, and live the luxury life of which you’ve always dreamed, you must be an expert in something. Within recent years it has been touted that if you are not an expert at anything you will never be successful.

Sadly, this has resulted in a herd mentality, a stampede. A mad rush to the finish where people trip over themselves and peck at each other for market share, all the while duplicating each other- buying into the ‘follow me’ lie. As people claw each other online to establish their expertise, many persons can find themselves lost, confused, empty, and dejected because they do not quite fit the mould their favourite coach may have set for them. Others struggle to gain success in the way they see others have succeeded, mistakenly thinking that this is the way they too must go. Many others waste time, money, and energy simply pursuing the wrong path because it is the most popular one.

This leads to burnout, bankruptcy, depression, and a general sense of meaninglessness which we are prone to overlook and dismiss as laziness or lack of effort. But this is a common human response, and if we are not careful we will doubt the reality that the situation has not worked out and push ourselves to work even harder. Especially when we believe that there is merely one path to success, the one that most online influencers rave about, and expect that we should have succeeded following it.

If you wrestle with the fact that the way of the beaten path just hasn’t worked for you and wonder if this might be the only way; if you have found that you didn’t receive the guaranteed success that was sold to you despite working twice as hard as your coach and following instructions to the letter; if you don’t enjoy the journey nearly as much as he or she does… then it’s time to quit the ‘follow me’ lie.

The truth is that everything is not for everyone, and certainly not for you. All paths were not created equal. It is time we acknowledge the toll this sort of societal pressure takes on us and employ a sensible approach to solving it. There are different paths to success. I’ve discovered that there are 3 major types of influencers. You may be surprised to learn that all of them are equally as successful. As we go through them, try to determine which you fit into.

The Entrepreneur3 types of Influencers (15)

These people show up as coaches and consultants online. They influence by teaching others how to achieve their goals in business, life, or a specific area, and earn their income from individual and group coaching programmes, of which they are constantly creating newer ones. They are gifted at connecting to the soul of the pain people feel, motivating them to achieve their goals, and effortlessly building community or tribe. They believe and live “the hustle” and indeed they enjoy it and naturally have tons of energy for it.

They represent the largest group of thought leaders in the market place; and because of the evangelistic charm of the entrepreneur type, many persons are influenced to believe they too must be entrepreneurs when they are not. While you may do some of the things the entrepreneur does, it doesn’t mean you are of the entrepreneur group. Not everyone has the energy to do what the entrepreneurs do. If you’ve hired an online business coach recently, it’s highly likely this person was of the entrepreneur group.

Famous Entrepreneur types include: Lisa Sasevich, Selena Soo, Denise Duffield Thomas, Melissa Hughes, Brendon Burchard, Jen Scalia

The Social Influencer3 types of Influencers (13)

These are your social-solution driven, highly tech savvy, influencers. They essentially create, design, and innovate systems for greater efficiency. These would have come to fame by creating apps, inventing products, or innovating social systems to solve a human social problems. They earn their income from their inventive genius and their public visibility and leadership. They are gifted at leadership, advocacy, identifying a cause, and springing into action to solve it.

This type is fairly well represented in the population and is a growing class because civil leadership and social entrepreneurship is fostered and rewarded by governments and other major global entities like the United Nations, via numerous initiatives which provide scholarships and funding for young solutions driven influencers and tech start-ups. Social influencers live for “the challenge”. They chase causes and live for the adventure and intellectual challenge of creating solutions.

You know you are a social influencer if you dream of saving the world, have been praised or rewarded for your academic brilliance, are touched with compassion for a particular social issue, and have the capacity to create a solution for it. Social influencers are not keen on creating community around what they do, however, they can be seen heard their voices and speaking up about trending social and political issues.

Famous Social Influencer types include: Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, Leila Janah

The Expert3 types of Influencers (14)

These individuals rise to influence because they bring specific subject matter expertise. They are usually highly qualified specialists who bring new knowledge to the fore and shape modern dialogue on human existence. They earn their income from private practice, consulting, research, writing books, and lecturing. They are gifted at understanding, exploring, and explaining human phenomena.

Thought leaders in the truest sense, they believe in and live for “the truth” and are motivated to research and get to the bottom of things and will spend the rest of their time teaching and sharing what they’ve discovered. They are not motivated to create community or pursue a specific social cause and may find these draining as theirs is a more theoretical and incisive approach to the human experience.

You know you are of this group if you are fascinated with people, love to delve into how and why things work, have been complimented or rewarded for your insight or your writing, and would prefer not to be on social media except for the fact that it provides a way to share your knowledge – and those who may benefit are present there.

Famous Expert types include: Brene Brown, Dario Nardi, Esther Perel, Nadine Burke-Harris, Gary Chapman, Christiane Northrup

Now what

Now that you have identified the type that best fits you, and the unique value from which that type’s influence is derived, then you may want to be intentional about owning your unique influence online. Here are some things you can put into practice now!

  1. Connect with one of the important influencers in your category for mentorship. If you do not readily see any, purposely search for a few and begin following them on social media.
  2. Emulate the steps key players in your group are taking so that you show up like them in your own right. This is an efficient way to achieve your path.
  3. Hire someone from the Entrepreneur group to provide accountability for you now that you have a frame of reference for yourself.
  4. Put most of your energy into ONLY those events and activities that are consistent with where members of your group put their energy. For example, Entrepreneurs put energy toward building an online tribe (you may want to start a Facebook group around a problem you can help people with and begin supporting them). Social Influencers put energy toward advocacy (you may want to identify a worthy cause and lend your voice, volunteer, or begin building an app to solve it).  Experts put their energy toward sharing their knowledge (you may want to start a blog, write for publications, start a YouTube channel teaching on topics or begin publishing your knowledge in a self-help ‘how-to’ book).

Go here to read it in Leaders in Heels Magazine

 

 

Lleuella Morris successfully grew herself through adverse life situations and now helps liberate people and set them free by sharing knowledge and creating tools, techniques, systems, and frameworks to grow and develop them. She gifts people with the gift of self-knowledge and self-awareness and context to solve their difficult life situations. She enjoys bringing new perspective about God, godliness, Christianity, navigating life on this earth, people, and thorn-in-the-flesh issues.

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Why God is NOT Telling You to Wait if you are a Visionary, Tactical, Systems thinker

Waiting is not the answer to discontent, action is!

photo by Braden Collum

Waiting is not the answer to discontent, action is! If you feel dissatisfied about something in your life, take action. I am a highly growth oriented person and I struggled with feelings of discontent in my life. I am not a perfectionist, I am an idealist. If there is an ideal way of being in this world, I want to attain it. In my period of discontent and anxiety many persons told me “Maybe God is telling you to wait” but this didn’t rest well with me. I continued to be restless and anxious trying to wear the garment of wait and having it not quite fit.

Wait for what?

Waiting is for when you have the vision and have begun to implement the actions. You must work and “wait” to see the results. What about when you don’t have the vision or it isn’t quite clear? Waiting is not for you! I am a big picture person, a tactical systems thinker and I cannot take action until I have ‘the plan’, the vision that I am working toward. It’s this vision that determines the actions that follow. This means that when the vision has become cloudy or lost it can create quite a bit of anxiety for me.

INFJs operate this way and quite a few other types can relate to some aspect of this operating system. In fact, we don’t even see waiting, patience is not in our vocabulary at all. Because we live in the future, our objective is to bring the future into the present. So we work assiduously toward our vision strictly to close the gap between vision and reality. We also look for confirmation along the way that we are on the right path. There is no middle ground to us. We understand that our vision is continuously BEING real rather than a static object we lift from the future and bring to the present. Where is the wait? This constitutes a type of all or nothing thinking INFJs are known for. If we receive negative feedback or none at all along the way, we may conclude we took the wrong vision or it wasn’t meant to be. When I faced this truth about myself and allowed myself the permission to “act” rather than “wait”, I began to appreciate with renewed admiration why God allows me to set the vision I must chase, and why I shouldn’t try to act under another type’s system because I was afraid of being ‘too idealistic’ in the eyes of more practical types. I revisited old visions I had inadvertently cast away, dusted them off and had their flags flying again, fueled by hope.

Our dilemma is that the INFJ personality type is severely outnumbered in the population, therefore how I function is not the norm. The challenge for every INFJ is to understand how you function and validate that. It will provide a framework, an owner’s manual which can give context to your life and help you find your way back when you are lost. Otherwise you will try to live according to someone else’s and lead a miserable, unhealthy, and unfulfilled life.

lopez-robin-576654-unsplashphoto by Lopez Robin

“Where there is no vision, the people perish”

This is why always having a vision they are working toward is critical to INFJs’ existence, their feelings of hope, well-being, and meaning in the world (Proverbs 29:18). While many times when God spoke He chided us to have patience and wait on Him (Psalm 27:14; Psalm 37:7; Micah 7:7), I am convinced this patience is always in relation to having done all that you were required to do. I am therefore thankful that “wait” is not the only thing God can say to us in our seasons of discontent. He also stands ready to move when we are ready to say like Caleb “Let us go up at once and take possession” (Numbers 13:30). 

Taking action, rather than waiting has tremendous benefit. It helps you achieve your dreams, it allows you to take ownership of your life and partner with God to achieve the desires of your heart. It wards off boredom and fosters creative and innovative thinking, and activates critical thinking and problem solving. Well known American Preacher, author and filmmaker T. D. Jakes is famous for saying that “God doesn’t make chairs, He makes trees” and He leaves it up to us to figure out the rest.

Knowing this, it is incumbent on us to determine when God is saying “have patience” or when he is saying “act”. What if your discontent is a call to take action instead of wait? What if God is making you discontented because He is trying to show you ‘a new thing’ (Isaiah 43:19)? What if you’re discontented because God is preparing to take you to a next level (1 Chronicle 4:10)? and What if you feel this way because He wants to teach you something about yourself (Psalm 90:12)? If you are a visionary, tactical, systems thinker like me, perhaps what He is saying to you is “If you are dissatisfied with where you are at right now, what are you going to do about it?”

Lleuella Morris successfully grew herself through adverse life situations and now helps liberate people and set them free by sharing knowledge and creating tools, techniques, systems, and frameworks to grow and develop them. She gifts people with the gift of self-knowledge and self-awareness and context to solve their difficult life situations. She enjoys bringing new perspective about God, godliness, Christianity, navigating life on this earth, people, and thorn-in-the-flesh issues.

What I learned from Counseling and Why it Does Not Work

Recently, I had an experience with a Counselor that made me rethink and review what goes into a successful Counseling relationship and how to know when you need counseling.

I am no stranger to seeking treatment for mental illness. I got my first emotional breakdown at the age of 15 (you can imagine the adverse experiences that would result in this at 15 year old). A year and half later, in university I was officially diagnosed with major depression. Over the span of my life since then I’ve taken 3 depression/anxiety medications, seen 2 psychiatrists, 4 psychologists, and 5 Counselors. I believe I am the most resilient person I know. Every time counselling did not work, I was forced to learn to understand myself, dig into theories and systems, research, and find solutions to self-administer to gain sanity and maintain mental health. Having it deteriorate into suicide was not an option for me. I worked myself through ALL my ‘stuff’ this way. So today when I talk about personal growth and I teach people to understand themselves, I know what I am talking about. None of the counselors or psychologists were able to help me in a way that felt full and complete. Only one was great at “getting” me and he was an American who was located here at the time.

I am no longer majorly depressed or on medication and haven’t been for 10 years now. I refused my Depression. However, I was hit with a bout of it this February and decided for safety to go see a Counselor. I knew I had to endure the first session of explaining what was going on with me, and it wouldn’t be until the second or third sessions that I would feel really helped. This doesn’t work for me. It’s not efficient or helpful.

In the first session just as I thought, I explained what was happening but the time was not enough for her to get the big picture of who Lleuella really is, in order to help me. Because I was at a place where I felt I couldn’t trust my own thoughts and decisions and therefore I had put my business activities on hold until I could get a clear path forward and I couldn’t financially afford to wait through two or three sessions to get a solution, I explained this to her but apparently this was lost on her. She was committed to the concrete process of doing things. Whereas I think content should have trumped process to get me the help she thinks I needed if she really had compassion on me, but then you’ll have to be an intuitive person to be flexible with your process like that.

She afforded an additional 15 mins between sessions and I took full advantage of it, because at this point I am being opened up but not feeling any closure. At one time after a visit with this lovely, warm, good natured lady, I had to take the rest of the day off to regain a sense of self.

The more I reached out between sessions self- disclosing so she can get a clearer picture of me hoping it would make my actual sessions more efficient and provide more precise solutions, the more I began to feel like she didn’t know what to do with me. Like I was too much for her and things I thought were basic in understanding someone, did not feature here. She started ignoring me. My gut said that she had lost respect for me, thinking low of me in her mind and I needed to do some damage control, because obviously she thinks I am a nut and she doesn’t know all the things I have accomplished in my life.

When I reached out implying that I may want a session soon she promptly responded. Ha! I then queried about her reading my messages and ignoring me, to which she claimed she would never ignore me and eventually said that she wants us to keep our conversation within our sessions. Do you realize she was going to ignore me forever if I hadn’t communicated assertively with her?

Thankfully by God’s grace I am extremely resilient otherwise she would have gaslighted me and I would be mentally minced. This all happened in the space of 3 sessions (6 to 8 weeks).

After her response, I decided to fire her. I cannot begin to understand what that was, but here’s what I learned from it.

  1. I did not need counselling I needed good friends, a good emotional support network, people who are honest enough to point me back to my power when I lose my way.
  2. Sometimes people (psychologists included) wrongfully fit your condition into a box so they can wrap their small minds around you as opposed to taking a big picture approach to who you are and what you really need. Mostly this is intellectual dishonesty, only a small part of it is due to incompetence. It’s like going to the physician for a headache that was caused by a psychological issue, but he fits your symptoms to a physical ailment, insists that it is, treats you, takes your money but you are not helped.
  3. Being a Psychologist/ mental health professional/ helping professional is a calling not a qualification. You HAVE TO be a highly intuitive and caring person to help people at this level.
  4. That is why people do not trust Counselling and it’s a dying modality in favour of Life Coaching which takes a big picture approach to the individual.
  5. You must know yourself to grow yourself. Whether or not solutions work you alone are left with yourself, therefore it is imperative you take care of you. FB_IMG_1512688487366

I am Lleuella Morris, and I am proud of myself. I successfully grew myself through the adverse experiences of my life and I teach people how to do the same.

Images by Guillame Bolduc and Lleuella Morris

 

 

Lleuella Morris is a Personal Growth Expert who successfully grew herself through adverse life situations and now helps liberate people and set them free by sharing knowledge and creating tools, techniques, systems, and frameworks to grow and develop them. She gifts people with the gift of self-knowledge and self-awareness and context to solve their difficult life situations. She enjoys bringing new perspective about God, godliness, Christianity, navigating life on this earth, people, and thorn-in-the-flesh issues.

“It’s All in your Head”: Christian Gaslighting & How to Sensibly Overcome It

Gaslighting in the Christian community is particularly common. Christians are not immune to utilising gaslighting techniques in the church. In fact, gaslighting in the church is more prone to be overlooked since a major requirement of organised religion is conformity.

Gaslighting is the act of psychological manipulation to convince a person to doubt his or her perceptions of reality to the extent that the latter questions his or her own credibility, and that of what they see, think, and are sure they believe.

The concept was first named in a 1938 stage play Angel Street, where a husband set out to convince his wife and those around them that she was insane. He did this by manipulating elements in their surroundings, which when she correctly identified as having been changed, he insisted that she was mistaken, delusional, or had faulty memory. Particularly, the term “gas light” surfaced from the dimming of the gas lights in their house because he was using those in the flat above theirs in search of personal effects to cover up a murder he had committed. While the wife correctly identified that their gas lights had become dimmer, he insisted that it was all in her head.

Since the 1960s the term has been widely used in psychiatry and popular culture to describe any such manipulation techniques used by sociopaths and narcissists. It is one of the major identifying characteristics of narcissistic behaviour. Albeit, with all the talk and awareness about narcissistic behaviour today, an alarming amount of narcissistic people still persists.

This begs the question of whether gaslighting is all bad? It is more common a practice than we think. Victoria Blinkhorn of University of Liverpool elucidated that Narcissism itself is of two forms: adaptive (positive narcissism) and maladaptive (the bad kind). Adaptive narcissism encompasses those socially acceptable traits like assertiveness, confidence, and leadership. While maladaptive narcissism describes those social characteristics which are toxic like anti-social actions, entitlement rage, and exploitativeness. Not every one who gaslights does so with malicious intent particularly in the milder forms of gaslighting where the perpetrator is seeking to convince the victim against his own perception of reality without physically manipulating their environment. In this case, the perpetrator may be sincerely convinced about what he or she is saying, sincerely mistaken thereby accidentally gaslighting the victim. Because of the reality of human existence, I believe accidental gaslighting is possible. Fundamentally, however, from the perpetrator’s standpoint, gaslighting is an act of defensiveness and self protection. Though I can empathise with persons who have been victims of childhood emotional abuse that rendered in them a narcissistic distorted sense of self and reality of which they would go to any length to protect, so much so that they feel the need to gaslight others to protect themselves- it is wrong.

Yet no one has the right to label someone a narcissist. It is a legitimate psychiatric illness that must be diagnosed by a trained Psychiatrist. We can only note narcissistic behaviour in individuals.

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Very often for Christians, whether a notion makes sense or contradicts your sense of reality, there is the expectation of conformity once God’s name is mentioned and a scripture is tacked on to it. This is not to say that we should not conform to the word of God and sound doctrine. When one considers God’s truth as absolute truth, then it knocks the wind out of oversensitive individualistic philosophies peddled through the unique snowflake syndrome of our modern age. The kind that cries: “I am offended that you tell me I am wrong”.

There is still God’s absolute truth which informs our standard of morality, and there are still rules of healthy human relations that promote social and emotion well being (Mark 12:30, 31; Matthew 7:12).

Defensive Gaslighting- ‘throwing it back in your face’

Gaslighting is different in motive and manner from confronting someone about wrong doing. A gaslighter doesn’t care about the victim only him or herself. The Bible supports and encourages loving confrontation for Christian growth and community (Matthew 18:15; James 5:16). Yet gaslighters are skilled at reframing loving confrontation as an attack on their person, in return acting defensively and projecting said attributes on you ‘throwing it back in your face’. Regardless of how lovingly they are approached, they respond aggressively by attacking the other persons perception, and dismissing it without intention to consider what was presented- “It’s all in YOUR head” never theirs. No one wants to be corrected anymore.

Offensive Gaslighting– ‘breaking you down’

At other times, gaslighting can be sugar coated as friendly Christian advice and exhortation the true motive of which is to get you to be more open to being manipulated by the gaslighter or at least not to be so intimidating to him or her, to “break you down”. This kind is particularly deceptive because the name of God is mentioned and scriptural illustrations are used to support the gaslighter’s point. This will catch the victim off guard, and can create distress and genuine confusion in his or her mind especially since Christian shortcoming is implied and the receiver wouldn’t want to be seen as errant or disobedient to God. The effect is heightened if the perpetrator is someone with a measure of authority in the victim’s life and whose opinion he or she trusts.

How to Sensibly Overcome Gaslighting 

Gaslighting is wrong simply because it challenges the human right to a sense of self and internal congruence. What we see, feel and experience are exactly real to US. It represents our unique perspective.

Because spirituality is so immensely personal and subjective, the only safe guard against Christian gaslighting is to have a firm relationship with Christ and understand how he speaks to you. Do not be afraid of being gaslighted. If you find yourself faced with a gaslighting situation and are tempted to doubt your sense of reality, STOP and implement these 7 steps:

1. REFLECT- try the idea on for size, is it true and correct?

2. RESONANCE- look for resonance within yourself. Deep sense of inner peace that something rests well with you.

3. PERCEPTION- it’s critical to acknowledge the validity of your own perceptions and your right to have them.

4. PROCESS- acknowledge the validity of your process by which you arrived at your perceptions and your right to it.

5. SUPPORT – Have a good support system of people who know you well and whose counsel you’ve come to trust over time when you needed clarity. Consult them for feedback.

6. HOLY SPIRIT- There is usually a sense of freedom and peace that accompanies truth (John 8:32). Seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance through the scripture, prayer, and quiet meditation. Ask Him to reveal and confirm the truth to you.

7. BOUNDARIES- If you find no resonance and the Holy Spirit hasn’t confirmed what was said to you, then you must be assertive and implement healthy emotional boundaries with the gaslighter.

Knowing this process, live your life confidently in Christ.

 

Photo by Karl Fredrickson and Yaoqi LAI

 

 

Lleuella Morris is a Personal Growth Expert who successfully grew herself through adverse life situations and now helps liberate people and set them free by sharing knowledge and creating tools, techniques, systems, and frameworks to grow and develop them. She gifts people with the gift of self knowledge and self awareness and context to solve their difficult life situations. She enjoys bringing new perspective about God, godliness, Christianity, navigating life on this earth, people, and thorn-in-the-flesh issues.