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The Ancient Deception (aka - a secret mental health formula)

Yes, there appears to be a secret and unique formula.

It’s formula includes ‘self-image deception’, shame and isolation.

Mental ill-health is birthed in ‘believed self-image deceptions’.

Painful life stories make these deceptions ‘appear’ more believable.

Neuroscience can explain our actions.

Ancient texts can show us a way out.

Article in full:

Wouldn’t it be incredible if we could find ‘a cure’ for mental ill-health? Imagine if we understood how we become mentally un-well and discovered that there was a ‘secret formula’ of recovery that could be discovered?

A formula that had the power to shed dark-sadness, calm fearful-anxiety, end lonely-isolation and enlighten-hopelessness?

It sounds all too idealistic, simplistic and too good to be true, doesn’t it? Surely there must be a multitude of complex genetic and environmental variables at play and it’s so arrogant, ignorant and even dangerous to suggest that there could be a simple formula that applies to us all! What about all the various professional diagnosis and what about our huge pharmaceutical industry? Surely these things wouldn’t exist unless they were the answer?

What’s curious though, is that there does appear to be a common pattern visible in those who ‘don’t feel good in their head and don’t feel good in their heart’.

It’s a precious gift to be trusted enough to accompany a person as they journey underneath the symptoms of anxiety and depression and what you always find there is a painful life story and the existence of three things:

A damaged self-image, the existence of shame and a subconscious, biologically driven, need to withdraw from people and become safe by becoming in-visible.

The magnitude of these three things always correlates to the pain of the story, the availability of support and love throughout the story, and just how long a person has been ‘stuck in the story’, but all three are always there. Down deep. We also now know that shame and fear trigger similar neurobiological responses. That feelings of shame, drive feelings of unsafety, leading to a biological and overwhelming need to fight, flight or freeze. With deep shame this more often looks like flight (run away and hide) or freeze (complete mental shut down as the shame overwhelm is so unbearable).

‘first there’s a self-image deception, the deception births shame and the shame makes me hide’

There is a story at the very start of the very start of the Christian scriptures. This story has been available to mankind for circa 3000 years and goes a little something like this: (paraphrase of Genesis 3:1-8)

All was good with Adam and Eve, they felt safe, and they felt unashamed, so much so they could walk around without anything on and were happy to be seen naked by each other and by their God. They felt so secure, they knew who they were and deeply felt that they were totally acceptable and lacking nothing.

Then a snake, metaphor for their enemy – the devil, tries to deceive them. "Hey Eve, you don’t know everything and there’s something that, if you had it, it would make you complete” (*there’s the deception - as she already was complete). “You see Eve, unless you have this ‘thing’ you’re just not good enough”.

Eve believes the deception, this deception makes both Eve and Adam self-conscious (shame) and they start to hide themselves. The overall result of the deception is total isolation.

There appears to be an overlap between mental health symptoms and this antient text.

My Story – ‘I was rejected or abused’

The Deception – ‘I’m not valuable enough to be loved, I’m dirty, I’m defective’

My Feelings – ‘I feel ashamed, worthless and alone’

My Actions – ‘withdrawal, hiding, isolation, death’

Yes, I am being bold enough here to suggest that there could be an ‘ancient deception’ at the heart of a modern mental health crisis.

I have witnessed the awful consequences of these deceptions. One ‘believed lie’ has the power to derail decades of life and even to take life itself. Shame is a hidden and destructive power that unites with isolation to suffocate the joy and freedom out of humanity. Yes, I do believe that shame lies at the heart of our modern mental health crisis, but it is birthed through the deception that ‘in some way I am defective’. (thankfully we are waking up to this now, but the Gen Z mental health crisis has been fuelled and accelerated by the self-identity deceptions that take place minute by minute on social media feeds. This all taking place as social media billionaires feast on their spoils)

Self-Image Re-birth – reverse the formula!

It takes time, it’s not always an easy path but reversing the formula is the way to healing and freedom. Let’s do that:

Where there was hiding – reach out for connection

From those who you trust and who you feel safe with.

Where there was shame – go on a journey of self-acceptance

By first opening and nurturing your heart to accept and love yourself, leading to a renewed ability to receive love and acceptance from others. This takes time, it’s a gentle, safe, compassionate, relaxing, warm, soothing bath, not a quick cold shower!

Were there was self-image deception – find the truth and the truth will set you free

What seems impossible to believe about yourself, becomes possible in the company of safety, love and self-acceptance. Your true self-image re-born.

My New Self Image

I was planned before the start of time, by a loving father who knows exactly who I am and who would literally give, and has given, everything for me. Just like gold, it doesn’t matter if life scratches me or makes me dirty, my value when dirty and scratched is the same before and after and forever. I despise deceit, wage war on these lies and I agonise with the ashamed. My heart aches and my eyes weep with you. Don’t give up hope, reach out and reverse the formula. (author anonymous)



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