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Excerpts from
"Changing Your Stripes"

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The article below is an excerpt from Changing Your Stripes; it explains the tell-tale signs that appear when You... betray your own sense of what is True! A curious human phenomenon unfolds as people often unwittingly choose the trap of Betrayal: they go against their own sense of integrity, yet do not detect their diversion from Truth. This curious contradiction of blindly going against yourself involves Self-Deception.

Another intriguing and illuminating aspect of the Social Psychology of Betrayal entails the Difference between Facts vs. Truth. When in Betrayal, people tend to use Facts to make the wrong they are doing . . . appear right — this means that Truth is superficially pretended and imitated.


Tell-Tale Signs of Betrayal
by Matt Moody, Ph.D. 

All Your Troubles are in The JAR. Betrayal is a word to describe moments when a human being is out of harmony with his or her own sense of truth. As Shakespeare expressed, "To thine own self be true, therefore thou canst not be false to any man." Betrayal means being false to yourself as well as to others. When you go against your own sense of goodness, you lose Life's inherent harmony; inner conflict is created and outward signs seep to the surface.

* * * * *
Three Tell-Tale signs that YOU
are betraying your own sense of what is TRUE:
"All your troubles are in the J.A.R."

 * * * * * 

A thorough understanding of the tell-tale signs of betrayal can provide awareness sufficient to catch yourself and correct your course. The patterns are predictable and observable; they are consistent signs central to the aim of Un-Doing! Seeing these signs in yourself provides a huge clue . . . to what you need to Un-Do:

* * *
J = Justifying
A = Accusing  
R = Resenting

* * * 

Instead of owning response-ability, the person in betrayal typically tries to explain away the troubles at hand: Justifying self while Accusing others is a tell-tale pattern of those trapped in betrayal; they also become embroiled in Resenting emotions and rationalize, "because others have made me miserable . . . begrudging my abusers is what anyone would do in the same situation." Indeed, most "anyone" would begrudge their abusers, but being average is not our aim. Changing Your Stripes is about excellence!

Whenever accusing and self-excusing words emerge, words laced with a resentful agitated edge, THEN you may know with certainty that a betrayal is in progress! The outward behaviors of the J.A.R. expose the inner imbalance of the heart, . . . inner conflict called betrayal.

It's hard to See in the Dark. As the sun sets beyond the horizon, its light grows gradually dimmer. With the onset of darkness, the ability to see become increasingly impaired. Like physical vision, our spiritual vision is also obscured as we leave the Light of Innocence; for it is from the abundance of the heart that the eyes see. When our heart is out of harmony, we cease to see clearly. Diminished vision is the unavoidable result of walking in the shadows of betrayal. Because we no longer see through innocent eyes, we perceive a different world. We see differently, not because the world has changed, but because we have changed.

* * * * *
When I go against my own sense of Truth,
I go against myself, . . . I am false.
Being false, the way I experience the world is colored by my falseness:
I see darkness in my world, because of the darkness in me.
My thinking, my emotions, and how I behave
are all tainted by betrayal.
My search for solutions is skewed;
It is wrong, . . . . because I am wrong.

 * * * * * 

When caught in the trap of betrayal, we encounter the connected consequence of diminished vision; betrayal and blindness always occur together. People will not even attempt to correct a problem if they don't think they have a problem—yet they do . . . and are blind to it!

Einstein's Mind Bind. Impaired perceptions inevitably lead to flawed solutions. With clouded vision and confused thinking, betrayers cannot "figure" their way out of their problem. The reason why people do not, and sometimes cannot, find their way out of a problem is explained by a conundrum I call, "Einstein's Mind Bind." In short, you can't change your mind, . . . using the same mind that needs changing; neither can you fix a situation, using a mind that needs fixing. Here's how this bind of the mind . . . was stated by Einstein:

* * * * *
"We cannot solve our problems
at the same level of thinking which existed
when the problem was created."

 * * * * * 

Thus, in order to solve any problem, . . . a paradigm shift is required!  A shift from the way of thinking that was capable of creating a problem in the first place, . . . to a way of thinking that can perceive a new perspective. Further, thinking that you can solve Life's most important problems with your "thinking" . . . is itself a problem. When confronted with a crucial issue, people often say, "I need to figure things out . . . I need a strategy." Using your head is a good approach for solving problems of algebra, but not for solving problems of anguish. Indeed, the mental mind-set used to create a problem cannot be used to solve it!

As long as the head is disconnected from the heart, betrayers will solve their problems in precisely the wrong way. Beset with a blinding mental block that breeds more perplexity, people afflicted with Einstein's Mind Bind (which is everyone to some degree) are more prone to problem-making, than problem-solving.

In the experience of betrayal, inner conflict is characterized by repetitive thoughts that grind round and round in one's head: Figuring, conniving, strategizing, these are the ways solutions are sought while in betrayal. Being inwardly unsettled, an urgent need to bring things back into balance is felt. Constant mental reruns represent a betrayer's attempt to bring things back into balance; but all such attempts are futile while trying to use the defective head that hatched the perplexity in the first place. Such repetitive mental dredging is also called "Obsession."

Some might suggest you have a disease, a psychological disorder, when really you're just doing and feeling dis-ease because of a spiritual dis-order: You've lost Life's inherent harmony.

* * * * *
Life is Self-Correcting.
When you are not doing Life right,
Life will make sure you are properly notified.
Inner and outer conflict is a clear clue,
that you . . . have not been true.

 * * * * * 

By choosing to resist the spark of inner goodness that guides, Life's inherent harmony is lost. Through our own conflicted thoughts and feelings, Life spontaneously lets us know that we walk in darkness. And when in darkness, we lack the clarity of vision that is amply enjoyed in the Light. Through darkened eyes we misperceive our world. Every solution contrived by our head ends up wrong, and will continue to be wrong as long as the head is out of harmony with the heart. When you're blind and in betrayal; the tell-tale signs of the JAR provide you, . . . a corrective clue.


Self-justification has been a tell-tale sign of betrayal for a few millennia: "If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me" (Job 9:20). People who fall in the trap of betrayal feel an itching need to rationalize their contribution to a quagmire. Betrayers invest much time and energy into telling anyone who will listen, why they are justified in their attitudes, actions, and emotions; they assemble a self-justifying facade so they won't look bad, . . . when really they have been bad.

Betrayers tell a self-excusing story to convince themselves and others that they are OK and that blame lies elsewhere; they spin a tale that tries to make the wrong they are doing appear right, or at least not their fault. The very act of rationalizing reveals a betrayal.

* * * * *
If you have to try to convince yourself,
that means . . . you're not convinced!

 * * * * *  

It is precisely because of inner imbalance that people get involved in a Justifying pattern. Justifying is only useful to those who are out of balance. Rationalizing has always been easier than admitting mistakes; it is the road of least resistance, and least effort. It is the crowded course traversed by a mediocre majority.

Telling Stories: Anxious vs. Honest. People who betray their intuitions of innocence have a story to tell! But not all who have a story to tell are betraying themselves. Some stories are just . . . stories. With no inflamed emotion, some stories explain events and occurrences with straightforward frankness; no blame, no irritation, no resentment exists in the telling of an honest story. It is a story that explains and may even entertain. This type of story will mostly go away the following day . . . for it has no reason to stay. That is, unless you really like it, then you might file it away . . . and enjoy it on another day.

The anxious story, in contrast, is more than a simple explanation of things and happenings: It's an unsettled story that arises from a mire of internal conflict. It tends to be told over and over, because the teller of the anxious story finds no emotional closure in it. Thus, neither the story nor the flustered feelings go away in coming days, instead, reruns and sequels continue, and such repetitive "broadcasts" reveal the inner conflict of the producer/storyteller.

Basically, there are two types of Stories that people tell: One Honestly and Simply Explains and the other Anxiously Excuses and Accuses.

* * * * *
Two types of Stories:
One indicates Truth, the other Betrayal.
The Anxious Story is self-excusing and accusing;
It harbors Resentment and oozes with Unsettled Emotions.
Because the story hides a lie, . . . there is no peace or closure in it.
Many sequels arise from an Anxious Story; It can become complex
and sprawling. It continues in a new day, . . . and does not go away.
Reruns to be told tomorrow.
The Honest Story, in contrast, Accuses no one,
Resents no one, is not Edgy or Irritated,
and goes away . . . the next day,
It has no reason to stay.

 * * * * * 

The anxious story yearns to appear convincing, it seeks to be backed by facts; it needs to be lined with logic. The anxious story clings to factual evidence to compensate for the inner insecurity of the storyteller. The anxious story requires airtight logic to make secure, an inherently insecure story.

* * * * *
Because the Anxious Story is inherently insecure . . . from its core,
It desperately clings to superficial facts and alluring logic.

 * * * * * 

Conversely, the honest story is more or less succinct and needs no long, involved logic. Because they have no inner turmoil to resolve, people who tell an honest story speak candidly with no agitated edge of emotion. The honest story does not try to manipulate or pretend, and it may even be a little awkward or goofy. It is not premeditated or polished, because honest storytellers have no motive to appear impressive. The Honest Story will BE, whatever it IS because "that's the way things happened."

* * * * *
People who have Nothing to Hide, . . . Hide Nothing!

 * * * * * 


A False Solution: Blame as Balm. When spinning self-justifying stories, we portray someone else or something else as being at fault. But what good does this do? To think that Blaming Others might bring relief is the accuser's misleading illusion! Even if others are completely blameworthy, motives of revenge, resentment, and rationalization only serve to poison the heart of those who harbor inflamed feelings. In the name of justice and closure, betrayers embark upon a crusade of accusation against offenders. But when such a crusade is cankered with accusing emotions, blame brings no healing balm to a wounded soul — instead, fretful feelings make the wound wider!

Blaming Situations is equally fruitless! It is tempting to think, "if only I could escape my sad situation, then I could be happy." But a change in circumstance is rarely a favorable fix when one continues in betrayal. EVEN IF you move to some enchanted island, but you have not yet recovered, you end up bringing your old unenchanted self with you. This means you bring to a new location your same old bag full of problems. Old habits die hard even in new locations. Like a mouse trap ready to snap, old propensities just waiting-to-happen will erupt, even on some enchanted island.

Because Life is a Set Up, you can expect selfish people and distressing events to impact your Life. Life is filled with frustrating twists and turns: Get used to it, get over it, and get on with it! That's Life! While such stressful constraints will explain the Set Up to which you are exposed, if you would Be True from this day forward, you won't point to those constraints for excuse--you will live without accusation.

* * * * *
There are bad things that happen
to me, and there are bad things that I do.
The bad that I do . . . IS my failure to Be True.
By Accusing others I Betray the Truth.

 * * * * * 


Because other people have wronged us—or we imagine that they have wronged us—therefore, our plight must be their fault. We falsely conclude that we are justified in harboring hatred towards offenders. While perpetrators may be directly responsible for causing abrasions and intrusions beyond the perceptual participation and choice of the abused, yet those victimized by misfortune still have Response-Ability; they author all responses of word, deed, mind, and emotion—to include the response called resentment.

* * * * *
When I am False . . . I feel
Tension, Agitation, Disharmony.
My Resentful Emotions signal falseness.
When I am True, . . . I am at Peace;
the Peace that flows freely
signifies Harmony.

 * * * * * 

Re-Sending Negative Energy. Resenting other people, or situations, is a re-occurring activity: After someone has been mistreated and the opportunities of a new day arise, instead permitting fresh feelings to invigorate, the resenting person engages in re-sending negative energy. Choosing to re-send resentment is today's decision that squashes tomorrow's opportunities.

Those who re-send hateful energy may hold in their head an erroneous idea, that harboring hateful feelings sends psychic arrows back to abusers; they may imagine that arrows of anger will somehow pierce and punish offenders. This idea is completely and paradoxically . . . false! The re-sending of resentment does not send psychic arrows out, but sends out boomerangs . . . that come back; thus returning all the bitterness sent and "re-sent" — surely this is the etymology of the word re-sent-ment.

According to a consistent Law of Life, every resentful seed sown will return a bitter harvest. When resenting, you sentenced yourself to the hard labor of dragging the heavy load of bitterness behind. The act of resenting tethers you to yesterday's misery and keeps you from today's opportunity. Re-senting is a re-occurring waste of time and energy. The Law of the Harvest guarantees that offenders will eventually receive wages for their hurtful works, but the wages need not be paid via resentful retaliation from the offended. When victimized individuals try to exact "pay back" for abuse, they execute a self-inflicting irony:

* * * * *
Resentment is the Poison that You Drink,
while expecting your offenders to die
from the Poison that You Drink.

 * * * * * 
(Changing Your Stripes, pages 173-181)

The preceding are excerpts from a more detailed explanation in Dr Matt's Book.
"Changing Your Stripes" contains a description of other Tell-Tale Signs:

When You're in the B.R.I.A.R. . . . You're a Liar!

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