Tom called, and the short version—the real meaning—of the stories he told was this: "I'm miserable. I'm afraid. I feel so alone. I'm discouraged. Nobody loves me. Nobody will ever love me."
I'd heard him talk like this many times before, so I didn't waste time getting to the point. "You're telling me that you feel worthless, over and over and over."
"Yes, I do feel worthless."
"That's the message that people told you when you were a child. Without meaning to, your parents and others told you that you just didn't matter, and now you keep repeating that message again and again. You can't help yourself. Those people aren't even around anymore, but the instant you get up in the morning you hit the button that plays that message. It's killing you."
"So what can I do?"
"It's all lies. People said you were worthless only because they were unloved and blind themselves. A million lies don't add up to the truth, but because you heard them early and often enough, you believed them. You still do. Why not give the truth a chance? Why not listen to the truth and feel the effects of it?"
"What do you mean?"
"You just got through telling me that you're alone and that nobody loves you. That's actually kind of ridiculous since I'm on the phone with you right now, so you're not alone. And what am I doing with you?"
"So tell the truth, instead of just repeating the lies you've heard all your life."
"But I'm still afraid. I still feel alone. My pain is real. Are you telling me it's not?"
"Of course not, but your feelings are all reactions to the same old lies. You feel alone and afraid because you're not seeing the truth. Tell me the truth. Is it really true that you're alone right now and that nobody loves you?"
"No, I'm not alone. You love me."
"Anybody else love you?"
"Kevin." (a member of his Real Love group)
"Some of the other people in the group."
"God?" (I already knew that he was working on a relationship with God.)
"So tell me the whole truth."
"You love me. Kevin loves me. People in my group love me. God loves me. I'm not alone."
"So, if all that is true, what do you have to be afraid of?"
All our lives we tend to repeat and respond to the lies we learned when we were young. We have to learn the truth, replace the lies, and allow our feelings to respond to what is true.
Replace your fear and confusion with peace and happiness.
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