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Excerpts from
"Changing Your Stripes"

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"In matters of Personal Peace, the only Vote that counts is the one
registered in the Ballot Box of the Heart. Seeking the popular vote from
those who peddle political correctness is only an attempt to convince yourself
that the justifying story you tell is true, when really it's just contrived.
If you have to try to convince yourself,
that means ... you’re not convinced!"
~ CYS, page 182  

Justifying: A Tell-Tale Sign of Betrayal
by Matt Moody, Ph.D. 

All Your Troubles are in The JAR. Betrayal is a word to describe moments when a human being is out of harmony with his or her own sense of truth. As Shakespeare expressed, "To thine own self be true, therefore thou canst not be false to any man." Betrayal means being false to yourself, as well as to others. When you go against your own sense of goodness, you lose Life's inherent harmony.

* * * * *
Three Tell-Tale signs that YOU
are betraying your own sense of what is TRUE:
"All your troubles are in the J.A.R."

.* * * * *.

A thorough understanding of the tell-tale signs of betrayal can provide awareness sufficient to catch yourself and correct your course. The patterns are predictable and observable; seeing these signs in yourself will provide a huge clue . . . to what you need to Un-Do:

* * *
J = Justifying
A = Accusing  
R = Resenting

* * *.


Self-justification has been a tell-tale sign of betrayal for a few millennia: "If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me" (Job 9:20). People who fall in the trap of betrayal feel an itching need to rationalize their contribution to a quagmire. Betrayers invest much time and energy into telling anyone who will listen, why they are justified in their attitudes, actions, and emotions; they assemble a self-justifying facade so they won't look bad, . . . when really they have been bad.

Betrayers tell a self-excusing story to convince themselves and others that they are OK and that blame lies elsewhere; they spin a tale that tries to make the wrong they are doing appear right, or at least not their fault. The very act of rationalizing reveals a betrayal.

Telling Stories: Anxious vs. Honest. People who betray their intuitions of innocence have a story to tell! But not all who have a story to tell are betraying themselves. Some stories are just . . . stories.

With no inflamed emotion, some stories explain events and occurrences with straightforward frankness; no blame, no irritation, no resentment exists in the telling of an honest story. It is a story that explains and may even entertain. This type of story will mostly go away the following day . . . for it has no reason to stay. That is, unless you really like it, then you might file it away . . . and enjoy it on another day.

The anxious story, in contrast, is more than a simple explanation of things and happenings: It's an unsettled story that arises from a mire of internal conflict. It tends to be told over and over, because the teller of the anxious story finds no emotional closure in it. Thus, neither the story nor the flustered feelings go away in coming days, instead, reruns and sequels continue, and such repetitive "broadcasts" reveal the inner conflict of the producer/storyteller.

There are two fundamental kinds of Stories that people tell: One Honestly and Simply Explains and the other Anxiously Excuses and Accuses.

* * * * *
Two types of Stories:
One indicates Truth, the other Betrayal.
The Anxious Story is self-excusing and accusing;
It harbors Resentment and oozes with Unsettled Emotions.
Because the story hides a lie, . . . there is no peace or closure in it.
Many sequels arise from an Anxious Story; It can become complex
and sprawling. It continues in a new day, . . . and does not go away.
Reruns to be told tomorrow.
The Honest Story, in contrast, Accuses no one,
Resents no one, is not Edgy or Irritated,
and goes away . . . the next day,
It has no reason to stay.

.* * * * *.

Because they have no inner turmoil to resolve, people who tell an honest story speak candidly with no agitated edge of emotion. The honest story does not try to manipulate or pretend, and it may even be a little awkward and goofy; it is not premeditated or polished, because honest storytellers have no motive to appear impressive. The Honest Story will BE, whatever it IS because "that's just the way things happened."

* * * * *
People who have Nothing to Hide, . . . Hide Nothing!
.* * * * *.

Stuck in the Story. With each re-telling of an anxious story, the betrayer hopes that the next telling will dispel unsettled feelings; but predictably, uneasy emotions remain. Running a story over and again in your head, as well as constantly telling that story to others, is a repetitive rut I call . . . "Stuck in the Story."

It's very easy to recognize people who are stuck in the story:

      1 -  Anxious emotions are displayed in the storytellers,
     2 -  The elements of the J.A.R. emerge,
    3 -  They can't quit telling the story, in each new day . . .
           the self-justifying story doesn't go away!

The truth is that anxious emotions never go away by rationalizing, instead inner conflict is only cured through pure honesty a return to innocence. As Stephen Covey concludes:

"you can't talk your way out of a problem
that you behaved your way into."

This means that betrayers must back out of the very behaviors that initiated the inner imbalance in the first place. Thinking that rationalizing might bring relief is indicative of a betrayers distorted mentality. Strategizing and calculating cannot solve the problems of a defective heart. Mental machinations can only shape and prune the outer appearance of problems, but cannot cure the corrupted root.

Even though a justifying story may be airtight and firmly supported by solid facts and convincing logic and even though a betrayer may be sincerely convinced that the story is true, . . . if the elements of the JAR are present, one can confidently conclude that the story and the sincere feelings are false and that someone has been fooled!

* * * * *
If you have to try to
convince yourself, that means
you're not convinced!

.* * * * *.

Seeking Allies to Support Your Justifying Story

Dancing with darkness means going against Life's Inherent Love & Light. People who are out of harmony will spontaneously seek to bring things back into balance. Balance can be sought through the Heart OR the Head. The former approach consistently brings Peace, and the latter approach maintains inner agitation.

People who are truly justified in their thoughts, words, and deeds enjoy inner peace; therefore, they do not seek outward approval or campaign for popular votes, because they have no use for them. In contrast, people who go against their own sense of what is right, do so for the benefit of an outside audience from whom they wish to get votes of outward validation.

* * * * *
People who are inwardly unsettled seek the supportive votes
of others, precisely because they don't have the only vote
that counts: the Vote of Inward Validation.

 * * * * *

When a person's life is in harmony, lobbying for lesser votes is not needed because the only Vote that counts is already secured. Those who anxiously need the popular vote and fretfully seek the popular vote, will also tend to maintain self-made misery because it is useful in gleaning sympathy through the vote-getting process. (Changing Your Stripes, 2nd Edition, page 30)

* * * * *
When I go against my own sense of Truth,
I go against myself, . . . I am false.
Being false, the way I experience the world is colored by my falseness:
I see darkness in my world, because of the darkness in me.
My thinking, my emotions, and how I behave
are all tainted by betrayal.
My search for solutions is skewed;
It is wrong, . . . . because I am wrong.

 * * * * * 
(Changing Your Stripes, 2nd Edition, page 173)

The preceding is part of what "Changing Your Stripes" says about the tell-tale sign of Justifying. The Book also details patterns associated with Accusing and Resenting. — two other tell-tale signs of Self-Betrayal.

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