Welcome to Session number 10.  I'm excited about what we're going to be talking about in this session.  It's important for us to recognize that mistakes are things that we learn from.  

We've talked about this a little bit.  We're always successful in producing results, even when we make a mistake, so it's not a failure.  It's providing us an opportunity to learn something and truth be told, if we need to learn something, it will continue to repeat itself until we take the time to step back from it and learn the lesson from it, and then move forward. 

And when we're able to do that, we more effectively deliver on our ability to become the best self that we can possibly be.  And that is found in our relationship with God and how we manage relationships based upon the interaction we have with them through Holy Spirit working between us.  And that's what helps us also understand that we take all of this to the community. 

So a number of years ago, I put together this little diagram that you're going to see.  And let me put it up here for you, you've got it in front of you there, it looks like this.  We're going to take some steps to understand this diagram, and we want to look at this in a way that helps us more clearly understand just how important it is to live our lives learning from our mistakes as quickly as we can. 

Now, when I put this together, it was my attempt to try to recognize how important it is for us to realistically look at our life and how it's crafted so that we can develop our self-esteem, we can make that arrangement in our lives that we talked about in one of the previous sessions where our Holy Spirit is life, our life is being guided by our spirit, our soul, our mind, and our body in that order, because that makes a big difference.  And so in order to do that, we will look at what this looks like for us.  

So let's take a look at this first box that you see here in front of you. It's slightly different than the rest of it, it represents You and Me.  So I'd like you to write You and Me right there in that first box.  And what we're going to do is go across first, and look at Heredity, and Hara, and we're going to look at Environments.  We're going to take these three components and kind of give you a descriptor of what is happening and why it's happening in your life. 

Your Heredity is unique to you.  Let's suppose you have brothers and sisters.  Let's suppose that you are in a family and you are in the middle of that family.  Let's say you have an older brother and sister, you're in the middle, and then you have two other siblings, boys or girls, it doesn't make any difference, you're in the middle.  But your reflection or your impression of your parents is different than the other four impressions that your siblings have with regard to your parents, because each of us has this uniqueness inside of us and we approach life even from the very beginning slightly different than our siblings.  Heredity can cannot be changed.

In my own life and in my own experience, I was raised nine years after my two sisters and brother and my mom and dad were surprised with me coming along.  And so when I was born, my mother told the doctor that she would not raise one child because she did not want that child to be selfish and self-absorbed.  So she ended up having another child and she got pregnant with my sister and two years after I was born, I had a baby sister. 

By the time I came along nine years after my two older sisters and my older brother, my mom and dad were tired of being parents.  So my childhood and my younger sister’s childhood was a completely different experience than what my brother and two older sisters experienced because my mom and dad were new at parenting, raising those three.  They were a lot more disciplined. And there were a lot more ‘no's’ in their lives than there was by the time I came along.  So my impression of my parents was different than my older siblings’. 

Hara is a gut reaction.  It's a Japanese word that means it happens in your gut first, and I believe that we talked about walking down a path and hearing a rattlesnake, and our body responding to that, moving away and out of the way of that quicker than we can think about it.  And so if you have a gut reaction, or you think being instinctive about something, it's because you feel a lot of emotion in your gut before you experience it in the rest of your body.  And that's really what causes some of the chemical change in you, when you're faced with something that is unexpected.  And anger, and anger management, hostility, those kinds of things, you may feel in your gut before you feel them in your brain. 

But Heredity and Hara are part of who you are and go to make up the you, and go to make up the me, that is the first illustration that you've written down.  You should have You/Me in that first little space, and in the first to the right of it Heredity, then Hara, and then finally Environment.  The environment you were raised in, the environment that you work in, the environment that you find yourself in in this moment is always changing, and is always slightly different. 

But keep in mind, you can't change your Heredity, you can't change how you were parented.  You were parented a certain way and that's what's contributed to the You/Me you are.  So does your gut reaction, your behaviors, your actions, all of that, which we're going to cover in this statement and in this little diagram, all culminate in the kind of environment.  

And I hope that this has been a great learning environment for you.  I hope it's one that you want to pass on, that you want to use this information to teach and to share with others, and do what you do, either as a pastor, a minister, a social worker, a counselor, all of those roles that you're in, be at a parent or be it a father, a mother, an aunt, or an uncle, all of those roles, those hats that you wear.  

So, if we look at the next thing we're going to ask you to put down, it's your Whole Life Experience, and we're going to show you how we get to your whole life experience.  It begins with what we call a Prevailing Awareness.  

Now all the contributing factors to your Prevailing Awareness occur from Heredity, Hara, Environment, and your Whole Life Experience.  And prevailing means it's always changing.  It's changing, even as I talk about this.  So the Prevailing Awareness is what you bring to all of your relationships, all of your lessons, all of your mistakes, all the things that you learn from.

These sessions are part of your Prevailing Awareness.  When you saw this, and you saw that it was blank, your awareness was simply that you're looking at something you don't know anything about.  And now as we talk about it, and you see the first five of these filled in, and it's you and me that it started with, you begin to recognize that these things apply to you and they apply to me, they apply to literally everyone.

If we look at the next one, we're looking at your Beliefs and Values.  We know that your beliefs were established very early on in your life, probably before you were 10 years old.  You had a set of beliefs.  And those stay pretty much the same throughout your life and, of course, there will be moments of epiphany that happen in your life. 

Some people come to Christ very early on in their life and others spend a lot of their time living their life without God and without Holy Spirit's guidance, unbeknownst to them, albeit Holy Spirit is within us.  And we are endowed with, from our Creator, with all of what we need to get through life and we have to sort through it through freewill and be able to manage it effectively. 

And our Beliefs and Values are in that same box, because values are based on our beliefs and our values change, while our beliefs stay, as I said, pretty much constant.  But our values are based upon our place in life and the role we're playing in life.  

When we're children, we have different values.  We value our time, we get hungry and we want something to eat, we whine and complain, or … “what's for supper? Yuck.”  I mean, we just have a different set of values completely.  We eat a lot of pizza, probably, in certain cultures, when it comes to what we consume the most. 

Our values change when we become adolescents, young adults.  I remember as a young adult, I wanted a fast car.  Driving was important to me and I wanted a fast car.  I then remember that when I got married, and we subsequently had children, I realized that I needed a minivan as opposed to a fast car because it was more appropriate for that time in my life.  

So my value changed from having a fast car to one that would provide for my family and give transportation to more than just my wife and myself.  It also had to accommodate the children that were being born to that marriage and to our family.  

So Beliefs and Values are there for us.  And beliefs give us the basis for our values and our values change as we segue through life.  

Our Desires and Needs are those things that come based upon everything you see thus far on this diagram. Your Heredity, your Hara, Environment, Whole Life Experience, your Awareness. 

You may not be aware that you want to riding lawnmower, if you are a homeowner, and you have had a push mower.  And then all of a sudden your desires and needs are that you want to have a riding lawn mower.  Maybe you live on a property that requires you to mow more grass than you did on the first property that you lived on. 

Maybe you need something in your life that you do not have now, and you have a desire for that something, and it becomes a need.  Here's what we know for sure.  

Dominant Need is what you're experiencing in this moment. And Dominant Need is always surfacing.  And it has all of the components that you see here.  Each of those components contribute to your Dominant Need.  

My Dominant Need right now is to share this information with you.  My hope is your Dominant Need is to write it down and wonder where this is going and what does it mean to me, and how can I use this information?  Because your Dominant Need is constantly being processed.  Only through your Prevailing Awareness, only when you are aware of something do you recognize you have a Dominant Need.

Now, if we were in a class where we were all together in the same room, and you raised your hand and you wanted to ask a question, at that time it would mean that your Dominant Need was to have a question answered.  So you would physically raise your hand.  And if I stopped, I would be using my Dominant Need to stop.  And I would acquiesce to your Dominant Need and say, “Yes. What is your question?”  So keep in mind that that is so fluid that we become unaware of it, and yet it's happening 24/7, 365 days a year, throughout our lifetime. 

If you're in a restaurant, and you've just had a lovely meal, maybe your Dominant Need now would be to have another cup of coffee and possibly a dessert.  Or maybe your Dominant Need was to eat dessert first.  So it is always up to you, and you always do what you would rather do than not do. We said that earlier in one of these sessions.  And that's really how your Dominant Need is operating at all times.  

It will always cause you some tension, the expression of your Dominant Need and if you acquiesce to someone else's Dominant Need, your Dominant Need is to let go and let them. 

If you recall, when we talked about the person who I was asking questions, and they were building our home, they were building a house for us, and he was anxious about the questions I was asking initially, my Dominant Need was to help him feel more comfortable.  And I did that through some adjustments in my language and the words that I was using to interact with him. 

The tension that you feel will either be a lot of tension or little, if any, tension, but tension will always exist because tension is part of life.  It will cause you to make a decision to either act on your Dominant Need or not. And if your decision is to not act on your Dominant Need, it is your Dominant Need to decide not to act, or it is your Dominant Need to decide to act and you'll go ahead and do so. 

While this may sound complicated, it's not.  This structure that you see here is what we go through to help very clearly define all of the elements that go into this Dominant Need expression.  And it comes from your Prevailing Awareness.  And you and I are separate and apart from everything else that you see there because it's all behavior driven. It's all mindfully driven. It's all driven by our chemistry and the decision process is based upon history as well; our environment, our whole life experience, our heredity.

We come to an Action.  This forces us into an Action.  So the Dominant Need expression causes tension makes us decide, and then we take an Action.  And Action means that we're going to act in a certain way, based upon what you see here.  And acting in that certain way is going to embrace this idea, because it will lead to a Consequence.  And the Consequence will lead to Responsibility for the consequence. 

Now, notice that it has gone sequentially from a You-Me, all the way to a whole life experience across the top.  But then we started moving down to the left over to the right, and then up the other side.  And you'll notice that we end up taking responsibility for the expression of our Dominant Need.  And we accept the Consequences of our Dominant Need.  And that makes it part of our whole life experience. 

So we're if we were to do that, and we were to bring this together, we are accountable for expression of our Dominant Need.  It's all about choice.  And what it leads to is our state and behavior.  So I'm going to back up again, we're going to show you this in a minute. We'll get there in just a moment.  But I want to back up again.  And I'd say look how this has managed. 

Your Dominant Need is totally and completely attached. And you see an arrow there bringing you to your Dominant Need.  Every Dominant Need is attached to two things.  Your accountability, and your responsibility are the consequence.  So you have to accept the consequence, and you accept the responsibility.  So let's look at this.

You're going to tell me that that isn't so if you do not see this the way it's been described.  And that's fine, because that's what your awareness will allow you to see right now.  Your Prevailing Awareness will tell you that, well, that's not my fault.  

You know, I had an auto accident, and it was not my fault because someone ran into the back of me and hit the rear part of my car.  And the answer to that is, yes, it was the expression of your Dominant Need.  You got in the car to drive it.  You stopped at the stop sign.  And the person behind you hit the back of your car.  

You say, “Well, it was his fault.”  Okay, if we're looking for fault, that's not what we're describing.  What we're looking at is what happens in our lives that makes us Responsible, and makes us aware that there are Consequences for every Dominant Need expression that there is. 

So if we have that thing in our thought process, we begin to recognize that it's not anybody but us who has to take responsibility for all of our actions, all of our sin, all of our shortcoming, however you want to describe it.

I sat at a stop sign, and I sat there at the stop sign and I remembered one day as I had been working through this, and walking through this, and trying to understand it, it caused me to smile, and I went back home.  And I put this diagram together, because it made me finally recognize that I am responsible for all of my decisions.  And all of my decisions come from my Dominant Need.  And all of my actions come from my Dominant Need expression.  And all my desires and needs come from that one need that surfaces always and is always surfacing.

You've been breathing, since we started these classes; you've been breathing since the day you were born.  Yet you don't think about your breathing, but you do.  And because you breathe, and you breathe all the time, and you're unaware of your breathing, it’s second nature to you to take breaths.  But you can stop breathing, you can decide to stop breathing.  

You can hold your breath. And when you do, you're holding your breath because you want to decide your Dominant Need is to prove to yourself that you can stop breathing.  And you can.  And then you will hold your breath as long as you can.  And then you'll take a breath and the next thing you know, you're breathing again.  But it's so natural to breathe.  And that's how all of us are created equal.   God breathed into us the breath of life. 

It is your Dominant Need, and it's managed by your body automatically.  You don't even think about it until it's called to your attention.  So sometimes we're not aware that all of our decisions are made based on Dominant Need.  And all of our decisions have Consequences.  And Consequences are not good or bad or right or wrong.  They are simply Consequences. 

But we do recognize them as some being better than others. And if they're better than others, we will probably lean more toward seeking those Consequences than we would other Consequences. That being said, Consequences lead to taking Responsibility, and recognizing that I'm responsible for all my choices.  All of my choices.  And they all lead to a whole life experience. 

That takes us to our States and our Behaviors. We have an internal representation, and what and how we picture in our mind and say here, and emotionally feel that our mind, puts in us a filtering system that comes out in the form of behavior.  The things we say, the things that we do.  When we say something that may embarrass us; our skin color changes.  When we get anxious, our breathing gets shorter and we can actually feel our heart pound.  There's a physiology, our posture, our biochemistry.  Our shoulders can tell if we're being discouraged or for standing up straight and tall.  And our nerve energy or muscular tension, our relaxation are all part of our States and Behaviors.  

So this diagram, has value in that it is non-judgmental.  There is no judgment in what you see back here.  It's all there.  It's what happens every single day, every waking moment of your life. And all of this will remain in a constant state of flux because when it was blank a few minutes ago, you didn't know what the words would be that you've just put in this diagram.  And now that you have the words, your awareness has transformed.  It's changed. 

And now, if you recognize this as something useful, it is.  If you think this is not useful, it is not useful.  That's how it works.  It's not to be judged.  It is simply something that I laid out to help us all clearly understand that we behave the way we do because of every factor you see here. 

In simple terms.  And these have been tweaked and adjusted over the years by the folks that I interact with, just like yourselves, who see this as something that can be useful and helpful.

My hope is that you have spent some time looking at this in a way that helps you see something that you may or may not have seen in the past.  And as you look at the bottom of this diagram, and it says States and Behaviors, how do you go through life by looking at what and how we picture in our mind and have an internal representation.  

So this happened to be my internal representation of what was happening to me.  And it helped me, it stopped me from doing what I had originally been doing.  And that's pointing a finger at everyone and everything, and say it was their fault, not mine. 

But when I saw it laid out, I was able to lay it out like this, I was able to see it in a way that I had not seen it before.  And it helped me understand that all of us have within us the potential to behaviorally change what we do, and put it in a mechanism that can help us understand what we do in our lives and how we conduct our lives.  

Did it change me?  Yes, it did change me?  Does it change me?  Every day.  Is it the end all?  No.   The end all is to continue to grow, and learn from it, and understand it.  And today, I understand that a little bit better than I did the day before.  You see, when you share this with someone else, you begin to recognize that yeah, this makes some sense to me.  But when you see it for the first time, it's just some words on a piece of paper. 

It helped me understand that it's not anyone else's fault for anything that happens to me.  If I want the situation to change, the change has to begin with me.  Because it has to be the expression of my Dominant Need.  And when we hurt enough, when we're frustrated enough, when we're angry enough, when we're joyful enough, we decide to make different decisions.  It's up to you.  And it's up to me. 

And I have to say it's a lot easier when you have a relationship with a heavenly father who guides and directs your life and you're willing to be obedient and express the Dominant Need that's put inside you to be better than you were the day before, to constantly seek a closer relationship with a heavenly Father who gives you all that you have.  

And your obedience to Him, and your surrender to that is what makes better Consequences because you're grateful in all things.  And gratitude is an attitude that you want to hang on to.  It completely transforms your life.

I hope you've enjoyed Session 10, and if you have any questions about it, make sure that I hear about it.  Because I think as you look at this over time, you'll begin to see it as a very valuable resource. 

God bless.  I'll see you soon in chapter, Session 11. Thank you.

Last modified: Tuesday, August 15, 2023, 8:41 AM