Why Self-Healers Will Never Heal : Part I
(and other lies instagram life coaches believe)
Your soul knows you are good enough.
E L Y S E S A N T I L L I
But I feel so worthless. We, the humans, think. I have so much shame. I leave destruction in my path -- hurt, broken relationships, failure, negative feelings. It leaves me tortured by feelings of guilt and inadequacy.
No, you are so wrong, culture tells us. You have it all wrong to think that you are all wrong. Ignore your feelings and reaffirm to yourself that you are good enough. If you say it enough times, it will be true.
But will it? This message has been preached to us for decades and it is beginning to sound hollow. The universal feelings of guilt and shame will not be kept down by such simplistic thinking. The lie of Satan is beginning to come apart at the seams and it begins to dawn on us that perhaps we truly are broken, worthless, and bring destruction to everything we touch.
But never fear, the dawn will be snuffed out. The prince of this world would never allow such a travesty to occur. Hold on to your seats everyone, because here comes the lie again, recycled and repackaged with a shiny red bow that should be bewitching enough for the best of us.
Awaken to your worth. Embody your wholeness. Live with authentic power.
M A D I S O N M O R R I G A N ( H E D L U N D )
How beautiful sound the words of the self-healers doing the “good work” of re-mothering and reclaiming. Influencers like Madison Morrigan and Dr. Nicole LePera (Instagram handles: @madisonmorrigan and @the.holistic.psychologist) have gained a massive following as they pioneer a new spiritual aesthetic, a new movement that teaches us how to think about ourselves and deal with the negative thoughts and feelings that comprise our daily reality. And despite some minor variance in wording or perspective, they (and there are so many of them! Check out @bycacademy on Instagram) are all promoting a few common claims that make it easy to discern the same philosophy taking shape from all of them. Here are some of key claims promoted:
Claim 1: There is no dichotomy of “good” or “bad.” There is just being, existing.
However, they acknowledge, your feelings will definitely try to make you categorize things as “good” or “bad” and create a lot of guilt and shame in your life. Instead of shoving them down, you need to sit with them. Make space for yourself to feel. Allow and experience these emotions of “good” and “bad,” but ultimately deny them and acknowledge the “truth” that there is no black and white, just being.
Let’s take a look at a recent post from Madison Morrigon, a formerly “Christian" woman experiencing deconstruction and self-proclaimed life-coach who daily influences the belief system of thousands and thousands of women. She writes,
Punishment programming (see also atonement theology) confuses us to believe when we are experiencing pain, difficulty or when something goes “wrong” that someone is to blame or must be punished in order to find relief and healing. Much of the time, the person we seek to shame is ourselves. Other times, our ego loves to point the finger.
Are you noticing yourself look for the “cause” of all this uncertainty as a means to satiate the discomfort? Have you found yourself angry at others, shameful of yourself or feeling like there is a “bad guy” here?
...no amount of blame, shame or punishment will atone for these uncomfortable feelings. We’ve got to sit with them, welcome them, and let them point us to our values.
So if stories are arising that sound like… “If only I could do or give more… If I had healed faster or better I wouldn’t be suffering in this way… Did I manifest this!? The pandemic is a punishment or judgment from God - we deserve this/I deserve this.”
Please remember that stories of fault and blame only satiate us for a short period of time. They never take away the deep feelings, or help us relate to ourselves, others or the world around us.
Blame will never lead to freedom, power or wholeness. Take back your power from this punishment programming by coming back to yourself.
Claim 2: There are two parts of yourself, the one that feels morally neutral emotions, and the sovereign part of you that must choose what your life will be.
Dr. Nicole LePera takes a more scientific approach to essentially the same message as that of Madison Morrigan. Captioning an Instagram infographic that claims “The ego is not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ it’s just a part of the mind that attempts to create our identity,” she writes,
The ego is the concept of who we are. Our identity. Anything after “I” is the ego. The ego gives us a steady stream of thoughts through our mind all day long.
Most of us have no awareness of the ego. We aren’t taught about it. And if we do hear about ego, it gets a bad rep. All human beings have an ego. It’s a healthy construct of the mind. The ego only causes issues for us when we are unconscious to it.
Because we believe our ego thoughts/identity to be true, we act as if they’re true. This is why I speak so consistently on self observation. We are not our ego. The ability to think about our thoughts makes us uniquely human. We have the ability (with practice) to question the ego. To see if what the ego tells us about ourselves + our experience is true.
Awakening is not a mystical experience. It’s not for monks. It not just for “spiritual” people. Awakening is simply becoming aware of the ego and it’s consistent fear based, scarcity based narratives.
These narratives make us feel as though we must compete. That we are not enough. That someone disagreeing with us, or not seeing our reality is a threat to our own identity.
As we expand our level of consciousness, we can see that ego thrives on fear based thoughts. It’s consistently trying to suck us into its stories by creating thought cycles that keep us repeating familiar behaviors + having the same emotionally charged habitual reactions. The ego always seeks to have the past in the present moment.
Ego work is simply observing. Allowing the ego to be there with all its thoughts. All it’s fears. And of course all it’s tantrums. The ego is just like a child. It needs to be seen + heard (not judged) which allows the ego to settle.
Consciousness is freedom from the ego driving all behavior.
These spiritual leaders are promoting the idea that you are made up of at least two parts, your ego which is essentially an emotional little child and some other vague, unreferred to part that makes your personal decisions. They urge that second part of you to accept, love, and nurture the “emotional child,” allowing it’s feelings, tantrums, experiences -- totally neutral --but ultimately denying its power over your decision-making and your life choices.
Claim 3: Despite the negative messages your ego/past programming may send you, you must drive your life through decisions that promote the truth.
The truth being that your feelings are dead wrong and you are, in fact, good. You are enough. You are good enough. When you achieve this kind of consciousness, you have in fact, not gained, but rather reclaimed “sovereignty” over yourself and your own life. Sovereignty that is your birthright (by virtue of...being born, of merely existing).
That’s what Madison Morrigon would have you believe: “It's through validating our honest experience and true capacity that we can remother ourselves home, and in turn actually increase our capacity for goodness, break the cycles of self-denial, invalidation and shame of our own power we have been carrying for generations.” She calls this process “remothering yourself.”
Claim 4: The truth is that you were never broken and in need of healing. You simply need to reclaim yourself.
Let me explain that a little more. Essentially, according to theses gurus, the truth is that your ego/past programming is wrong and that you were never broken, in need of healing or saving, or in need of anything or anyone other than yourself. Your only need is to heal yourself -- to return to your already existing inner wholeness, goodness, and power to determine your own outcomes.
Though maybe nothing has rung an alarm in your head until now, this is when it should. Here, the message of these women begins to directly and unequivocably contradict Scripture’s claim that, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Romans 3: 10-12).
Not only this, but the message deepens and becomes even more blasphemous. Not only are we told that, contrary to Scripture’s message, we are good, whole, and not in need of saving, we are in fact, sovereign. We are divine. I’m not exaggerating that this is the claim being made, and honestly, one leads to another. We now are sovereign priestesses (for some reason these teachers only seem to address women) with no need of a Savior. Our self has actually taken His place.
Claim 5: Your ego/past programming is done by other people. In order to heal, you need to completely distance yourself or cut off anyone who is in any way negative towards you.
This, perhaps one of the most dangerous ideas of all, essentially isolates you on your own journey of self-healing and puts you at odds with, let’s face it most people. Because if not now, then later, everyone in your life will somehow hurt or put you down.
Please, I beg you,” Madison soulfully writes, “no longer speak to me as though I Am broken, a wretch, in need of saving, fixing and mending. I exist now in my freedom. I call myself Grace.”
Yea, she did actually capitalize "I Am," essentially stealing the name God revealed Himself with in Exodus 3: 14. Guess her Christian background is really coming in handy for blaspheming God in the most sophisticated manner. "I call myself Grace." She calls herself a lot of things. Among others, she is Sovereign. She is Divine. She is not in need of saving or fixing. She is Grace unto herself. In a post too blasphemous for me to repeat in its entirety, she prays (to herself and the universe, which seem to be the same thing) “Remembering, God and grace within. Remembering, it’s all welcome here.”
It all sounds really interesting and parts of it sound kind of true. If it didn't sound kind of true, I wouldn't be worried enough about these lies to denounce them in a post. But the words of these "teachers" ring true to thousands of women who have wholeheartedly embraced this philosophy. And the reason for that is the same as it has ever been.
Any unScriptural philosophy that sounds “right” and is truly appealing is that way because it contains a seed of truth.
These spiritual leaders may or may not be ill-intentioned. They could honestly be seeking for an explanation of the realities and issues humans face. As such, they’re pretty good observers and heretical though they may be, they are not totally wrong. Here are the things that these spiritual leaders are RIGHT about:
There are different parts to you. We talked about this in my last blog post, but the Bible refers to different parts to the self, namely, the soul, spirit, and body. It refers to God’s image (in everyone), and the new nature (in Christians), which wars against the sinful flesh. There is also definitely a more logical, decision-making part of us and an emotional part that are often at odds.
Oftentimes, people do shove down their feelings and refuse to experience/deal with them. This is most definitely an unhealthy behavior that needs to be addressed.
We are in need of “spiritual work” to lead us back to “freedom, power, and wholeness.” We truly do need help dealing with feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness, and brokenness because it is an overwhelming negative human experience. We do need answers and solutions because we definitely have problems. In general, we do need an “awakening” or a “bringing to consciousness” that there is a huge problem in how we experience life and deal with self because your average human is living in the belief that everything is fine when in fact, there is huge brokenness in his or her life.
We need a way to deal with the hurtful and sinful actions of people towards us.
However, obviously, they have A LOT of things wrong. However, because the problems they are addressing are so real and the solutions they are offering are so attractive and seem so logical, I believe that they are posing a real danger to people in teaching false philosophies. Not only to people of the world, who have no wisdom or light from the Holy Spirit, but to weak-minded Christians who are not grounded in the Word of God. And this is not just a belief I have -- I see the comments of thousands of followers who have bought into this way of thinking. I also have seen a girl that I used to go to college with who has been personally coached by one of these women and, abandoning her faith, is now trying to make a business out of teaching this harmful philosophy to other young women.
The danger is real. I’ve seen it.
Women especially are susceptible to falling prey to this because, in general, we think and talk about our feelings a lot more than men do. And I’m actually not as worried that authentic Christian women will buy into these teachings. I am far more concerned about the pernicious effects that this philosophy can have as it creeps in, unnoticed, into our Christian theology. As a church in this modern era, I think we tend to be very careless about how we adopt certain phrases and ideas into our theology and more and more, I hear Christians borrowing terms from these godless movements, accepting them without thinking, incorporating them into their belief system about themselves. Things like “cutting toxic people out of our lives” or “working on healing ourselves” -- ideas which seem okay and Biblical on the surface, but are actually derived from key heresies of this movement.
Now I can’t shut the mouths of these “false teachers” and though I don’t consider myself a teacher, I feel that I can at least counter their lies with the truth.
And I want to do just that. Up next, I'll be taking a look at this new movement in the light of Biblical truth and explore God's thoughts on who we are and how we heal.
UP NEXT > PART II : Why Self-Healers Will Never Heal