The Purpose of the Second Question in the Emotion Box: Expanded
“What comes to your mind as you focus on what you are feeling?”
Orientation is the Key
- The primary role of the mentoring facilitator is to train the one seeking prayer (the mentee) and orientate him with a good understanding of the TPM PROCESS, PRINCIPLES and PURPOSE.
- This second question in the EMOTION box requires more careful explanation and orientation than any of the other questions.
- It is important that the person understands that the primary purpose of this question is NOT to find a memory, but rather to identify any “solutions” that might be in place that would hinder them from remembering.
- If no memory comes to the person’s mind, the problem is not in the person’s effort, or even his desire to remember, but rather in his belief.
- If no memory comes to mind then you are in the SOLUTION Box.
- If the person does not understand the purpose of the question, he will probably try to look for a memory as opposed to focusing on what he is feeling and allowing association to work.
The primary role of the mentoring facilitator is to train the one seeking prayer (the mentee) and orientate him with a good understanding of the TPM process and the foundation principles therein. The mentee learning the purpose and intent of the questions being asked in crucial. As important as it is for the one being prayed with to find some measure of truth in a session, it is more important that he become personally equipped in the PROCESS, PRINCIPLES and PURPOSE of TPM. Therefore, the facilitator needs to find a balance in the ministry time between administering the process and equipping the person.
Of course, the facilitator should not assume that a person will “get it” during the first session orientation. Continual training and orientation should be part of every ministry session time. TPM should not be thought of as a pain management tool, but as a life frame of reference, guiding principles and a life-skill that allows him to cooperate with what God is doing in refining his faith, renewing his mind and transforming his life.
It is good to start each session with a “weekly report” of how the ministry recipient has handled his life situations based upon what he is learning. Was he aware of his emotional state when his lies were triggered? Was he able to separate the person or situation from his own belief and emotion? Did he notice times where he was not triggered that typically would have been trigger points before gaining some freedom? Unless TPM becomes his “culture” –how he views life and deals with crisis– he will remain dependent upon you each time he finds himself emotionally stirred up.
Careful and Intentional Explanation
This second question in the EMOTION box requires more careful explanation and orientation than any of the other questions. It is important that the person understands that you are NOT sending him on a memory hunt, but rather encouraging him to focus on his feelings and to allow his mind to do what it was designed to do: that is, to associate what he is feeling to the belief and the memory where he initially learned what he believes. He also needs to understand that whatever comes to his mind is important and needs to be reported. This is why the question is asked in the way that it is. Anything that comes to mind –including nothing—is important.
It is important that the person understands that the primary purpose of this question is NOT to find a memory, but rather to identify any “solutions” that might be in place that would hinder them from remembering. If there is nothing causing them to resist remembering, then they will remember. If no memory comes to mind then you are in the SOLUTION Box.
Anything is the key word here. Anything also includes nothing coming to mind. Nothing coming to mind tells you that a “solution” is engaged. Trying harder to remember will not work. The problem is not in the person’s effort, or even his desire to move forward, but rather in his belief. A lie-based belief is the reason for why he is not moving forward. The person’s “solutions” include anything that he may be consciously or unconsciously doing to keep the memory from surfacing. When a “solution” is at play we move to the SOLUTION Box and use the De-Solution Tool to help the person identify what he believes that has shut the process down.
Before asking the second EMOTION Box question you may need to do orientation. You can also assign the person some pre-session homework by having them read articles that provide this understanding. This article could accomplish this.
If the person does not understand the purpose of the question, he will probably try to look for a memory as opposed to focusing on what he is feeling and allowing association to work. You can also provide explanation for the purpose of the question as you are asking the question. For example, orientation leading into the question might look something like this:
“When I ask this question please know that I am NOT asking you to go and try to find a memory. You do not need to look for anything. All I am asking you to do is choose to focus on what you are feeling and allow your mind to bring any related memory to your awareness. God has designed your mind to associate your feeling to the place where you have felt this same feeling before. And unless there is a reason that hampers association from occurring, you should have a memory come to your mind. So as, you focus on what you are feeling, what comes to your mind?”
Two Purposes of this Question
- The two purposes of this questions are:– To determine if anything is hindering the natural process of association from happening.
– It reminds the person to focus on what he is feeling and that his feeling will associate him to memory and belief.
- As a person connects with what they are feeling and allows their mind to associate, the related memory should come to their mind without effort. When a person struggles trying to remember, it is not because the association process is not working, rather, the person is preventing it from naturally happening.
- It is not a task of the ministry facilitator to get a person to remember something.
- The goal of each session is to identify lie-based belief and have the Holy spirit replace it with His truth.
- Even though memory plays an important role in the TPM process, the facilitator should never send the ministry recipient off on a “memory hunt.”
- For some people who were trained in TPM during the early years, this concept is contrary to what you were formally taught.
1. To determine if anything is hindering the natural process of association from happening.
Association is a God created process that we each use all day and every day. We are continually “remembering” moment-by-moment by association. Remembering is how we get through the day. TPM relies upon this God given process of association to surface related memory and to clarify the core belief. As a person connects with what they are feeling and allows their mind to associate, the related memory will come to their mind without effort. If a person struggles trying to remember, it is not because the association process is not working, rather, the person is preventing it from naturally happening.
It is not a task for the ministry facilitator to get a person to remember something. As already stated, remembering will occur effortlessly when they focus on what they are feeling as long as they are not resisting remembering. The person’s emotion is flowing from that which they believe that was learned in an earlier time in their life –and is now their memory. If a memory does not come to their mind when they are focusing on what they are feeling, then trying to get the person to remember is not the answer.
The goal of each session is to identify lie-based belief and have the Holy spirit replace it with His truth. This not only includes core belief, but any lie-based belief encountered along the way. If a lie-based belief is what causes the person to resist remembering something, then the goal in that place is not to get him to remember, but rather to identify this lie and receive truth from the Lord. When this occurs the memory will surface.
2. It reminds the person to focus on what he is feeling and that his feeling will associate him to memory and belief.
This question is the signal for the person to focus on what he is feeling. “As you are focused on what you are feeling…” He should have been instructed already as to how God has designed the mind to work, how emotion is the “smoke trail” coming from the “fire” (lie-based core belief), how we feel whatever we believe, etc. So as he focuses on what he is feeling, association should occur without effort unless the person is consciously or unconsciously deliberately hampering it.
This question serves the purpose of inviting the person to allow his mind to associate his feelings with any memory where he may have felt this same feeling before, without going looking for the memory. If the person has to look for a memory while focusing on what he is feeling, this is an indication that he is actually resisting remembering. The process of association requires no effort. To try to remember means that resistance or hesitancy is present. Resistance and hesitancy is an indication of a lie-based belief engaged.
The person’s resisting or hesitancy and therefore, choosing not to remember, is his “solution” to the perceived problem that he believes that his remembering causes. In these places he does not need Jesus or you to do anything for him since he is the one creating the problem. He needs the Lord’s truth; but first he must identify what he believes that has caused him to not remember and hold his lie-based thinking up for a truth exchange.
It is NOT to help the person find a memory or send them looking for it.
Even though memory plays an important role in the TPM process, the facilitator should never send the ministry recipient off on a “memory hunt.” Questions such as, “Can you remember any time where you felt this way before?” or statements like “Focus on what you are feeling and see if you can remember anything” are not needed and should be avoided.
The way God designed our minds will take care of this detail. Our minds will naturally associate the current lie-based emotion to both our current lie-based belief as well as the associated memory where we have felt this way before. When we choose to connect with and feel what we feel, our minds will automatically do the rest.
Again, looking for memories is not a part of the TPM process. For some people who were trained in TPM during the early years, this concept is contrary to what you were formally taught. Some of the questions provided in the early training in TPM actually directed the person to go on a memory hunt. Today we know that remembering something is an effortless process of association and occurs naturally unless it is deliberately prevented by the person themselves. Today we see the value in asking “… does anything come to your mind?” in that it exposes whether the person is resisting remembering.
The facilitator will need to emphasize that he is not asking the person to try to remember anything, go look for anything or to “think of a time where you felt this way before.” If the person is feeling what he is feeling, then the question, “… does ANYTHING come to your mind?” should remind them of the natural process of association.
Remembering is Effortless
We remember things all day without ever giving it any thought. Everything that happens throughout the day triggers memory and belief. Most of our remembering occurs at a pre-conscious level. I am not having a conscious memory when I hesitate going into an elevator, but the uncomfortable feeling that causes me to take pause is memory related. If I hear a Christmas song played on the radio, there is a good chance I will have a Christmas memory come to mind. I use memory to brush my teeth, make my coffee, pack my computer bag, start my car, get to the office, etc. If while driving to the office an old song comes on the radio and a bad emotion stirs up, I just remembered something. This is why the song makes me feel bad. If I arrive at the office and someone is parked in “my” spot and I feel something stir up inside, I just remembered. This is how it works. So when a person is focused on what he is feeling during the ministry session, a memory should effortlessly come to mind. So then, if nothing comes to the ministry recipient’s mind, there is a reason.
The Problem with Not Remembering
One might assume that the reason we block out a memory is because of the memory itself. This is not so. The memory itself is not the reason for our avoidance of it, but rather, we are avoiding the pain we feel when we remember it. However, this pain is not coming from the memory, but rather from the belief we hold that is the “lens” through which we are viewing and interpreting what we remember. Once the lie-based “lens” through which we are interpreting the memory is replaced with the truth, the pain will dissipate, leaving the memory intact and unchanged. So then, we see that the memory itself is not producing us any pain, but rather, what we came to believe in the life event (now memory) that is the cause of our pain. Once we know the truth and our emotions change to match the truth, thinking about the memory will no longer present a problem.
However, there is also a belief –though not a core belief– that hinders our making a choice to remember. Because we think/believe such things as: “remembering will be overwhelming,” “will destroy our current life,” “will make the event real,” etc., we believe that by not remembering we can somehow protect ourselves from any of these things occurring. In the same way that we need truth from the Holy Spirit concerning our core belief, we need truth pertaining to these lies so that we might move forward. We call these beliefs “solution beliefs.” These are dealt with using the questions in the SOLUTION Box.
Overriding the System
- We can override the system of association through distracting ourselves with such things as self-medication, pleasuring ourselves, suppression and/or disassociation.
- The ministry facilitator needs to know whatever has come to the person’s mind so that he may know where he is in the process.
- The mentoring facilitator should view every session as an opportunity to prepare the person for living his life using these principles and practices.
We can override the natural process of association when we perceive that remembering or feeling might result in an undesirable outcome through distracting ourselves with such things as self-medication, pleasuring ourselves, suppression and/or disassociation.
All of these things are forms of distracting ourselves from that which we do not want to feel, remember or think about. In a simple way we do this when we find ourselves eating when we are not hungry. The pleasure of chocolate ice cream in our mouths can distract us from the anxiety, worry, fear, etc. that we do not want to feel. Watching a movie on TV can do the same thing. These defensive behaviors are based upon something we believe. Our beliefs not only produce our bad feelings; but can also block us from feeling them; that is, at least consciously.
If All Else Fails
If the ministry recipient clearly does not understand the purpose of the question you are asking, and you are not in a position to stop the session and explain the purpose of the question to him, we offer this option as a last resort. You might ask the person who does not know what you are asking, “As you are focused on what you are feeling does any memory come to your mind?” This question does not send him looking, but rather asks him to be aware of any memory that may surface. At the same time, this question also limits the person’s focus to memory alone as opposed to opening it up for him to share anything that comes to his mind. Nevertheless, it is a “Yes” or “No” question and reveals whether association is being thwarted. However, asking “… does anything come to your mind?” cast a wider net and can be more revealing.
The facilitator needs to know whatever has come to the person’s mind so that he may know where he is in the process. If the recipient says nothing has come to mind, or some random thought, or what he had for lunch, then all these things tell the facilitator where he is in the process. He needs to know this information as opposed to just whether a memory has surfaced or not.
If you believe that asking this alternative question is your only option, then ask it while providing good orientation. Say something like:
“I am not sending you to look for a memory. You do not even need to try. All you need to do is focus on what you are feeling and allow your mind to surface any memory that is related to what you are feeling. So as you are focusing on what you are feeling does any memory come to your mind?”
The second Emotion box question is highly refined and designed for specific purposes. All the TPM questions have been refined and developed over the years (since 1996). They are tried and true and do work consistently when they are explained and administered according to protocol. We have moved a long way from where we were back when TPM was initially introduced. What we used back then worked well and God blessed it. However, the sharper the tool the more effective the process. Our desire is to be as sharp as possible in the hand of God as He is setting people free.
This second question in the EMOTION Box can be confusing unless it is properly understood. The mentoring facilitator must take the time needed to be sure that the person with whom he is praying, understands not just the purpose of this one question, but he must equip the person with the whole PROCESS, PRINCIPLES, and PURPOSE of TPM.
On going orientation and instruction should be a part of every session. The mentoring facilitator must view every session as an opportunity to prepare the person for living his life using these principles and practices. As this occurs, the person can make TPM a lifestyle.
Click one of the links below to learn more about the questions in that “Box”
or to proceed to the next article in this series.