Do you spend most of a day’s quiet time arguing in your head? Do you talk to yourself with the same or greater kindness than you afford others, or do you belittle and demean yourself with your thoughts?
My uncle Mike and I recently posted something on meditation on his blog: basically, everyone meditates. So what do you meditate on? What’s controlling your mind?
If your mind is being controlled by the parts of your life that you feel are destroying you, those things will win out. Addictions that are causing you pain; behaviors that leave damaged people in your wake; choices that send you reeling, hurt, confused: if these parts of your life control your mind, then an emotional or physical death is not far off.
Another one of my uncles, Jonas Beiler, told me of how his childhood taught him to embrace one idea of himself: stupid Amish man. You see, he was dyslexic before learning disabilities were diagnosed, and since he attended a school with non-Amish classmates he often heard teachers or fellow students refer to him as the “stupid Amish man.”
As he grew older, he started referring to himself that way, partly in jest. Then someone helped him to understand that a person often becomes what they tell themselves they already are.
There are other forces that can control our minds, forces that won’t lead to death: love is one. Joy, peace, and patience are others. Being kind, good and faithful are options. How about gentleness or self-control? It takes discipline. Often times it takes a good counselor (or psychologist, or psychoanalyst), but if you can allow these forces to control your mind, they will lead you to life and peace.
What’s controlling your mind? Have you discovered practices that allow forces like love, joy and patience to take over your mind?
Rom 8:6; Gal 5:17-26