A “presence” exists and only focused calmness and stillness allows detection. The presence, whether detected or not, eventually kills, steals, and destroys life. Despite this mayhem related to the presence, people deny its existence, conjure up bogus excuses, or become helpless.
The above description of the presence sounds like 7.62×39 hunting ammo the alien in the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Predator (1987), but really describes self-deceit. The movie works quite well as a metaphor to beat self-deceit.
A highly trained military team conducts a secret operation to extract hostages from the Guatemalan jungle. Some invisible creature starts killing the group one-by-one. The native villagers think it’s a ghost. Arnold, being the leader, sets a trap.
Self-deceit is many times invisible and hard to detect. Unless a strategy is set up, the killing, stealing, and destroying of self-deceit thrives. The overall end results of DUIs, texting drivers, and chain smokers are obvious. The mystery is how people fail to see the obvious. The personal predator is self-deception thinking – “It won’t affect me!”
The team is still, listening, and watching. A branch cracks and the gun-fire begins and doesn’t end until all the ammo is gone. Nothing seems to have been hit, but checking the scene more carefully blood is found. A pivotal point in the movie, Arnold declares, “If it bleeds, we can kill it.”
Self-deceit is a dysfunctional coping mechanism to deal with addictions, relationship problems, bad habits, or any other array of life’s difficulties. A Proverb (13:12 NLT) describes how that can be turned around, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” Self-deceit does “bleed” and the realization of that is a tree of life. Relief comes, but only marks the beginning of the fight. Knowing the Predator can be killed is wonderful, but actually making it happen is another story.
All of the team ends up dying except for Arnold leading to the next pivotal point. A bunch of things happen and Arnold has to jump off of a high cliff into water to escape being slaughtered. Overcoming self-deceit can feel like jumping off a cliff.
Arnold crawls ashore and gets covered with mud. Totally exhausted, a rest is in order. Sure enough here comes the Predator jumping into the water and becoming visible. Arnold’s helpless and prepares to die, but the Predator does not see him. The game changes dramatically because the alien is visible, can only see by infrared, and now the mud makes Arnold invisible.
What appeared to be the end suddenly becomes an opportunity. Persevering to survive reveals the vulnerabilities of the predator of self-deception, but it’s hard work. The simplest things (a mud facial in Arnold’s case) can save a situation of total despair.
An accountability friend, new activity, or an exercise program among a host of other things might trigger a shift of mindset to “see” things better. The intent is to learn some new coping tools and get to the next step. The battle is challenging and ongoing. The newly acquired tools sustain hope and dreams can be fulfilled.
Arnold could have run, but what a disappointment that would be! The decision to kill the Predator is a good one, likewise regarding the predator of self-deception. Reject passivity and continue on the offensive. The Predator in the movie eventually dies, but a bunch of sequels follow. Self-deceit defeat is not a one-time battle, but an ongoing war.