The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Soul vs. Earthsuit: Two Sources of Fear

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Suppose you’re sitting in a room with a stranger and suddenly that man starts to look very upset about something.  How does this affect you?  You might be having a good day, and you don’t even know this other fellow, and yet you’re going to find his behavior distracting.  You won’t be able to help wondering what is troubling him.  The more upset he behaves, the more concerned you will become, and the harder you will find it to ignore him. 

Now what happens if we put you in this same scenario, only this time we make the other man your bodyguard who you feel very dependent on to protect you?  This changes things, doesn’t it?  Because this second man is very important to you, you are extremely interested in his emotional state of being.  If he starts looking upset, you start feeling upset as well.  When his eyes fill with fear, so do yours.  In this second scenario, you feel like your well-being is very dependent on the well-being of your guardian, so when he starts stressing, so do you.

This second scenario illustrates the way your soul feels about your earthsuit.  You are your soul—you are not the physical machine that you see when you look into a mirror.  What you see in a mirror is just your earthsuit.  Your earthsuit is an extremely complex, smart machine which is run by a central computer which you think of as your mind or brain.  Your soul and your earthsuit are two very separate entities.  It was God who created your soul, and it was God who built a custom earthsuit for your soul to use during your life on earth.  Your earthsuit is permanently assigned to you for as long as you’re here.  You can’t swap earthsuits with someone else. When God separates your soul from your earthsuit at death, another soul can’t come along and hop into your old suit.  Perhaps doctors will be able to salvage a few useful parts of your old suit if they move fast enough, and those salvaged parts might help someone else get their suit in better working order.  Maybe someone will benefit from your heart or liver once you’re gone.  But no one will be able to slip into your entire suit and use it like you do today.  Every earthsuit is a “one ride per customer” kind of deal.

Now in the morning when you put on a pair of shoes, do those shoes have a mind of their own?  Do they have preferences?  Do they have their own agenda for the day?  No, your shoes are just lifeless, brainless objects that you can manipulate for your own purposes.  But then there’s your earthsuit.  Your earthsuit is very different than a pair of shoes.  Your earthsuit is aware of its own existence.  It has preferences and priorities.  It has agendas.  It has moods and needs and it can be quite bossy when it wants to be.  The fact that God has paired your soul with such a smart, opinionated machine makes your life extremely complicated.  Remember that you are your soul—you are not your earthsuit.  But having your soul stuck inside your suit is like being handcuffed to a really pushy person who frequently wants to do things that you don’t want to do.

Suppose one day God says to your soul that you need to go apologize to a friend who you were very rude to.  Your soul immediately agrees because your soul cares about pleasing God.  Your friend’s soul is currently residing inside of your friend’s earthsuit, and that earthsuit is currently located on the other side of a coffee shop.  All your soul needs to do now is drive its earthsuit across the room so it can get close to your friend’s earthsuit.  Then your soul can use its suit to send a message to the soul inside of your friend’s suit.  This is what humans call “having a conversation.”

Human conversations are like two men driving close to each other in two separate cars, and then honking horns at each other in Morse code patterns in order to communicate.  The men are stuck having to use their horns to communicate because the windows of their cars are tinted so dark that they can’t see each other.  The windows also can’t be rolled down, so the men have no way to hear each other.  Instead, they have to use noises that their machines can make in order to pass messages to each other.  It’s the same with you and other humans.  Your soul has never directly communicated with another soul.  The best you can ever do is drive your earthsuit vehicle alongside another and make noises at the other—noises which you call words.  You might also swing around the appendages on your earthsuit—those things that you call arms and hands. And maybe you’ll tell your suit to scrunch its face up to make various emotional expressions.  The other person’s earthsuit will observe what your earthsuit is doing, it will interpret that information, then relay its interpretations to its resident soul.  The soul will then respond by having its earthsuit make a bunch of noises and gestures at you, and back and forth you go.  Sounds tedious, doesn’t it?  But it’s actually much more complicated than this, because in real life, your earthsuit has its own ideas about how a conversation should go.  Also, someone else’s earthsuit is guaranteed to misinterpret at least some of what your earthsuit says and does and vice versa.  This is why human communication is such a complicated affair.

Let’s go back to you sitting in that coffee shop.  You hear God convict you to go apologize to Amy for being so nasty to her the other day.  Your soul says, “Yes, God, I’ll go right now!”  But your earthsuit then says, “No!  I’m enjoying my coffee.  Forget about Amy.  She’s a twerp!”  This is the kind of thing that happens in real life. Your earthsuit doesn’t just play the part of your slave.  Instead, it often tries to get you to serve it.  In that coffee shop, your earthsuit doesn’t want to budge while your soul wants to obey God.  What a hassle this is.  Finally, after five minutes of wrestling with your suit, you get it to haul itself up and start over to Amy.  As you move within hearing range of her suit, you tell your earthsuit to say something pleasant like, “Hello, Amy.”  Your soul specifically instructs your earthsuit to use a nice tone, but what comes out is a crisp, “Hey, Amy.”

You see Amy’s suit look up at you and her eyes narrow in irritation.  Great.  You assume her suit is accurately portraying how her soul feels about your soul.  But is it?  Probably not.  No doubt Amy’s suit is being as difficult to control as yours is, but since you can’t see her actual soul, you’re stuck having to respond to her external actions.

You now order your earthsuit to express some apology.  “About yesterday…what I said to you.  That really wasn’t appropriate of me.”  At last! You got your suit to gag it out.

But now Amy’s suit glares at you and snaps, “It sure wasn’t!”

Before your soul can even think, you feel your earthsuit flare with anger and you hear it snap, “But you sure deserved it after what you said to me!”

A nasty fight now breaks out as both suits go to war and both souls groan in frustration.  This is how things work in real life.  It isn’t very pretty, is it?  And yet understanding how independently your soul and earthsuit think plays a critical role in understanding the topic we’re going to discuss in this post: fear.

THE ORIGIN OF FEAR

Fear plagues us all, and it often seems impossible to beat.  But why is this?  Where does fear even come from?  Correctly identifying the origin of a specific fear that you’re personally dealing with is critical to dealing with it well.  Some fears can be completely overcome, some can’t. If you’re going to set reasonable goals for yourself, you need to know which kind of fear you’re dealing with.  Understanding where a fear comes from is also vital to helping you identify what kinds of methods you should use to counteract it.

In life, all humans deal with two kinds of fears: earthsuit fears and soul fears.  Both the real you and that smart machine you cruise around in are capable of feeling anything from slight anxiety to paralyzing terror.  Because your earthsuit and soul are separate entities, they each have their own independent emotional reactions to things.  They also have separate agendas, and this greatly affects when each one gets afraid and what they feel threatened by.

Remember our analogy of you sitting in the room with your bodyguard?  Suppose you are afraid of spiders, but he is not.  If this is the case, then when some hairy eight-legger comes crawling into view, you’re going to squeal and leap out of your chair, but your bodyguard will probably just snicker in amusement.  When two people have different concerns in life, they can react very differently to the same experience.  In the same way, your soul and your earthsuit can have very different reactions to many experiences and concepts that they are presented with as they travel along together.  The better you understand how your soul and earthsuit differ in their priorities and concerns, the better you’ll be able to identify the origin of specific fears.  So let’s now dig more into this subject.

EARTHSUIT FEARS

All human earthsuits have two main priorities: feeling good, and staying safe.  Different suits will emphasize one of these goals over the other in different situations.  For example, John hates the whole idea of skiing.  His earthsuit feels very threatened by the idea of whizzing downhill with long sticks stuck to his feet.  To John’s suit, skiing is a threat to its safety that is totally unpleasant.  Skiing doesn’t feel good, and it certainly doesn’t seem safe, so John’s suit hates the whole idea.

But Fred’s suit views skiing differently.  When Fred skis, his suit feels a euphoric rush of adrenaline.  Sure, there is danger, but there is also a ton of fun.  To Fred’s suit, skiing is a huge dose of fun with the mere possibility of danger.  Because the fun far outweighs the danger, and because every suit makes “feeling good” a high priority, Fred’s suit loves to ski.

So then, all human earthsuits want to feel good and be safe, but how they analyze these elements varies quite a bit.  Marsha’s suit loves to soak in hot tubs because her suit views that activity as feeling very good and being quite safe.  But after being traumatized by a near drowning experience when she was young, Georgia’s suit is terrified of hot tubs.  To Georgia’s suit, hot tubs represent extreme danger—so much so that how good it feels becomes irrelevant.  While Marsha loves a good soak, Georgia won’t go within ten feet of a hot tub, and yet both women’s earthsuits have the same priorities: feeling good, and staying safe.  Get Georgia around some chocolate cake, and you’ll see how much her earthsuit prioritizes feeling good as she works her way through three large slices.   All earthsuits want to feel good, they just choose different sources for those good experiences.  Marsha loves a soak, Georgia loves the taste of chocolate.

So what about you?  What’s on your earthsuit’s list of favorite activities?  What kinds of experiences make you feel like you’re in danger?  The next time you find yourself upset by doing something, try to pinpoint why you’re upset.

When we press John about why he hates skiing, he says, “I’m sure I’ll break a bone.”  When we ask Georgia why she won’t get in the hot tub, she says, “I’m afraid I’ll drown.”  What do these answers have in common?  They’re both describing physical harm.

Your earthsuit is always the primary source of any fear of being physically harmed.  Your soul is never the primary responder to physical threats, because your soul has no body.  Your soul isn’t worried about dropping a hammer on its toe, because it doesn’t have any toes.  Your soul isn’t worried about going blind, because it has no eyes.  Your soul doesn’t have nerves, skin, a sex drive, or a gender.  So when you see the doctor bringing that big needle over to your arm and you start feeling afraid of the pain you’re about to feel when he injects you with the medication, that fear is originating from your earthsuit.  How do you know?  Because it’s a fear of physical pain.

Let’s go back to you and your bodyguard sitting in that room together.  Remember how you felt very concerned when your bodyguard suddenly started looking upset and worried?  In that situation, your bodyguard had a response to something, then you reacted to his response.  This is what happens in the case of earthsuit fears.  First, your earthsuit reacts to something that it feels threatened by.  Then your soul reacts to your earthsuit’s reaction.  In these cases, your earthsuit is the primary responder and your soul is the secondary responder.  Why is it important to understand this?  Because understanding who is reacting to who is a critical part of helping you calm down.  We’ll talk more about that in a moment.  First, let’s move on to soul fears.

SOUL FEARS

So far we’ve learned that your earthsuit has two main priorities: feeling good, and being safe.  Well, what about your soul?  Your soul also wants to feel good and be safe.  But since your soul is a non-physical entity, what does it consider to be “feel good” activities?  A physical massage might feel great to your earthsuit, but not to your soul.  Your soul has no muscles, skin, nerves, or taste buds.  When the chocolate cake comes out, Georgia’s earthsuit is the main one getting excited, not her soul.  So what excites a human soul?  What turns us on spiritually?  For souls, coveted prizes are things like the affirmation of others, being loved, wanted, and admired.  If you’re a serious Christian, then part of you really longs for God to be pleased with you. But which part exactly?  Only your soul. Your earthsuit doesn’t care about what God thinks or wants—at least not unless God starts threatening to do you physical harm.

Your soul needs to feel like there is a positive point to its existence.  It needs to think there is more to this life than one pass through this world.  When a loved one dies and you find yourself feeling utterly heartbroken—that’s mainly your soul that’s grieving.  When it feels like God has turned His back on you, it’s your soul that does the panicking.

Now let’s go back to that room with you and your bodyguard, only this time, let’s make you the stressed out one.  How does your bodyguard react when he sees you suddenly looking upset?  He is concerned.  He wants to know what’s wrong.  He finds it stressful that you’re feeling upset.  In the same way, your earthsuit is very sensitive to what your soul is doing.  Even though your earthsuit will war with your soul about getting its own way, if your soul suddenly plummets into despair over some issue that your earthsuit doesn’t care about—such as God not talking to you—your earthsuit still feels upset by your soul being so upset.

To understand how your earthsuit reacts to your soul, imagine a smart car whose driver suddenly starts having some fit of hysteria.  Because the driver is so upset, he starts yanking the wheel back and forth, stomping on the pedals, and causing the car to go careening all over the road.  In the same way, when your soul sinks down into despair, your earthsuit takes it hard.  It gets very stressed by your soul being so stressed, and that stress interferes with your earthsuit’s ability to function well.  So even though there are many issues that your earthsuit doesn’t personally care about, it does care when your soul’s stress starts dragging it down.  Just as it’s hard to stay cheerful when you’re trapped in a room with a constant complainer, it’s hard for your earthsuit to press on merrily when it’s dragging around a soul that’s down in the dumps.

Let’s review.  Your earthsuit has a list of things it cares about.  Your soul has a list as well.  When we compare those two lists, we find that some things are the same but many things are different.  Your earthsuit wants things like food, sex, and adrenaline rushes. Your soul wants things like control, power, and glory.  Despite their differences, your soul and earthsuit feel quite dependent on each other for their well-being, and this is why they react so strongly to each other.  When your earthsuit is really happy, your soul will often feel happy as well, unless it feels repulsed by what your earthsuit is doing.  The same is true for your earthsuit.  When your soul is happy, your earthsuit will share the joy, unless your soul is up to something that your earthsuit doesn’t like.  Perhaps your soul believes that submitting to a painful physical ordeal is going to make some powerful entity endow you with great powers, so your soul really wants to get going.  But your earthsuit is quite threatened by the whole notion of letting other people assault it, so your earthsuit is not sharing your soul’s enthusiasm.

Now once you understand that your soul and earthsuit react independently to experiences, as well as to each other, you can understand that there are single trigger fears and double trigger fears.  In the case of single trigger fears, either your soul or your earthsuit feels directly threatened by something.  The primary responder then triggers fear in the secondary responder.   For example, your soul feels threatened by a soul issue.  Your earthsuit then becomes upset only because your soul is upset.  In cases of single trigger fears, the best strategy is to try and calm the primary responder.  In the case of a single trigger soul fear, if we can calm your soul down, then your earthsuit will calm down as well, because your earthsuit is only reacting to your soul’s fear.

Now in cases of double trigger fears, both your soul and your earthsuit have independent reasons for feeling threatened.  In these cases, just calming your soul won’t also calm your earthsuit because your earthsuit is reacting to its own set of issues.  In cases of double trigger fears, we need to address each set of fears separately.

Let’s now go through some real life examples to see how single and double trigger fears form.

FEAR OF DEATH

All humans fear death.  But why?  If you’re a Christian who honestly believes that you’re going to Heaven, then why doesn’t that belief instantly calm your fears about dying?  The fear of death is a notoriously strong fear among humans that is quite impossible to entirely put to rest.  Whenever you come across a fear that is so universal and so unbeatable, it’s a good bet that you’re dealing with a double trigger fear.

The fear of death is a classic example of a double trigger fear because your soul and your earthsuit each have their own set of reasons for feeling enormously threatened by the whole death package.  For your earthsuit, the fear centers around the physical experience of dying.  After all, there is no guarantee that your death will be quick and clean.  Your earthsuit is quite reasonably terrified by the idea of having to go through some long, horrible ordeal.  If you also understand that physical death marks the end of your earthsuit’s existence, then that just gives your earthsuit one more reason to panic. Your earthsuit doesn’t like the idea of being forcibly shutdown—that really violates its goal of “staying safe.”

Then there is your soul.  Your soul has never known life without an earthsuit, it’s never been to eternity, and it has no idea what to expect after death.  Perhaps your soul currently believes it’s going to end up in Hell when it dies.  If so, how can it possibly stay calm in the face of such a horrific idea?  And as for Divine judgment—how exactly is that going to work?  In this world, there are many religions putting out different theories about the afterlife, and many of those theories are quite upsetting to your soul.  Even if you’re trying to cling to a happy story, if you’re honest, are you really 100% convinced that you’re right?

The trouble with death is that it is shrouded in uncertainty, and both your soul and your earthsuit feel threatened by what is unfamiliar.  Toss in the fact that death spells certain doom for your earthsuit and the potential start of horrific problems for your soul, and it’s more than a little unreasonable to expect yourself to reach a point in which dying simply doesn’t bother you.  After all, any assurance you have about death is only as good as the source of that assurance.  If your hopes about the afterlife are coming from the Christian Gods, it’s not very comforting to realize that those Gods have a long history of being unpredictable.  Sure, God can promise to transfer all of His faithful followers to some blissful beyond, but who is going to ensure that He keeps that promise?  God has no accountability partner—no higher authority that He must answer to.  So when God gives us pretty promises about the afterlife, what exactly are we basing our confidence on?  On His Character?  After all, God claims to be good.  But then He also fills the world with grief and suffering, so clearly His idea of “good” is quite different than ours.  Do you see the problem?

The only way your soul will find solid peace about dying is if it can be totally sure that it will end up in a positive place afterwards.  As your theology fluctuates, so does your ability to feel confident about any assurances you think God has given you.  Since your theology must go through many changes if you’re going to keep maturing spiritually, it’s guaranteed that your confidence about a positive afterlife will waver quite a bit.  So is it a reasonable goal to try to become fear-free about death on a soul level?  Not really.

When it comes to your earthsuit, things are even bleaker, because no one can promise you a pain free death process.  Your earthsuit hates suffering—what’s wrong with that?  Should you really be viewing yourself as flawed because your earthsuit is upset by the thought of being miserable?

In cases of double trigger fears, sometimes being fearless is an unattainable and even harmful goal to fixate on. When it is currently impossible for you to resolve the root cause of distress, often the best strategy is to give yourself permission to be afraid.  By doing this, you free up energy that you were spending on criticizing yourself and you can then spend that energy in more productive ways.  Fears that can’t be resolved can still be managed.  Sure, you could get hit by a car tomorrow, but is that really something you have to deal with right now?  Are you dying some hideous death right now?  Have you asked God to show you if there’s anything more you need to do to end up on the happy side of eternity?  Once you’ve done all that you can do about a potential threat—and often that’s not very much—the next step is to try to stay present minded.  By focusing on the task at hand, you’ll often find that your current resources are sufficient.  It’s when we go down the road of drowning in fearful “what if” scenarios that our fears of future problems quickly overwhelm us.  Fears can’t always be resolved, but they can certainly be managed well enough to allow us to function, and once we reach that point, we stop being so threatened by the presence of fear.

TRAUMA BASED FEARS

Remember our chocolate loving Georgia who is terrified of hot tubs because she was nearly drowned as a child?  Georgia’s fear is a single trigger fear.  Her earthsuit feels physically threatened by pools.  When it sees water, it has flashbacks of burning lungs, gagging on water, and thrashing about helplessly.  The water represents a physical danger to Georgia, which makes it an earthsuit fear. The happy news for Georgia is that fears based on earthsuit traumas can often be completely overcome.  There are mental and physical exercises Georgia can do which will slowly train her earthsuit to change the way that it views water.  Once her earthsuit stops seeing water as a grave threat, Georgia’s soul will also feel less stress.  Right now Georgia’s soul becomes stressed whenever her earthsuit flies into a panic at the sight of water.  Those sudden attacks of fear are very stressful to her soul.  But once her earthsuit is retrained, the attacks will stop, and her soul will find it easier to stay calm.  Georgia’s water phobia is going to be a lot easier to beat than her general fear of dying.  But phobias still take time to deal with, and during that time, Georgia would benefit from staying present minded.  When she’s not around water, she needs to take advantage of that fact and enjoy the absence of a threat.  Focusing on her present situation will help her not waste her resources trying to anticipate when her next encounter with a pool will be.

Managing fears is like shuffling troubling emails out of your inbox and into various folders.  Maybe you’d like to delete them, but there’s some reason why you can’t.  That’s annoying, but it doesn’t mean that all of the emails have to be constantly in your face every time you open your inbox.  By filing them into folders, you can locate them when you have to, but you don’t have to stare at them all the time.

Managing fears is different than trying to deny that your fears exist.  It’s like setting a dish aside on a table so that the food on it isn’t right in your face.  Setting something aside is different than pretending it isn’t there.  Denial is about refusing to acknowledge reality, and staying steeped in denial can really harm us.  Managing fears, however, can really benefit us and help us see that we can still get a lot of joy out of life, even in the presence of fear.

REACTING TO THE SUFFERING OF OTHERS

Just as all humans feel threatened by dying, all humans feel threatened by the fact that there is so much suffering going on in the world.  This is another very strong, pervasive, double trigger fear that is impossible to entirely overcome.  When someone you care about is having some Job like experience, your earthsuit feels very threatened by the possibility of the same thing happening to you.  This is the girl who starts fearing that she’ll come down with the same cancer that her mother has.  This is the man who starts to fear that his own marriage will fail after he sees his friend going through a brutal divorce.

There is no end to the ways that people can suffer in this world, and when people you care about start suffering in your face, it often makes you feel like there’s a greater possibility that you will also experience suffering.  The more you personally identify with the person who is in misery, the more likely it seems that you might be forced to follow in their footsteps.  Your friend is getting picked on because of the color of his skin.  Since you’re the same color as him, you start fearing that you will also start being harassed.  Your buddy’s sports career gets destroyed by a bad injury, and suddenly you start fearing that the same will happen to you.  Ever meet someone who says they are afraid of getting married because they don’t think they’ll be able to make it last?  Often their reasoning is based on the brutal experiences they’ve watched others go through.  Your earthsuit wants to feel safe, and when it sees other earthsuits getting trashed all around it, it naturally feels quite threatened.

Then there is your soul. Your soul feels very theologically threatened by the presence of suffering in the world.  After all, who is running this place and why is He doing such a bad job?  If the same God who you’re counting on to bless you in eternity is the One inflicting such horrors onto the people around you, then where does that leave you?  Everywhere you look, there is violence and carnage.  When your soul watches two animals rip each other apart in some nature film, what it sees is God apparently being fine with two of His creatures brutally attacking each other.  Well, you’re also a creature that God has made, and if He’s going to treat the animals so bad, where does that leave you?

The fact that suffering is such a prominent theme in this world forces your soul to seriously question the goodness of God, and that is hardly a comfortable experience.  Because we humans can’t find any satisfying answer to the question of “Why does God allow such horrible things to happen?”, we spend a lot of time trying to pretend that God has nothing to do with anything that threatens us.  Here’s where Christians start saying that your mom came down with her fatal disease because of her sins or because of “the fall” or because of Satan.  Did your kid just get run over by a car?  Did your savings get stolen by some crook?  Did you get assaulted by some thug in an alley?  There’s no way to not be upset by these things.  If we pretend that our good God was napping while bad things were happening to us, then we’re left feeling like He’s inept and untrustworthy.  If we admit that He was intimately involved in our problems, then we feel scared and confused by His seemingly dark motivations.  See the problem?  There is no easy way to stay calm in the face of terrible suffering.  Even when we’re not the ones in misery, the very fact that misery is happening around us really destroys our sense of safety.

DEALING WITH FEAR

Now when it comes to the world’s approach to treating fears, earthsuit fears get a lot more attention than soul fears.  The doctors who work in hospitals are focused on earthsuit issues, not soul issues.  Psychiatrists and psychologists also focus primarily on earthsuit issues because the mind they’re always going on about is an earthsuit component.  What happens when we focus so much on the earthsuit while we practically ignore the soul?  We end up frequently misdiagnosing things and recommending treatments that don’t work very well.  Take James, a man who goes to his doctor in very poor health.  James is a very stressed out individual, and stress is often fear driven.  So what is James afraid of?  Well, the truth is that James is gay, and he thinks that God hates him because of it.  James’ stress is actually being fueled by a single trigger fear which is a soul fear, not an earthsuit fear.  It’s only James’ soul that finds the idea of God’s rejection so devastating.  His earthsuit doesn’t have a problem being gay—it just wants what it wants.

So what happens in the doctor’s office?  James’ doctor focuses on the earthsuit of his patient.  He asks if anything is upsetting James, but James is too embarrassed to tell the truth, so he just lies and says he feels overworked.  His doctor recommends that he take a vacation, he gives James some pills to help him sleep, and James goes home.  How are these earthsuit treatments going to help James when his root issue is a soul fear?  You see, this is why it is so important to understand the root of your fear and to figure out if it is a double or single trigger issue.  James’ fear is very resolvable, but for his soul to find peace, it needs to correct some of its beliefs about God.  God doesn’t hate gays.  God doesn’t judge humans based on their sexual orientations.  James’ soul is in a crisis because his soul doesn’t know better than to cling to certain false beliefs that he has been taught.  When the false beliefs are corrected, James’ soul will find peace, and his earthsuit will then be able to relax. But if instead James just keeps seeing “experts” who only ever give him earthsuit patches, he’s going to remain miserable.

Now in certain Christian counseling circles, and in certain religions, we find the opposite problem happening: the soul gets all of the attention while the earthsuit is ignored.  Let’s take Ben, the porn addict.  Ben is hooked on the sexual rush porn gives him, and sex is an earthsuit thing.  The very nature of Ben’s addiction makes it clear that he’s got some major earthsuit stresses. Many porn addictions are driven by unresolved emotional and/or physical traumas—in other words, they’re earthsuit issues.  In Ben’s case, he was molested as a child, and now he can’t stop looking at child porn.  Ben’s soul feels disgusted by his addiction, but he just can’t control himself.  He feels an intense psychological relief when he looks at porn.  He doesn’t understand why, he just knows that he needs it.  Sexual traumas are earthsuit issues, and there is plenty of hope for Ben.  But the Christian counselor in Ben’s life won’t acknowledge Ben’s earthsuit issues.  She just tells him that Ben is a new creation in Christ, she tells him to name and claim deliverance, she prays over him, and she ends up making him feel like a total spiritual failure when he can’t magically overcome his problems.  By the time Ben is done getting “helped,” he has new soul issues piled on top of his earthsuit issues.  He is now convinced that God is disgusted with him because he can’t stop fantasizing about kids.  What started off as a single trigger fear has grown into a complex double trigger fear because no one is addressing the real issues.  And yet even though Ben is now in an even bigger mess, there is still a ton of hope to be had.  Getting away from his delusional counselor and fixing flaws in his theology will help Ben understand that God isn’t hating him for having unresolved traumas.  Finding ways to debrief his earthsuit of its past stress and retrain the way it views his past traumas will go a long way towards easing his desperate need to wallow in perverse fantasies (see Understanding Your Perverse Fantasies: A Sign of Stress, Not Defectiveness).  The fact that Ben’s stress is very intense doesn’t mean it is unresolvable.  How resolvable fears are depends on the specific factors that are driving them.  Many extreme fears can be completely resolved.  Such fixes usually require a lot of time, but they are still attainable.  Once you start separating earthsuit fears from soul fears and identifying specific triggers, a lot of hope surfaces.  Even the epic fear of dying can be toned down from a terrifying roar to a quite whisper with the right approach.

So what is the right approach to dealing with fears?  Where do you even start?  Well, you could start with halfwit mortals, but why go to people when you could go to God?  The first step in reducing your fear load is to go directly to God and ask Him to help you.  The second step is to realize that fear is a tool which God uses to draw you closer to Him.  This means that God wants to use your healing process to teach you many positive concepts which will help you develop a positive relationship with Him.  Take James, our gay man who thinks that God actually rejects souls based on the sexual desires of their earthsuits.  At some point in James’ recovery process, God is going to get through to him that his gayness is simply not a factor when it comes to why God is personally interested in him.  Learning that God isn’t rejecting us over things we can’t control is some very good news.  The process of reducing and overcoming fears involves us learning a ton of good news.  Along the way, we’ll also have to face some uncomfortable truths, we’ll have to wrestle with a lot of questions, and we’ll have to adopt a lot of new perspectives.  For example, pedophile Ben currently views himself as a scumbag.  It’s going to be quite a challenge for Ben to shed  this dark view of himself and replace it with the view that he is a creature full of beautiful potential who is dearly loved by his Creator.  Changes this big don’t happen overnight, but they do happen, and God leads us to victory one little step at a time.

Fears are not indications of failure.  They are challenging opportunities for you to change in positive ways as you forge a personal relationship with your Creator.  Understanding that fears can originate from your soul, your earthsuit, or both, will help you be more receptive to God’s therapeutic methods.  Perhaps along the way, He’ll bring humans into your life who will help you with various aspects of your recovery process.  Maybe you’ll meet a doctor who hooks you up with a medication that really helps your stressed out earthsuit relax.  Or maybe you’ll do some sessions with a Christian counselor who helps you identify some flaws in your theology.  God enjoys helping us through human channels, but He also works with us all directly.  The important point to grasp is that God is the Origin of all help, hope, and healing.  When He breaks us, it for the purpose of building us up even stronger.  When He wounds us, it is for the purpose of changing us in positive ways.  Human beings are not created as final products who get destroyed by the process of living.  Instead, we are like seeds that are created for the purpose of growing, evolving, and becoming something even better than they were before.

MORE ABOUT TRAUMA:
The Mindset of Trauma Reversal: Pursuing the Unattainable
The Mindset of Trauma Rehearsal: Trying to Acclimate to the Unbearable
Gender Dysphoria: Confronting the Lies that Fuel the Crisis (Help for Transsexuals)
Help for Physical Abusers: Why You Keep Beating the People You Love
Marriage Solutions: Overcoming Sexual Trauma as a Team
Broken to Thrive: Help & Hope for Pedophiles

MORE ABOUT SOUL FEARS:
Understanding Your Complete Loss of Faith: Great News for Devastated Christians
Why the Holy Spirit Left You: Guidance for Panicking Christians
Help for Stressing Christians: Is God punishing you?
Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t: Finding Peace in the Midst of Moral Dilemmas
Understanding Unpardonable Sins: Lies vs. Truth

MORE ABOUT MATURITY & RECOVERY:
Dealing with Trauma: Protecting Yourself from Bad Counselors
Temporary Deliverance: How to Interpret the Return of Old Struggles
Why God Isn’t Fixing You (The Jungle Metaphor)
Soul Before Earthsuit: Understanding God’s Priorities
Recovering from Abuse: Forgiveness vs. Reconciliation

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