The Three Steps

excerpted from Inner Healing by Dan Joseph

Inner Healing is a book that explores a three-step process of inner healing. These three steps involve:

  • Acknowledging an inner block (any distressing thought or feeling)
  • Becoming willing to prayerfully release that block
  • Opening to an inner experience of divine comfort and peace.

Below is an exercise from Inner Healing that outlines these three steps.

The Three Steps

Introduction

To begin this exercise, please choose some area of your life that's troubling you. It could be a relationship, a work-related situation, or anything else. If you wish, you can describe the issue below.

 

 

(ex. My wife is bothering me about cleaning up my stuff around the house. I'm getting a little tired of it.)

Step One

In order to zero-in on the thoughts in need of healing, you can first take a look at your feelings. As I mentioned, uncomfortable feelings can serve as excellent pointers to the underlying thoughts.

When you think about this issue, how do you feel? I invite you to list out your specific feelings below.

 

 

(ex. I feel frustrated, and a bit guilty. I also feel a sense of dread about getting into further arguments.)


Having listed out some of your feelings, you're halfway through step one. Now let's take a look at the thoughts that are giving rise to those feelings. It's important to be very honest with yourself at this point. You don't want to "censor" your thoughts. You're honestly bringing these blocks into your awareness so you can offer them to God to be healed.

Here is one way to bridge from the feelings to the underlying thoughts: "I feel this way because I see myself as ____."

I invite you to complete that sentence.

 

 

(ex. I feel this way because I see myself as unfairly criticized. I see myself as unappreciated. I see myself as trapped by all this criticism.)

That completes step one. You have successfully identified some of the thoughts and perceptions that need to be replaced. In this example, the person's thoughts were: "I see myself as unfairly criticized," "I see myself as unappreciated," and "I see myself as trapped."

Of course, those might not look like thoughts or perceptions – they might look like objective descriptions of the situation. But it's important to realize that these are just perceptions (or thoughts), and that God can inspire another perception – a perception that leads to feelings of comfort and peace.

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