Understanding the TPM Questions: BELIEF (part 3 of 6)
The BELIEF “Box” Questions
The purpose of this question is to determine whether or not the belief feels true. The core belief will feel true even when the person logically, theologically and intellectually knows that it is not. Therefore, this question is very important. It may initially be somewhat cumbersome, but stay true to its wording (there are actually two ways of asking it). We need to use the phrase exactly as it is stated; “Not is it true, but does it feel true that …” (or alternately, “Not that it is true, but does it feel true that…?”) in order to keep the person from giving the “right” answer to the question. Most people intellectually know the right answer to this question and will often tell you the truth when asked.
For example, if you were to ask him the question without the preface qualifier –not is it true–, “Does it feel true that you are worthless and no good?” He may respond with the correct answer, “No, the Bible says that I have great value with God.” We are not looking for the “right” answer or the truth, but rather what “feels” true to the person: the lie. When a person believes something to be true with his heart, it will “feel” true. Once they no longer believe it, it will not “feel” true. This is because we “feel whatever we believe.”
The Baseline Question
We call the BELIEF box question the “baseline question” because we will return to the answer to this question, the core belief, once we arrive in the TRANSFORMATION box to determine if the person has received truth from the Holy Spirit or not. It is very important that you write down this core belief and then confirm that it feels true. Write it down exactly as it was stated, verbatim. Do not add any words that were not spoken. His wording has specific meaning to him. If you change or interpret the meaning you may confuse the moment. Later, you will need to repeat this statement, word for word, when you test for transformation.
For example, if he says, “I believe that I am worthless,” and you ask, “Does it feel true that you have no value?” you may be inadvertently move the session in the wrong direction by your word choice. Write down what they say and repeat their words exactly as they have been spoken.
“Not IS it true, but does it feel or seem true that…?” or “Not that it IS true, but does it feel or seem true that…?” (The Base-line question)
If the Person Answers the BELIEF Box Question in the Negative
If you ask the person the BELIEF Box question (“Not that it is true, but does it feel or seem true that…”.) and they say, “It does not feel true”, or “It feels a little true” or “somewhat true” or “sort of true”, then something is amiss. It probably means that the core belief has not yet been identified. If this occurs, simply ask the first question in the EMOTION Box to get you back on course, “How does that make you feel?” It is also possible that you have identified the core belief, but something has caused his feelings to suppress and the session to stall out.
The scenario might look like this:
Facilitator: “How does that make you feel?”
Facilitator: “Why do you feel that way?”
Person: “Because I am a defect and have no value.”
Facilitator: “How does believing that make you feel?”
Facilitator: “Why do you feel worthless?”
Person: “Because that is what I am; I am worthless.”
Facilitator: “Why does believing that you are a defect and have no value make you feel worthless?” (Looping Question)
Person: “Because I am worthless!”
Facilitator: “Not that it is true, but does it feel or seem true that you are worthless?”
Person: “Maybe a little… No, not really.”
You have arrived at this belief by asking the questions in the MEMORY Box, and the person has acknowledged over and again that this is what he believes. So the question now is “Why has he suddenly changed his mind and is reporting some measure of uncertainty?” It seemed as though he was moving in a direction…. and then he paused. Why the pause? This pause is probably due to a “solution.” So at this juncture you have two options. You can return to the MEMORY Box questions and looping questions and see if you get a different response, or you can go to the SOLUTION Box and ask the three questions provided there to determine if a solution is engaged.
At this point we use the “De-Solution Tool.”
The First De-Solution Tool Question:
“Do you feel any hesitancy or resistance at the thought of fully embracing the belief that you are worthless?”
If there is a solution at play, then the person will likely report feeling some sense of resistance or hesitancy at the thought of embracing his reported belief. You would then proceed to the next questions in the De-Solution Tool and follow protocol.
It is possible that the person may say they do not feel any resistance in embracing the belief and report that the belief just does not feel true to them. If this is the case then you have probably not identified the core belief. You will want to return to the same memory and continue to ask the MEMORY Box Questions.
However, there are also a couple of other possibilities.
1) They simply do not understand what you mean by resistance or hesitancy and will need further explanation. Take as much time as needed to clearly explain and clarify what you mean by the question being asked. Once the person understands what you are saying with this question, they will not have this problem there after. However, it does take a bit of explanation for some people, and especially children. So take the time to explain to them the purpose of the question, what you mean by hesitation or resistance, and even give them an example of what you mean. For example, you might say, “If there was a black widow spider or venomous snake crawling across the floor right now, would you feel any hesitancy or resistance at the thought of picking it up?”
Their acknowledgement of the presence of resistance and or hesitancy is what we are looking for. We are not asking them to do anything –feel, remember, or let go of anything. All we are looking for is their awareness of resistance or hesitancy. When they see that they are pushing back, then they will have reason to examine why this is so.
If the person has reported feeling no resistance or hesitancy, and he fully understands what you are asking, and you are convinced that no other solution is present, then you may proceed forward with the second De-Solution Question to see what happens. You will do no harm by doing so. If nothing transpires here then you can assume that this is not the direction to go.
However, you should move slowly and not just charge ahead. There is a reason why the person is not sensing any hesitation/resistance. Try to figure that out first. However, if there is a “solution” behavior present, and the person reports that they feel no resistance or hesitancy, then you should do no harm by moving on to the second SOLUTION Box question. This is assuming that they fully understand what you mean by hesitancy and resistance, and there is no other solution at play. It is possible that you may even uncover the “problem” (the purpose of the second question) by asking it (Examples: “He would get by with what he did to me,” “I would be overwhelmed,” “I would lose control…” etc.) However, typically if there has been no hesitation or resistance identified, you will not move forward – but then again, you may. There is no damage asking the SOLUTION questions. If anything asking will help you know where you are in the process.
2) It is always possible that the solution you think that you identified was not the problem after all. If they understand what is being asked and they say they feel no sense of resistance or hesitancy, then it is possible that the solution that you think that you have identified may not be the solution that is present –or there may not be a solution in place at all.
Since you, as a facilitator, are at the mercy of the free will of the person receiving ministry, you have run out of options other than defaulting back to the MEMORY Box questions, or moving to the EMOTION Box Questions and beginning the TPM process from there. Sometimes just having them to reconnect to the emotions being felt and asking “What comes to your mind as you focus on what you feel?” will associate them to a completely different memory. It is not uncommon for a facilitator to believe that the core belief has been exposed and identified, when in fact it has not. This is where we remind ourselves that we are following and not leading. The important question to keep asking ourselves is, “Where are we on the ‘map” or “what BOX are we in?” The person knows the way –whether he consciously realizes it or not–, the Holy Spirit is present and we are asking the questions. Everyone has their own role to play and it is vital that the facilitator not cross over the defined lines.