Episode 87: The Natural Man: The Enemy to Your Mental HealthFeb 02, 2023
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If you have been around and listening to the Meaningful Minutes Podcast for a while, you have probably heard me talk about the natural man many times. The reason for that is because I don’t think women realize how much the natural man is the culprit for a good portion of their problems and stress. So I thought it would be good to talk about how the natural man affects your mental health so you can learn tools to decrease the stress and problems that the natural man is creating in your life.
Now I am sure you have heard that the natural man is an enemy to God but did you know it’s the enemy of your mental health too? As a therapist, one of the most vital portions of working with clients is knowing the root cause of their problem they are seeking help for. Only knowing the symptoms they are experiencing and the goals they want to achieve in therapy, is like plucking off the leaves of a plant that is dying hoping to save it. You aren’t really getting to the root of why that plant is dying in the first place you will often do more damage in the process if you just try to get rid of symptoms.
I want you to know the root cause of many of your problems and stressors in your life. So let’s go to the scriptures to see what they say about root cause of the natural man being the enemy to your mental health. In Alma 41:11 it reads...
"And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness."
There are a few things I want you to notice about this scripture. First, there is a state that we all can slip into called the carnal state and sometimes referred to as the Natural Man. Second, in this state we are without God. Meaning we are on our own and left to our own thoughts and abilities. Third, this state is contrary to God. Contrary meaning opposite to or opposing.
So in the natural man carnal state we are on our own, and everything we experience is the exact opposite of what God would want us to experience. Doesn’t sound like a very fun place to be right? Does it sound like you will be problem and stress free? Doesn’t it sound a lot more stressful and problematic? Well this is the tip of the iceberg of the natural man state. Let’s dig a little further. I loved what Elder Kopischke said in the 2021 October Conference about tools.
“Challenges often indicate a need for additional tools and support and are not a character defect. We will experience stress and turmoil because we live in a fallen world with a fallen body. These all-too-often invisible challenges can affect anyone, and when we are facing them, they appear insurmountable. Regardless of our mental and emotional well-being, focusing on growth is healthier than obsessing about our shortcomings.”
I love what he says about this not being a character defect, it’s just what we experience from being in a fallen world with fallen bodies, we just need mental health tools to deal with them right? Staying in the perspective of the natural man state is what keeps you in the obsessing thoughts of your shortcomings. Repenting and returning to your divine receiver state is what shifts your perspective to grow towards becoming more like the Savior.
Well that is the exact reason I felt God pulling me to this work to teach women these mental health skills through a spiritual lens. Let’s talk about how to use mental health tools to put the natural man to sleep and experience you're divine receiver state so you can receive time, energy, help and peace beyond your own.
If you’re like most busy women, then chances are, you’re operating from this natural man state and not even knowing it. But that’s okay! It’s all that you knew how to do...UNTIL NOW! Truth is, no one is exempt from falling into the natural man state. But if you stay in your natural man state you will continue to feel chaos in your mind, confusion in your decisions, on the hampster wheel of overwhelm, feel overloaded with stress, never feel satisfied with your efforts, miss out on valuable revelation for loved ones, and lose access to power beyond your own
Because the natural man is an enemy to God it is vital that you learn effective tools to prepare for the inevitable attacks the natural man will take against you. When get to know your natural man and remove the internal roadblocks that the natural man creates, you can access your divine receiver state. In that state of divinity you will...
- Stop wasting time and getting distracted so you can accomplish more in less time
- Become a vessel for the Savior to know the exact way to help your loved ones
- Connect to your divine spiritual DNA to get more done than you can do on your own
- Feel peace in the unpeaceful so you can go to sleep when life is not how you want it to be
I can teach you the tools you need to achieve all of those in my Removing Roadblocks to Revelation Group Coaching Program that opens today. In this program I show you EXACTLY how those tools work and how to implement them into your daily life. These tools are actually mental health skills used through a spiritual lens to defuse your internal battles.
You might be wondering what are those mental health tools and there are actually 4 vital tools to removing the internal roadblocks the natural man creates. Using them will help you move from being a natural man doer into a divine receiver and hear and recognize the Savior in your life. Let me share those with you.
1. Calm Cluttered and Chaotic Thoughts
When you can calm your cluttered thoughts, you can hear the still small voice of the Spirit and stop wasting time and getting distracted so you can accomplish more in less time by receiving time beyond your own. You can start feeling focused, accomplished and have clarity in your thoughts.
If you don’t calm your cluttered and chaotic thoughts then you will be a natural man doer and you will feel stressed, disorganized, unfocused and like you are always falling behind. President Eyring says,
“The still, small voice—which is real—is clear and discernible in my mind when I feel an internal quiet.”
How else are you going to hear that still small voice if you don’t learn the mental health skills that create an internal peace and quiet? You have a resource at your fingertips that can help you know which daily decisions will save you the most time so you can stop wasting your time and focus on things the things that matter most if you have the tools to quiet your mind so you can hear that still small voice directing you.
2. Defuse Triggering Thoughts
When the natural man is out of the equation because you were able to defuse your triggering thoughts it created you can more patiently allow others to use their agency to grow and develop. Use empathy to see others as Christ sees them. Have the courage to say the words the Savior needs you to say and feel feel relaxed, strengthened and connect better with others.
Guess what happens if you don’t use those mental health skills through a spiritual lens to deal with the natural man? That’s right, you will continually feel angry at the people you love, worried something is going to happen to them, and guilt that you aren’t doing enough and helpless that you can’t do more. That’s a hard place to live for very long.
3. Interrupt Your Inner Critic
This allows you to access Christ’s power for your day so you can feel patience, empathy and courage. If you continue to operate from the natural man and not use the mental health tools through a spiritual lens then you will feel like you are failing, inadequate, exhausted and overwhelmed. Elder Renlund has said,
“Contention is spiritually unhealthy for us as individuals. We are robbed of peace, joy, and rest, and our ability to feel the Spirit is compromised."
The inner critic is the cause of internal contention that is unhealthy for us. The inner critic robs us of the patience, empathy and courage because the inner critic is literally the natural man’s job description. The natural man is the opposite of God and in that state you will never feel satisfied. You will never feel caught up. You will feel like there’s always more to be done. and the more you do the worse things get as it zaps your energy and you end up getting less done. Can you relate to that feeling? Then you might be operating out of the natural man state. Elder Rasband taught,
“When we are heavy laden with mistakes, heartaches, feelings of inadequacy, disappointment, anger, or sin, the power of the Savior’s Atonement is, by divine design, one of the things that lifts the soul.”
When you interrupt the inner critic you are able to enter into your divine receiver state are able to yoke to and connect with the Savior so that He can help you pass through the effects of living in a fallen world. That enabling power is how you are able to survive spiritually in this fallen world.
4. Build Mental Fortifications
Think about it, if the natural man is our enemy then what would it be like to go behind enemy lines and see what the tactics your enemy? To see what it is going to use against you so that you can build up fortifications for each of those tactics. Then when the enemy comes to attack, they aren’t really that powerful because you have built up fortifications for each tactic.
When you have these fortifications built then you can rest and sleep even in life’s storms, have discernment to make decisions WITH God and provide forgiveness for yourself and others.
I work with so many women who simply try to do more and more to build a life that never gets attacked in the first place. This is a losing battle because the natural man is going to attack no matter what. It’s part of the plan. So get behind enemy lines and be prepared for those inevitable attacks. When you build fortifications for the attacks you can achieve that peace in the unpeaceful.
But if you don’t build those mental fortifications, then you will inevitably feel anxious, confused, disappointed and as if life is out of control. The attacks of the natural man will leave you feeling overwhelmed and defeated. Elder Bednar said,
“Understanding the intent of an enemy is vital to effective preparation for possible attacks.”
Do you see that important word, "preparation?" Your job is not to try to build a life that doesn’t get attacked. Your job is to PREPARE for the inevitable attacks. Spending your time building those fortifications will be worth every minute because you will gain back hours that you have spent anxious, confused, disappointed and out of control. Instead, you will be prepared.
So there you have it. The four mental health tools that will help you hear him in the chaos by removing internal roadblocks to revelation so you can receive God’s TIME, ENERGY, HELP and PEACE beyond your own as you calm your mind, defuse your triggers, interrupt your inner critic and build mental fortifications
If any of this resonated with you and you want to learn how to implement those mental health tools through a spiritual lens then come join the Removing Roadblocks to Revelation Group Coaching Program that is open now February 1-7.
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