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Manipulation of Disconnection

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Shulanda J. Hastings

Ambassador Shulanda

Ambassador Shulanda

Shulanda J. Hastings is an inspirational writer, Christian counselor and an ambassador to the faith-based community; helping them break mental health barriers. She is the author of the Beauty of My Thorns novel series and of the memoirs, Keeping My Faith While Saving My Mind.

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Last night, while winding down from a long day, I had an opportunity to catch up on a couple of my favorite shows:

NCIS and NCIS Los Angeles (LA)

Since the original NCIS recently celebrated its 300th episode after being on the air for almost 13 years, I have been even more intrigued to watch in anticipation how my favorite character, Tony DiNozzo, will make his final exit.

Then there is also the action packed, yet love drip of NCIS LA. The show has LL Cool J. Need I say more?

Yes, I am definitely compelled to do so.

Both of these shows have produced powerful life messages. I will not dare attempt to give them justice in this blog. However, I do want to share a relevant message that I immediately received from watching episode 163, “The Seventh Child” of NCIS LA.

The Power of Manipulation

Sam Hanna and G. Callen once again led their team to help civilians tied to a military operation. The scene opened with twin boys running away from a group of terrorists.

As if this picture alone isn’t alarming enough, the fact that both boys had a bomb around them was even more frightening.

In case you are starting to wonder what all this has to do with promoting mental health, just appease me a little by continue reading.

While the twin foreign boys were running from the men (if I dare to call them that), one of them gets hit by a car and dies in the bomb explosion.

If you too are a fan of the show, you know that the team of special agents are now charged to investigate and solve the case.

While doing do, they learn that these two boys are indirectly connected to a group of male teens. What do they all have in common?

They all have bomb vests and eager to set off the ignitors!

At least this is how it appeared.

The group of terrorists that were chasing the two little boys were the same men who orchestrated the plan for the teens to also sacrifice their lives so that they could go to heaven.

I know. Sounds ‘crazy’ right?

It is. This is why the entire time that Callen and Sam were trying to convince the boys to allow the technicians to try and disarm the bomb or carefully remove it from their bodies, I kept wondering why would any one, especially children be so convinced and willing to be suicide bombers?

It started with mind manipulation.  These boys all had other factors in common. Underneath their thick and apparently bold skin, was fear, rejection and loneliness.

They didn’t really want to die.  But there was another powerful emotion at work that for a moment made them feel as though dying was the best option.

How does someone manipulate a person into doing something that they dare not do themselves?

By using their weakness against them.

These boys feared dying, but they also feared rejection and being alone in the world.

The manipulative men lied to them. They convinced the boys that their parents had abandoned them from birth and left them to fight in the world by themselves. They felt that if the two people who is suppose to be their first introduction to love threw them away, who else would care about them?

They were able to be manipulated by being disconnected.

This is how the enemy operates. He is coning. He is deceitful. He is strategic. He seeks to kill and destroy. When a person is facing the challenge of depression, they are naturally drawn to isolation. The enemy knows that if he can get a depressed person in isolation, he can really play mind games with them.

He wants you to believe that there is no hope left. That no one understands you or cares about you. He wants you to believe that you have no support system. That you are totally disconnected.

The devil is a LIAR.

You do have a connection. God created us for relationships. Relationships with our family, friends and with our Creator.

The boys didn’t think they had a way out. Despite their strong will to ignite the bomb, they also wanted a reason not to do so. When they heard that they had family who loved them and cared, they were relieved. At first they didn’t want to believe it out of their fear of being rejected. But they couldn’t deny what was in front of them and what was in their hearts.

LOVE.

Love does not seek to harm, but to help. When you find yourself feeling alone and disconnected, remember that you are loved and because of this, you too have another option: HOPE.


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