Post-Childhood Memory – Part 2
Identifying the “Right” Memory
- Only the “right” memory can answer the question, “How did I come to believe what I believe that is causing me to feel what I feel?”
- When a post-childhood memory is reported you are still in the EMOTION Box and will continue to ask the EMOTION Box questions until the person comes to a full stop and no other memory surfaces.
- If no memory comes to mind or the session stalls out in a particular memory then there may be a solution at play.
- It is always possible that the “right” memory is not one from childhood, but rather one that occurred later in adult life.
- It is not the role of the ministry facilitator to determine if the memory being reported is the one that needs attention, but only to follow the person and allow him to make all of the decisions along the way.
- As you continue to ask the EMOTION Box questions, the person will eventually stop and no additional memory will surface. If this happens you can assume you have arrive at the MEMORY Box.
As we have discovered, every session begins in the EMOTION Box, with the ministry recipient typically reporting their current situation (their “story”)—something that recently happened in their life. The goal here is two-fold:
1) to have the person connect with what he is feeling
2) to focus on these feelings
It is assumed that unless there is a solution-belief hindering the person from moving forward, the mental process of association should surface a related memory. If no memory comes to mind when the person focuses on his feeling, then there is a belief keeping this from occurring. Here is where we apply the De-Solution Tool in the SOLUTION Box. There is no reason or need to ever have the person search for a memory.
In brief, when a person reports a Post-Childhood memory, it is dealt with in the same fashion as the initial “story” shared at the beginning of the ministry session. When a post-childhood memory is reported you are still in the EMOTION Box and will continue to ask the EMOTION Box questions until the person comes to a full stop and no other memory surfaces.
Once the person reports feeling something in the ministry session, you begin asking the two EMOTION Box questions and potentially “free falling” through memory after memory by way of association. If no memory comes to mind then you are probably in the SOLUTION Box.
By asking the two EMOTION Box questions you are allowing the person to determine where he needs to be and you are simply following. He may stop in a post-childhood memory and it may or may not be where he needs to be. Nevertheless, he has made this decision. If no memory comes to mind or the session stalls out in a particular memory and a core belief is not identified, or truth received, etc., then there may be a solution at play.
Nothing set in stone
We must also keep in mind that even though most of our core beliefs appear to be established before the age of twelve, this is not a rule set in stone. It is always possible that the “right” memory is not one from childhood, but rather one that occurred later in adult life. It is not the role of the ministry facilitator to determine if the memory being reported is the one that needs attention, but only to follow the person and allow him to make all of the decisions along the way. The person will make this decision himself, as the facilitator continues asking the EMOTION Box questions until no additional memory surfaces.
Even if you were able to determine WHAT the person believed in the EMOTION Box you will not likely find truth there since you are lacking important information that only memory can supply. Only the “right” memory can answer the question, “How did I come to believe what I believe that is causing me to feel what I feel?” Generally, post-childhood memories cannot answer this question any more than the person’s current “story” could. However, it is not the facilitator’s responsibility to decide.
For example, a person might come to you for ministry and report that his spouse hurt his feelings by yelling at him. If you were to ask him the MEMORY-Box questions (but you wouldn’t), you might ascertain his core belief. If you asked him, “How did that make you feel, when she yelled at you?” He might say, “Terrible!” You could then ask, “Why did it make you feel terrible when she yelled at you?” He might say, “Because I am a worthless piece of trash, have no value, and am unlovable and worthless!” This may indeed be his core belief, but the current story cannot provide needed information that only memory can supply. If you ask him, “Why do you believe that you are worthless?” while he is reporting his current situation (which you shouldn’t do), he would be unable to answer it accurately since he would not have the needed information. All he has is the current situation. He will probably say, “I believe that I am worthless because she always yells at me and makes me feel terrible!”
If the memory reported cannot answer the question, “How did I come to believe what I currently believe that is causing me to feel what I am feeling?”, then it is not helpful, and surfacing such memory may even be a SOLUTION that the person is using to keep from remembering the memory that could answer this question.
Change in Protocol for working with Post-Childhood memories
CHANGE IN PROCESS PROCEDURE
Up until this writing, it was taught that when a childhood memory came to mind, it was assumed that the person had moved to the MEMORY box and the MEMORY Box questions should be asked. HOWEVER, this is no longer the case. Just because we are in a childhood memory does not mean that we are in the “right” memory to start asking the MEMORY Box questions.
Keep in mind that the goal is not to find a childhood memory, but rather to surface the memory that can help the person position himself to receive the truth from the Spirit that he needs. The “right” memory is the one that can answer the question, “How did I come to believe the lie that I currently believe that is causing me to feel what I am feeling?”
Therefore, it is not just any childhood memory, but the one that can answer this question. Therefore, when a person surfaces a childhood memory nothing is lost by continuing asking the EMOTION Box questions knowing that there may be a different childhood memory that is yet to surfaced. It is not uncommon for a person to report a childhood memory, but then continue surfacing other childhood ones that are different from the one initially reported. A person may move through several before he lands in the one that provided the information needed to position the person where he may receive the truth from the Lord.
Once we first ask the EMOTION Box questions, we will continue to ask them over and again with each new memory that surfaces. As long as a new memory surfaces after asking the second question “What comes to your mind as you are focusing on what you are feeling?” you should continue asking the questions until he comes to a full stop in a memory and no more memories surface. We have called this “free-falling” through memories and has been a time saver. You will continue this process until the same memory surfaces twice. This is true whether the memories are post-childhood or childhood. This allows the person to make the decision about what is the “right” memory.
Since the ministry facilitator does not know what memory is the “right” one, he should wait for the person to make this decision. As you continue to ask the EMOTION Box questions, the person will eventually stop and no additional memory will surface. If this happens you can assume you have arrive at the MEMORY Box.
[NOTE: In rare cases the lie-based core belief may be embraced in the post-childhood memory. If this is ever the case, the person will stop when he lands there. This is where the person will stop surfacing other memories and remain, since there is no earlier memory to surface nor does there need to be.]
The Purpose of Memory
Theoretically, the earlier the memory, the more likely you are to be in close proximity to when the lie was first established. Even so, the purpose of memory is to help the person to determine how he came to believe what he currently believes that is causing him to feel what he is feeling. We do not need to know how old the person was in the memory, but rather, does the memory that has surfaced reveal how he came to believe what he believes (core belief) that is causing him to feel what he is feeling?
So no matter what memory the person initially surfaces when you ask the EMOTION Box questions, you will continue to ask the EMOTION-box questions until no other memory surfaces. If they land in a post-childhood memory and no other memories surface after asking the EMOTION Box questions, then you are in the MEMORY Box and ready to ask the ascribed questions.
Sometimes people will move around from one post-childhood memory to the next, or completely stall out in a post-childhood memory and cease to move forward. If this occurs, you may be in the SOLUTION box and you would ask the De-Solution Tool questions For example, if the person is in a post-childhood memory, the core belief has not been identified, no earlier memory surfaces, emotions go away, and forward motion stalls out, then you might do something like the following:
Person: “I am sorry, but nothing else is coming to my mind. It is just me in my college dorm. Nothing more is happening. I am stuck.”
Facilitator: “If you were to consider allowing yourself to remember any earlier memory where you felt this same way, do you sense any hesitation or resistance about doing so?”
Person: “Maybe some.”
Facilitator: “If you were to think about allowing yourself to remember more, what do you believe would happen that might cause you to hesitate or resist?”
Person: “I am afraid of the unknown. Maybe there is something when I was a child that happened that I don’t want to remember.”
Facilitator: “So then, what is your reason for not remembering?”
Person: “It protects me from knowing something that I may not want to know about.”
Sending People on a Memory Hunt
Someone might argue that by asking the first SOLUTION Box question when a person appears stuck in a post-childhood memory, we’d be sending the person on a memory hunt. It might be argued that by our asking a question such as, “Do you sense any hesitation or resistance at the thought of remembering where you first came to feel what you are feeling?” or something like, “Do you sense any resistance or hesitancy at the thought of remembering any other time where you felt this way before?” is in essence asking the person to go look for a different memory. Not so. Look at the question: “If you were to consider remembering an earlier place where you felt this same way, is there any hesitation or resistance about doing so?” The focus is not on trying to remember, but rather on any “hesitation or resistance” at the thought of remembering. We are not asking the person to try to remember or sending the person to look for a memory.
Identifying resistance or hesitancy is the purpose of the question and not looking for a memory. Once any lie that hinders them from remembering is removed and they know the truth, then they will be able to move forward in the ministry process since association will make it so.
However, if we ask inappropriate questions such as: “Can you think of any time where you felt this way before?” or, “Do you remember any time as a child when you felt this same bad way?” then we are indeed sending them on a memory hunt. Asking questions such as these is directing the person to try to remember. We do not need them to try to do anything. We are only looking for resistance and hesitation at the thought of remembering. Hesitation and resistance is evidence of a belief that is keeping the person from remembering.
If a person senses resistance or hesitancy, then move on to the second and third Solution Box questions. Once the solution belief has been identified (the belief that supports the person’s resistant or hesitant behavior), you move immediately to the BELIEF box.
From the BELIEF box, the person will follow the process protocol on through the TRUTH box, the TRANSFORMATION box, and then back to the EMOTION box. Remember how we got here: we were “stuck” in a post-childhood memory and not moving forward. There seemed to be a resistance to remembering something else, and we were unable to identify any core belief when asking the MEMORY box questions. Because of these two issues, we suspected that there might be a “solution belief” causing this. Therefore, we used the SOLUTION Box questions, identified a belief, and went to the BELIEF box. We asked the Lord for His truth in the TRUTH box, and then asked the TRANSFORMATION-box question. Whether or not it appeared that something good occurred in the TRANSFORMATION box or not, we moved on to revisit the EMOTION box.
When we arrive back at the EMOTION box, we ask the first question: “What are you feeling now?” Based upon what he reports feeling or not, we may ask, “As you focus on what you are feeling, what comes to your mind?” What should occur, at this point, if the solution issues are resolved, is that the person should remember any memory that was being blocked before. If this is not the case, there may be additional “solution beliefs” present that will be addressed in the SOLUTION Box.
Understanding the EMOTION Box Questions is Vital
It is crucial that the person understands the purpose for the EMOTION Box questions. Take as much time as necessary to explain what you are asking them to do when using these questions. The first question is to have them to recognize that they are feeling something. The second question is designed to remind them to focus on what they are feeling so that association will engage.
This second question is NOT intended to send them looking for a memory. If they have to look for a memory then something is wrong. Association is a predictable and expected outcome of focusing on emotion. If a memory does not naturally and effortlessly come to mind, then something is hindering association from working. That something is free will —belief and choice. If they focus on what they are feeling and nothing comes to mind you are in the SOLUTION Box.
No matter what memory comes to their mind —post-childhood or not— you should continue asking the EMOTION-box questions until no new memory comes to their mind. If there is an earlier place where he felt this way because of his belief, then another memory should come to mind.
If they land in a post-childhood memory and no other memory comes to mind, then there are several possibilities to consider:
1) The person is right where he needs to be. This memory holds the answer to the question, “How did I come to believe what I believe that is causing me to feel what I am feeling?” You should start asking the MEMORY box questions and see what happens. If after asking the MEMORY Box questions nothing occurs and forward motion stalls, then 2) this may not the place you need to be and the person may be resisting surfacing the memory that would be helpful. A solution may be engaged to solve his predicament of not wanting to remember. This is where you would move to the SOLUTION Box. 3) Either the person, ministry facilitator, or both are unsure of what they are doing and more training and orientation may be needed.
On those rare occasions when people first believed the lie in a post-childhood memory (like the woman who was raped in college), they may remain in this memory and not process further back. But this is not always the case. I have ministered with veterans of war who landed in post-childhood battle memories that were very traumatic, yet they did not stay there. Instead, they found themselves in earlier childhood memories. After they identified the core belief in the childhood event and the Lord granted them His perspective, the battle memory was no longer a problem.
To recap, no matter what memory surfaces after asking the EMOTION Box questions —post-childhood or not— you should continue asking the EMOTION-box questions until no new memory surfaces. Even if you “land” in what appears to be a childhood memory you continue asking the EMOTION Box questions. There is no reason to believe that because the memory is childhood that this was the initial place where the lie was embraced. There could always be a different memory that is yet to surface. Asking the EMOTION Box questions until no new memory surfaces helps the person determine what memory needs to be examined and removes this responsibility from the facilitator.
So then, until no new memory comes to mind, keep asking the EMOTION Box questions as each memory surfaces. By doing this you allow the ministry recipient to “free-fall” through any memories that cannot accurately explain why he believes what he believes and why he feels what he is feeling.
There are times when a person may move through many different memories, one after the other. It can appear that they are just spinning their wheels. For the novice facilitator, this can be taxing and even frustrating, but more often than not, working through all of the many memories is exactly what needs to happen.
However, there are rare occasions when the person is doing this to avoid remembering the place where he initially established the lie-based core belief that is causing his pain. In these circumstances, the person may feel safer to remember what the boss said last week, what happened in college, or how his spouse criticized him, rather than what happened to him when he was five years old. If moving from one memory to the next is his solution for not facing the earlier memory, then then handling such behavior as a solution may help him move forward.