Healing The Mind: Part Two

Notes on the Sunday address by Dr Francis Macnab, 11 September 2016.
By John Abbate.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

—Romans 12:2 (ESV)

The mind is the source of our thinking, and of all the ideas and emotions, the “bits and pieces”, that confuse and trouble us. Dr Macnab asks, “how to bring it all into focus, so that the mind can be part of the flourishing of life?”

With most things in life, there is a car metaphor to help explain it. In this case, Dr Macnab uses the image of the “car on the chocks” – in past days, a vehicle relegated to inactivity for a long period of time would be lifted onto blocks, ostensibly to take the weight off the tyres. This becomes a metaphor for the disused, stagnating mind, stuck in the past.

…be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

—Ephesians 4:23 (KJV)

What are some ways to get the mind back into business? Dr Macnab gives several pointers:

  1. Be open to the best healing process. Healing will happen; listen to the wisdom of those who know, but practise removing the psychological barriers that keep you in a damaged outlook.
  2. Recognise the need to find release, from negativity, fear, resentment, anger, bad memories, old habits, the people and environments that would keep us “up on the chocks”. Forgiveness, relieved of its religious verbiage, can be an important part of the process of release and healing.
  3. Cultivate your self-maintenance capacities: the internal presence/influence, watch for the turnings of the road, be part of the right conversations, realise your self-worth/acceptance.
  4. Join with environments to lift you “off the chocks”, that are interesting, inspiring, invigorating and/or insightful. These are environments that can open you to what it means to be made new.
  5. Remember to reposition yourself in relation to your stresses, to stressful situations. Humans have a tendency to repeat patterns of behaviour that place us in situations we know will lead to failure. It takes conscious effort to reposition yourself, to gain better access to situations that will enhance your mind and spirit.

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