As I was growing up, my father used to tell me this sentence quite often: “Rule your mind, or it will rule you.” This quote is attributed to Horace, an ancient Roman poet during the time of Augustus, more than 2000 years ago. But, how do you control something that is really hard to understand?
“The quality of our actions depend upon the quality of our thoughts which ultimately depend upon the quality of our values and our love of God.”
The definition and complexity of our mind, despite so many advancements in science and medicine, is still a mystery nowadays to some extent. What is the mind? Where is our mind located? How is it related to our brain? Are our feelings and emotions really originated in our heart, like usually said? Or are they really regulated by our mind, and how? How could mineral or organic deficiencies or excesses in our body affect our behavior , which is strongly related to the mind? What is the cause of so many mental disorders? There are so many questions we can formulate about the mind and come with so many different theories and uncertain answers. It becomes a real intriguing subject.
The fact is that, for more than 2000 years, it is known that our mind is powerful, extraordinary and exceptionally powerful. It is the source of many achievements and failures, of many cures and illnesses, of many victories and defeats, of many significant lives and even death. How many times have we heard that people fall ill of extreme stress? Is stress a mental condition? On the other hand, consider the inspiration and motivation of Diana Nyad who just kept on swimming to achieve her lifetime goal: an extreme 100-mile swim from Cuba to Florida,… at age 64! Is motivation not a mental condition also?
To better understand our mind, we cannot isolate it from the rest of us. We are Spirit, Mind and Body, all essential parts of a whole wonderful system. And lets not forget about the creation of man in the image of God, (Genesis 1:27) which adds significant weight to the supernatural mistery surrounding the mind. So the factors that affect our mind, also affect our spirit and body, and likewise, what affects our body and spirit will also affect our mind. For instance, if for some reason we are depressed, it would be easier to get spiritually discouraged and our body more prone to sickness.
God created each of us with unique spiritual, mental and physical characteristics. Some people are mentally tougher than others in a way that lets them withstand through greater turmoil. For others, a better grip on their mind needs to be developed through awareness, prayer, meditation and practice.
The mind is the platform where thought and imagination are originated followed by action. Then, in order to rule our mind, to act righteously, to properly regulate our behavior through different feelings and emotions, we need to learn to select and control our thoughts. It is easier said than done as we experience an unlimited and constant influx of ideas, which could be positive or negative, as they are sometimes influenced by external circumstances or entities. The quality of our actions depend upon the quality of our thoughts which ultimately depend upon the quality of our values and our love of God.
My father wanted me to understand and be aware about the power and value of my mind and how it could affect everything I do. He taught me that through meditation and relaxation, one could empty the mind and reach a state of calmness and be able to make better decisions, to accept the eventual pains of life and move on without quitting. He told me that my mind should be closely linked to God through the Love of Christ and that way, there would not be any insuperable tribulation, or distress.
Now, go ahead! Be aware of the value of your mind and don’t lose it to the ambushes of the world. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3-5,6)