Do You Say or Do Stupid Things?
What causes smart people to do or say stupid things that they regret? How often do you end up hurting the most important person in your life next to God – meaning your spouse? The bad news is that Satan has the power to influence your choices and your brain chemistry. The good news is that once you understand how your own emotions and brain chemistry work, you can use your body to cast out Satan’s influence. You can learn how to break negative habitual patterns that cause pain and conflict.
In a previous article, Part 1 of “Does Satan Spin Your Marriage?” illustrates the disappointment of frustrating patterns in a relationship when Jane welcomes her husband home and the outcome is not joyful.
In review, imagine that Jane is having an extremely rough day. The children are not on their best behavior, and she is feeling overwhelmed from daily responsibilities. She is hoping when her husband, Tom, comes home from work that they can connect. She wants to feel supported.
This is not the case today! Tom begins calmly sharing about his day, and Jane starts to feel anxiety and frustration. She interrupts Tom by saying, “Don’t you care about my day?” She continues to raise her voice, and the conversation ends in an argument.
Satan spins our physical brain until we are literally out of our logical mind. When thinking from our animal brain – or reptilian brain – we can’t make decisions based on values. Jane acted outside her values to raise her voice towards her husband. She can learn how to prevent this pattern of arguments in the future.
This subliminal memory of hearing her husband’s monotone voice caused the negative chemicals in Jane’s brain to start dripping. As the drips increase, they may cause the frontal lobe (where imagination, creativity, reasoning, and values reside) to go to sleep. If your frontal lobe goes to sleep, you will make choices from the animal or instinct part of your brain.
You will make choices that are not based on your values. It’s as if you are literally out of your mind because these natural chemicals in your brain are in the same family as heroin! You will also make choices with as limited intelligence as a wild animal because that is what part of your brain you are thinking from!
The first part of the Satanic Spin happens when we get flashed with a subliminal or subconscious event from the past. It can be a sound, smell, taste, feel of something, or even a word that our brain picks up on. For Jane, her husband’s monotone voice triggered her brain to start into the Satanic Spin. The last time – and possibly several times in the past – this sound in conversation with her husband resulted in an argument. It didn’t cause the argument. Jane’s brain just made a connection with this sound and arguing.
Some of Jane’s values are to speak with patience, kindness and understanding to her husband. She clearly did not act by her values when she raised her voice at Tom.
The third part of the Satanic Spin happens when you have a partial feeling. Your amazing brain looks for things from the past that created this partial feeling and connects past events to your current situation. In Jane’s story, her partial feeling of anxiety showed up because she had experienced it many times in the past, especially in her interaction with her husband upon his arrival home from work.
It’s typical for us to not notice chemical changes in our bodies, especially men. But with adequate training, you can learn to describe changes in body chemistry with the words: bored, irritable, frustrated, anxious, depressed, lonely, angry, etc.
Imagine little buckets in your brain filled with chemicals. When the buckets are spilled the chemicals cause a variety of unique feelings. Satan is looking for the opportunity to tips those buckets with his fiery darts which are negative thoughts. He generally causes a few drops to be spilled at a time rather than a whole bucket. Wanting to remain undetected, this is another subtle strategy of the adversary.
As Christians, many of us believe in inspiration through Holy Ghost as we receive spiritual promptings through thoughts or feelings. Satan has similar power to influence our thoughts and feelings, but his intentions are to influence us for evil.
Satan causes much of the opposition we experience in this fallen world (See 2 Nephi 2:10-11, 15) and can influence our thoughts and feelings.
Logic – Your Thoughts
The human brain stores memories of everything you have ever seen, tasted, smelled, touched, felt or experienced in any way. Suppose you connected with someone you haven’t seen in a long while. The brain searches its filing cabinet with a question like “Where have I seen this person before?”
Jane’s brain flashed her with a memory of the past when the sound of her husband’s monotone voice occurred. This same sound led to an argument several times before. Jane didn’t feel safe in this situation. Your brain is always on the lookout for possible threats from the past to activate the survival mechanism in the middle animal brain.
For Jane, this subliminal memory in her brain’s filing cabinet – her husband’s monotone voice – caused the negative chemicals to start dripping. Your brain processes this entire four-phase cycle in less than one second. With every cycle, strong negative feelings increase along with deviant chemicals to sooth the mind to the point of being “stoned.” This causes the frontal lobe (where imagination, creativity, reasoning, and values reside) to go to sleep. If your frontal lobe goes to sleep, you will make choices that are not based on your values.
Although we always have free agency along the way, there is something to the old adage of Satan made me do it!
The Best Strategy to Prevent a Spin
Get in touch with your feelings and realize they are a guide or beacon to you. This can make a huge difference in preventing yourself from saying or doing something you regret. Many people often ignore their feelings. They don’t realize when they are slipping into their animal brain thinking, which really isn’t thinking as much as acting on instinct. Some people don’t understand the value in acknowledging their emotions and using them to their advantage.
If you find yourself experiencing anger, frustration, fear, or any painful emotion, find a way to shift your energy and lessen that emotion. Do this before interacting or continuing to interact with someone near and dear to you. You might do something physical such as take a walk, run, do some push ups, or do jumping jacks. You might take a calmer approach and meditate or pray for a few minutes. Maybe singing a joyful or energizing song, listening to inspiring music, or even dancing can help you interact better with others.
And, it doesn’t need to take a long time. Just take a few minutes or so with the activity of your choice to neutralize those negative brain chemicals. The sooner you become aware of negative emotions bubbling up, the quicker doing a simple activity can pop those bubbles and calm you down.
Give this powerful strategy tip a try. But if you still struggle with patterns of frustration, anxiety, sadness, fear or guilt in your marriage relationship, consider a complimentary 30-minute call. This valuable call is with a certified marriage coach. Simply click the link below to get started. This assessment call will give you clarity on using the strategy discussed in this article or other strategies you might need to strengthen your relationship against the influence of Satan.
If you missed Part 1 of Does Satan Spin Your Marriage? click HERE for Part 1 that will explain more about the flash and chemical drip parts of the Satanic Spin.
30-minute complimentary Marriage Assessment Call
Need more ideas on creating healthy patterns of connection in your marriage or have another issue you would like to discuss with a marriage coach? Book a 30-minute complimentary online call at this link.
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Maurice W. Harker, the head therapist at Life Changing Services, has a unique way of teaching about the adversary’s strategies to deceive and weaken ourselves and relationships. He offers a free marriage relationship eBook: I’m Not OK, You’re Not OK, But That’s OK!)