If nothing changes, then nothing changes. When it comes to dealing with our unhealthy soul ties, the journey to transformation through mind renewal (Romans 12:2) only happens through drastic change.
The mind is not our enemy. God gave it to us to be a storehouse of experiences and memories that are fulfilling and life-giving. Like all wonderful gifts of God marked by sin, the mind's beauty has been perverted through sin. It's ability to store information and establish patterns is not bad... but the sinful and perverted things stored in the mind become the hallmark of generational sin. Your mind only has one way to be transformed and that is by giving it back to the God who created it. How do you do that? It starts with disturbing the "dance" to which it has become so accustomed. You have "dance partners" (emotions, habits, patterns of thought, patterns of decision, relationships, etc.) that need to be cut off if transformational change is to have the victory. At the same time you are forsaking old dance partners you must begin to learn anew from Jesus. Jesus must come in and teach new patterns, new ways, new foundational truths, dispel lies and heal. His Word must bring life where the hurtful, lying words of others have been damaging. You must stock-up the storehouse of your mind with His Word.
The million-dollar question is, "What happens when I change the dance steps, or walk off the dance floor?" Well, the short answer is that things become temporarily ugly. How ugly? Any attempt to answer that is speculation. However, both in my own experience and in the experiences I have seen in others through counseling, when you disturb the dances to which you and your unhealthy soul-tie partner have become so accustomed, things get ugly. This is not to say that you should be discouraged by this... not at all! Be encouraged because once things are upset, they are on the way to being settled, and you are on your path to freedom and mind-renewal! That's cause to rejoice! Like James said, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4 NIV)
Two Realities to Prepare for:
One: The Old becomes Louder, Larger, and more Alluring.
If you're dieting, certain foods seem to call your name from the refrigerator. Why? You've cut them off and you have upset the dance partner of your mind. If you've separated yourself from a toxic relationship and you find yourself longing for it even though it is toxic, it is because you've grown so accustomed to it that the change causes you to long for the familiar. Old dance partners bark louder, grow larger, and raise their game of temptation when you walk off the dance floor. Be aware, but not afraid, of these changes. Their temporary and their threats are empty! Press on.
Two: The Old attempts to Leverage Your Mind.
Their second trick is to leverage your mind through lies. You will begin to hear accusing voices, lying voices telling you that you might as well give up, they will heap guilt and shame upon you, you may be told you're a failure or worthless. These are lies of the devil in his last attempt to get you back in the dance. You must remember that it is not temporary comfort you seek, but eternal freedom. You must learn to confront these voices with the Word of God and squelch them through the powerful name of Jesus.
My flesh and mind converse within
Where voices talk with words of sin
They come to steal, kill, destroy
They rob my mind of peace and joy
My habits, thoughts and actions tell
Of what is in my mind's deep well
All this comes not just by chance
I've spent life to learn "the Dance."
I know the dance, I've learned it well
And it's become the gate of hell
What once seemed free now has chains
Where once was joy is only pain
The pain must stop, the hurt depart
I need a fresh and all new start
But if I walk and turn away
Perhaps I'll find a far worse fate
I turn, I sigh, I hesitate
Yet take step one to leave my mate
Accuser, Abuser, distorted friend
The time has come, we've reached our end
Familiar, yes, and though I yearn
The death you bring I must unlearn
Good bye to you, you've served me long
It's time to sing a brand new song
The Lord of Love invites "come dance."
He calls me out of death's dark trance
Now in the mind a tug-o-war
The old begins to growl and roar
Confusion comes in mountainous waves
Am I free or just a slave?
The change is seek is not behind
I must pursue a renewed mind
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.