The situation with our loved one can require our urgent attention. We may desperately seek answers or direction, causing us to expect immediate spiritual help. Spiritual change does not occur quickly or all at once; it is an ongoing process—not a single event. Precept upon precept, gradually and almost imperceptibly, our motives, our thoughts, our words, and our deeds become aligned with the will of God. Change takes energy and sustained effort. We AND our loved ones must go through a process of emotional, spiritual, and physical change. Detrimental actions must be replaced with healthy and appropriate behaviors. Emotional healing is usually necessary to completely repent and recover.
What are some examples of replacing undesirable actions that have worked in your life?
Where might we find assistance for emotional healing?
What about relapse? Relapse occurs when a person slides back into addictive behavior after partial recovery. Relapse is common and may range from a single incident to a complete return to addictive patterns. Because relapse is so common, some may rationalize that it is part of recovery as long as they are doing their best. However, relapse is part of the addiction process, not the recovery process. Be careful not to condone our loved ones’ excuses or justifications for their poor choices. Chronic relapse into addictive behaviors indicates a less than full recovery. It may mean that loved ones need to make greater efforts and receive more intensive treatment. We may need to set additional boundaries or limits with them. If our loved ones try to minimize the seriousness of a relapse, our clear and honest perspective can help them see that they are deceiving themselves and need additional help.
When our loved ones relapse, we may experience hopelessness, doubt, low self-worth, and anger. These feelings may be intense and at times overwhelming. Even if this issue is an old one to us, the pain can still be fresh and intense. Part of our healing is dealing with the painful feelings that arise because of our loved one’s addiction. We can use the healthy coping skills we have learned and boundaries we have set so far in our journey and build on that foundation. We can also reach out to those who love us and are supporting us. We can surrender our hearts and rely on the Lord to take our burdens from us and provide us with His peace. Our loved ones’ relapse need not cause us to despair, because of our relationship with the Savior Jesus Christ.
It is important to respond appropriately to our loved ones’ relapses, not only to help us heal but to help them in their recovery. Enabling or ignoring their behavior may perpetuate their addiction and increase our suffering. They need to understand that we love them but that continued addictive behavior and rationalizing their actions is not something we can condone.
While some try to justify their relapse, others become overly discouraged if they have a relapse, mistakenly believing that it has destroyed all of their progress toward recovery, and give up. But a relapse doesn’t negate all their efforts toward recovery. Progress may still be happening in other ways, such as their honesty about their challenges or the frequency or intensity of their relapses. They need to learn from their mistakes, correct them, and press forward. Our encouragement and support is vital in this process. Our loved ones need us to acknowledge the progress they are making and to help them continue toward recovery. We can testify that the Lord wants to forgive them and that there is still hope, and we can encourage them to work with their ecclesiastical leader, support people, and others who can best assist. Successful recovery is possible for those who are humble and exercise faith in Jesus Christ as they continue to work through their challenges and make lasting changes in their lives.
How can you respond to relapse appropriately?
How can you support your loved one during a relapse?
Why does every story have a villain?
It's hard to think of a tale without one. As children, we learned to fear the Big Bad Wolf and the Troll under the bridge. Little Red Riding Hood is attacked by a wolf. Dorothy must face and bring down the Wicked Witch of the West. The children who stumbled into Narnia are called upon by Aslan to battle the White Witch and her armies so that Narnia might be free. As we grew older, we discovered more serious villains in the Star Wars series. In The Fellowship of the Ring, we come to dread the Dark Lord Sauron, the Orcs that do his bidding, and the Black Riders who hunt poor Frodo.
We were born into a world at war.. That means that right now, there are on this earth, millions of foul spirits, bent on our destruction. So what does Satan spend every day and every night doing?-- making war against those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. He has us in his crosshairs.
Most people do not live as though the story has a villain, and that makes life confusing. How have we missed this? All the stories we've been telling about the presence of an evil power in the world, all the dark characters that have sent chills down our spines and given us restless nights--they are spoken to us as warnings. There is evil cast around us. War. Famine. Betrayal. Murder. Surely we know there is an evil force in this world. It is the voice of our adversary who is trying to steal our freedom and agency kill our hearts, destroy our lives.
Growing up, we listen to parents, teachers, friends, higher power, adversarial spirits. All these voices inside of our head. As we get older, we assume it is all our thoughts, so familiar we think they are our own. The voices and words sound vaguely familiar. A voice that whispers in our ear, a message that even erases the truths.
Who are those voices in our head? Who are we listening to?
Some people call these entities "The Dot People." The "dots" being an indication that these are spirits. (If a representation was drawn, then the "dots" would show this.) They can be good or evil. Those who wish us harm can interfere with us spiritually and even physically.
It is necessary to separate the voices so we can determine who we are listening to. If it turns into an "I" statement, ( such as I am worthless or nobody listens to me), then a deeper level of acceptance has been attained. We discussed this in Chapter 2. The bad guys seem to have a script, the same "training manual". The same things show up for almost everyone. Word for word exact. We don't know when they will show up. This is the basis for most depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Of the 68,000 thoughts per day, 47,000 are negative. When we avoid dealing with those negative thoughts, it gets worse. We don't know what to do next. Many people choose to medicate with drugs, alcohol or some other coping mechanism or addiction. This may seem to make the "voices" go away, but opens up a whole other set of problems. Once we can't hear those voices, we are often numb to promptings from the Holy Ghost and we give up our precious agency.
When the adversarial spirits can't get into our heads anymore, they go after OTHER people to tell us the same things. When this doesn't work, they go after us with energetic blocks causing physical and/or emotional pain. Even though spirits cannot directly “hurt” us physically in the same way we hurt from a cut, burn or accident, they can cause pain by interrupting energy flow. (which may in turn cause a distraction leading to a physical "accident".) These blockages are like a traffic jam on a highway and can produce pain without an apparent physical cause. Energy techniques that restore the flow can help because they assist in releasing the emotional baggage that contributes to stress and darkness. The presence of evil spirits does NOT mean that one is evil. It is just a problem that needs to be dealt with like a physical illness.
So….what do we do? Pray mightily and ask for help. It does not behoove us to pretend they're not there. Acknowledge, but do not fear. They prey on fear.
Where are some places that you think evil dot people might congregate?
What can we do about it?
Read scriptures. In studying, write down every name that inspires. Ask for Guardian angels. Look specifically for those who went out to check on enemy spies. If we ask, God will usually call down Angels of Light, Soldiers of the Most High, to remove the dark spirits. Be specific. Angels have different purposes. Some are sent to deal with the adversary, others are sent to comfort, to bless, to prepare the way. Ask for our homes to be surrounded and Guardians posted wherever necessary. In your mind use lasers and cross beams. Envision Heaven being interested. Ask and receive. They WANT to help us.
When we SMILE, we begin to shed any adversarial attachment Crank up a smile, then negative spirits can't get into our energy bubbles. Be careful what you LISTEN to, what you EAT, and what you SEE.
There are many ways of imagining shields of protection. Use silent prayer, visualize the white light of Christ creating a bubble or cocoon of light. Do this every day -- In our cars, at our places of employment, in our residence. There are many other visualization exercises.
Would anyone like to share their own way of putting up shields?
Evil spirits are cowardly. They want no part of the golden sword we can summon for protection by visualizing it--gleaming with perfection, suspended in front of us. Let its hilt form a cross on the forehead and its blade extend the length of the body like a razor sharp impenetrable declaration of divine God given strength. Visualize Christ as if He were actually there.
Or how about a version of a fisherman’s net made of spun gold and silver light braided together with Christ's love light? The net is weightless, but stronger than steel. Drape it for glistening protection from the top of your head to the ground at your feet. When dot people approach you or start talking to you, drape an identical net over them. Intend that it neutralize without their knowing why their closeness to you left them feeling depleted and rejected. We can never go wrong by sending love. Love can aid in dismissing them. Negative energies thrive on fear and negative emotion. The emotions of Love and Empathy seem to just melt them.
Or how about "cords of Light?" Light can be controlled when the Lord allows. Ask that cords of light bind the Adversary or his minions when confronting them. God will instruct when and how to use them.
Some people may begin to feel nervous and ask, “What if I am deceived?" It is easy to be deceived if we are too eager to gain knowledge and don’t check our answers. Perhaps ask, “God, are there any spirits here that need to be removed?” If yes, simply ask what to do and follow the instruction.
The belief that “if you ignore it, you’ll never have to deal with it” is an attitude that the dot people love to propagate. When we become a servants of the Lord, we can do more when we understand and confront the enemy. Nearly everyone will deal directly with dot people many times throughout their lifetime. Most people deal with this daily, especially when they are headed down the path of following the Savior. Satan said to God in the Garden, “I will take the spirits that follow me, and they shall possess the bodies thou createst for Adam and Eve!” God placed a natural repulse to Satan within us, so that we could overcome; but He did not stop Satan from attempting to accomplish his plan.
Evil dot people will often take habitation within our bodies in the form of sickness, depression, addiction and negative feelings such as anger, hate, and more. For those who invite or allow those spirits to remain, they become a part of us and are more difficult to remove. Sometimes these demonic possessions reveal themselves in the form of mental illness, as defined by modern science. If removing of evil spirits is necessary remember the following:
Pray and prepare, asking God for specific instruction for how to proceed. Some suggest certain words to cast out demons. Use those words that God says to use. It may be different depending upon the situation.
Prayerfully ask for shields on yourself and others. We may have a clue that another has been attacked if they immediately become ill or have a radical mood swing. Ask that Angels be present to remove or have chained and shackled any evil spirits that are removed, if it is the Lord’s will. Shielding is a critical part of dealing with the dot people. Unfortunately, shields are not usually permanent and it is wise to ask for how long it will last.
When we take a major step in the battle against the dot people, we mark ourselves as targets. God will give additional protection and help us move forward and our lives may never be the same. Things may get intense when we first engage the battle, but know that the Lord delights when His servants exercise faith in His name and choose to fight the adversary in His name.
Learning and Application
Keep a journal of your thoughts, feelings, insights, and plans to implement what you learn. As the needs and circumstances in your life change, repeating these answers will provide you with new insights. Go back to the questions in the chapter. Write your answers. Each time you go through a chapter, your answers might change.
1. What are some things that the "Dot People" tell you? After writing it down, write the opposite right next to it. Such as "I am a great wife. I am such a success. Everything goes right". Then add it up a notch by adding something else positive. Or something you are grateful for. If there is trouble visualizing, go to a quiet place, turn off all electronics, then perhaps write down every time negative thoughts arise.
2. In contrast, what are things that the Holy Ghost tells me?
Write a paragraph or two on how I can tell the difference.