I. Am a psychopath.
Not the “oh grab your torches, pitchforks, and straitjackets” kind. I’m moreso the garden variety “He’s so nuts I understand myself a tad better” kind.
Nevertheless… I struggle mentally. I’m a faithful, church going Christian, and (with the exception of a select few sermons throughout the years) it hasn’t really done a single thing to help me mentally. Until recently.
I started playing at this church on Sunday mornings, and the Pastor has a marvelous way of weaving teaching and the Bible together in a way that builds me up spiritually… and liberates me mentally. But, like most people who begin the slow win to a lifelong struggle, I wasn’t really catching how much I was really learning.
Until catastrophe struck me in the gut just as I was dragging myself up out of the dust from its former blow.
Catastrophe is a funny thing actually… it has a way of drawing what you’re really made of out of you… but what about when what it draws out is good? Are you too jaded to catch it and treasure it? Usually I am. This time, fortunately, I was not.
I KNEW, when I confessed to my fiance during one of my broken down moments that I was discouraged- not depressed, but discouraged– that something far more significant than I was aware of had taken place far deeper inside of me than I had thought redeemable.
We’re always taught that healing or wholeness looks a certain way- namely the eradication of said affliction.
But… what about when the healing, or the repair, or the recalibration DOES happen, but you’re so busy living off of instinctive reflex that you never slow down and realize it? How would you know?
Society only looks at the outside- which means that they will continually tell you something is wrong with you as long as they see it. This, of course, creates a society fixated on flaws and problems, which in turn triggers a carefully cultivated psychopathy in the name of being practical and open minded… but that’s another post entirely.
But the point remains- if you are defined by your outside, you lose the vital necessity of being free to experience the liberty and restoration of your insides. We live what we believe, and we only believe what we trust. So, even if we believe we’ve changed inside, we’re not likely to trust it, which means we won’t live it. Which means we stay stuck by choice, not by chain.
We need a moment. A paradigm rattling flash of manifested real self. I had mine the other day as indicated above.
Then a few days later I tweeted a quote and my good friend, twin, and fellow blogger Mark Coston replied to it…
“I don’t know what this is, but I want to read the rest of it.”
And it made me think… what have I learned about the mind? About emotions? About freedom? Those two events helped me realize that I hadn’t slowed down to iron these things out- almost to the point where I was FORCING myself to live off of instinct/reflex… my only links to the self from which I wanted so desperately to escape.
Here’s the quote I tweeted.
“Your mind is either your friend or your enemy. Either believing and working with you or doubting and working against you.”
Pure gold. Take that in and do what you need to with it.
My mind is precisely that… my mind. When things enter it that do not belong (fear, doubt, worry, anxiety, self condemnation, self hate, confusion, etc) I can ADDRESS those things!! Like children!! No, no, no, no, no- I am NOT thinking like that. Scripture states to “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2, ESV)
That’s a power! Something to fight with. Sometimes in the struggle for dominion over my mind I lose because I “cramp up” from the back and forthness of it all. So here’s another tool… as crazy and far out as it seems… set my mind on things that are above. Oh I’m a loser? Not only am I not a loser- I’m a KING. Nobody likes you. Oh really? Nobody is liked by everybody… and, additionally- GOD likes me and He MADE everybody. (Low Self Esteem and One Other Option is a great read on this)
Sometimes you have to go so high that your mind quiets down from the strain of trying to keep up. And it’s not a random declaration… It says to SET your mind on things above.
Do me a quick favor. Pick up your phone. Set it on your lap. Now look at it… it’s not going anywhere is it. Why? Because it’s set. SET your mind on things above.
I have that authority.
So do you.
And from that setting comes the most precious asset a troubled mind could ever receive…
“…we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul…” ~Hebrews 6:18,19 (ESV)
Hope is the anchor of the soul.
Because I have the power, even if I have to fight for a long time to cease being the victim of my own mind… that gives me hope for a life of freedom. A life where my mind is my ally and not my mortal enemy holding my true life hostage.
Hope connects me to my future.
I don’t have to live in the past anymore. My mind is precisely that… my mind.
“It doesn’t take five days for the past to happen- all it takes is a single step forward.”