Belief Series: (Part 5) – Assumptions and Conclusions
2. Assumptions and Conclusions – A second form of Intellectual Belief
An assumption is something assumed or thought to be true or to have happened, without having any real proof. A conclusion is a plausible deduction reached by one’s logical reasoning, inference, opinion, or judgement based upon what is considered substantial proof. During a ministry session it is common to encounter people making both assumptions and conclusions when working through a memory. It is important that we recognize when either of these forms of belief show up and that we not confuse these for a lie-based heart belief.
However, there is no need for a ministry facilitator to differentiate between a person’s assumption or conclusion, since they both are doing basically the same thing and serving the same purpose. They both provide a logical and rational explanation for why a person believes the event happened, and why he feels what he feels while working through his memory. The ministry facilitator only needs to recognize when either of the the two surface and not confuse them with a heart belief.
An assumption/conclusion is how we understand and explain why we believe what happened in the memory of our experience and why we believe we are feeling what we feel.
An example of an assumption might be a person saying, “My parents were constantly fighting. Sometimes my dad hit my mother and hurt her really bad (experiential belief about what he remembers having happened). I am sure that it was my fault (assumption).” This would be an assumption since it lacks any real evidence that this deduction was the truth or not. However, if a person said, “My Dad never spent time with me and often told me that he did not have time for me and what I needed did not matter. I don’t think that he had time for me and that I didn’t mattered much to him.” This would be a conclusion based upon supportive information that leads to an assumption.
NOTE: For the sake of simplifying our communication of terms, we will use the phrase “assumptions and conclusions” or “assumption/conclusion” to signify the concept we have defined and not show any distinction between the two in the rest of our discussion. There is no need to distinguish one from the other in a ministry session, since they are dealt with in exactly the same manner. Because of this, they will be treated as though they were one and the same.
For example, if I am building a house I may have a saw and a hammer. They are different, but both are “tools” and both are needed to build the house. So it is acceptable to call them my “tools” without making any further distinction.
Assumptions and Conclusions are Typically Encountered when working in a memory.
Almost always, assumptions and conclusions are encountered when working in the MEMORY Box. When the MEMORY Box question, “Why do you feel that way?” is asked, an assumption and conclusion will usually initially be given in response. Eventually the person will surface a heart belief, but generally not until he has worked through a series of assumptions and conclusions.
Assumptions and Conclusions are Limitless in Number
Assumptions and conclusions may include such things as, “They never loved me,” “They didn’t want me on the team,” “My mom loved my brother more than she loved me,” “Her expectations of me were unrealistic,” He said that I was a worthless piece of trash,” “He walked out and left me all alone,” “I was never allowed to be a part of the group,” “Nothing I did was good enough,” “I could never make them happy,” “Everyone hated me!” “I was a terrible disappointment to them,” etc.
Assumptions and Conclusions do not produce any negative emotion, but may cause a person to feel empowered, safe, in control or “numbed out” and not feel anything.
When this occurs the assumption and conclusion has become the solution for the person so he can avoid feeling the negative emotion caused by his heart-belief. Whenever a person moves from feeling negative emotion to feeling in control, powerful, safe, protected, or to feeling nothing (and the Spirit has not been involved) then he is probably engaged in a solution behavior. When this occurs you are no longer in the MEMORY Box and have move to the SOLUTION Box.
Assumptions and conclusions are often the truth.
If a person reports something like “My dad hated me,” “No one wanted me around,” “Nothing I ever did was ever good enough for him,” My mother loved my sister more than me,” etc. all of this may in fact be the truth. Even so, these “truths” are not the source of the person’s emotional pain. His heart belief is how he interpreted each of these beliefs. It is the heart-belief that is the cause of what he feels. For example, because the person believed his dad hated him (assumption/conclusion), he may have established a heart belief that said “I am worthless.” The Lord will not change any of the assumption/conclusion the person believes, but the Spirit can and will change the heart belief. There can be peace in his heart even though his dad actually did hate him.
Assumptions/conclusions can easily be mistaken to be heart-beliefs.
It is common for a novice facilitator to confuse assumptions and conclusions with heart belief. If you ask the Lord for His perspective about an assumption or conclusion you will probably get nothing. The Spirit’s silence is a simply way to know that you are not yet where you need to be in the process. This is why it is important to learn the difference between them, so that as facilitators, we do not act prematurely. Differentiating between assumptions and conclusions and heart beliefs is an important skill for both a mentoring facilitator and his mentee to develop.
To make a point, if you were to ask the Lord what He wanted the person to know about his believing that his dad hated him and wished he was dead,” and if the Lord respond with, “That is true. He hated you and often wished that you would die,” where do you go with this? Awkward! The Spirit will provide the truth when the lie has been uncovered and brought into the light.
The may create a buffer from the pain coming from the heart-belief.
An assumption or conclusion can be an attempt (conscious or unconscious) to avoid voicing what the person believes at the heart level. Heart belief is the real source of the emotional pain he feels. An assumption and conclusion can somewhat protect him from this. He may tell you, “No one ever picked me to be on their team”. This feels much better than revealing the reason (heart belief) that he believes no one picked him (“I was not picked because I am worthless”).
Provides a Person Victim Status
A person’s assumptions and conclusions allow him to be a victim in the situation without exposing the heart belief that is the root of his painful emotions. A person is usually willing to bring forth the assumption and conclusion he believes. However, it is another matter to expose the heart belief. The former can buffer or deflect the pain coming from the heart belief. This can help the person to deny or distance themselves from their lie-based heart belief and the emotional pain it produces.
Back at the Coffee Shop
If we go back to the coffee shop, an assumption and conclusion —the explanation for why the event happened and why we feel what we feel— might be this: “The reason that she dumped the coffee in my lap is because she does not like me and she apparently does not want me in her shop.” From this I surmise my heart belief that might be something like “There is something wrong with me, I am worthless or I am powerless to stop this from happening.” I took what happened (experiential belief) and explained why it occurred (assumption and conclusion), and from these, I formulated my heart belief. This is only an example of how beliefs are formed and established in real life. Most heart beliefs are already in place by the time we reach our teenage years. More on this in a moment.
What follows are some examples of how we might formulate a heart belief from what is believed to have happened (experiential belief) and the explanation that was given to what happened (assumptions and conclusions).
- “He abandoned me (experiential belief) because I could never make him happy (assumption/conclusion), which means that I am worthless (heart belief).”
- “My mom locked me in the closet all day (experiential belief) because she hated me and resented having to care for me (assumption/conclusion) therefore, I have no value and I’m not lovable (heart belief).”
- “They never allowed me to be a part of what they did (experiential belief) because no one ever liked me, (assumption/conclusion) so I am all alone (heart-belief).”
Summary of Characteristics of Assumptions and Conclusions
- Assumptions/conclusions do not produce any negative emotion, but may cause the person to feel something positive such as, empowered, in control, or “numbed out.”
- Assumptions/conclusions are not the actual source of the person’s emotional pain, but can be the person’s explanation for it and the solution to their pain.
- Assumptions/conclusions are often the truth. For example: it is possible that they were not loved, nothing that they tried to do pleased others, maybe they were rejected, maybe their father did want a boy and not a girl.
- Assumptions/conclusions can be mistaken to be heart-belief.
- Assumptions/conclusions may provide a way to avoid, buffer, deny, or distance oneself from one’s lie-based heart beliefs and the emotional pain that they produce.
- Assumptions/conclusions may allow a person to be viewed as a victim in the situation, and as such, they can solicit sympathy from others.
We have now discussed the first two forms of intellectual belief: general intellectual knowledge and assumptions and conclusions. The third form is what we call Solution Beliefs.
3. Solution Beliefs – A Third Form of Intellectual Belief
A Solution Belief is any belief that supports “solution” behavior being used to solve any perceived problem created by a lie-based heart belief. Solution beliefs are made evident when people get “stuck” during a ministry session – such as when anger shows up, when the emotion goes away, or when no memory comes to mind, etc.
Solution belief cannot be understood outside of the context of a heart belief. A solution belief is only necessary because we believe a lie in our hearts that is producing a problem we need to solve. Therefore, it is best that we have a good understanding of a heart belief before we discuss solution belief. Therefore, we will proceed in our discussion to the third form of belief, which we call Heart (or Core) Belief. We will return to our discussion of solution beliefs afterwards.