Monday, December 6, 2010

Staying SANE

For most of the time, we think sanity is interchangeable with normality or conforming to common standards of society. “Sane people” behave properly, communicate coherently and possess an understanding of oneself and one’s surroundings.

The dictionary describes sanity in another way too. To be sane means to possess a ‘sound mind’ and a ‘soundness of judgment or reason’. The Latin word sanus means healthy mind.

What is often the state of your mind?

We go on living day after day and seldom ever access the condition of our minds. Our thoughts and our memories, all stored up in that grayish matter we call “brain,” is what makes me specially me and you uniquely you! =) People suffering memory loss may be considered to have lost their identity. And all the experiences that molded them to be one-of-a-kind are lost! I cannot imagine a greater tragedy.

But back to the title, do you consider yourself sane?

Since we’re going from the definition that sanity is soundness of mind, no longer associate sanity with simply being “normal” and not acting weird like a madman would.

Although our mind is a never-ending continuum of thoughts, feelings and emotions, this endless motion is seldom refined into meaningful thought. Yes, occasionally we stop to think a little harder and to make sense of things, but most of the time, our minds are drifting on and on without any purposeful reflection. As a result, many of us end up living a rather deprived existence –we never make full use of and harness the full potential of the brilliant minds God gave us!

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
Proverbs 23:7

For me, I like to think and channel my thoughts through writing. Oh what would become of me without the written word? I’d go insane! What would become of me if I didn’t spend time – in the mornings while I’m on the train or walking to school and at night before I sleep – to reflect on myself, my day, the people I’ve encountered, and to ponder both the good and bad things and ask God to help me make sense of them? I’d become deranged!

Every time I travel in the train to and from the city to school, I see people with iPods, iPhones and books to occupy their time. I also see people staring listlessly into space, either thinking hard or thinking little. Sometimes I’m a bit of both. I confess I’m a dreamer! Haha. I don’t have to listen to music, I don’t have to read a book – I just sit and let my thoughts drift. It’s a bad thing though! I hate wasting away my time like this. But perhaps it’s better to empty my mind for a while instead of forever keeping it stuffed with all sorts of external input. As it is, our world is full of noise, full of distractions. Sometime it’s good to be quiet, to recede into your internal world and shut out the noise of this world.

While you cannot control a lot of things out there or in the unforeseeable future, you can control your mind and your thoughts! You can regulate what comes in and goes out. A person who cannot control this vital part of his existence will succumb to insanity, the unsoundness of mind.

“Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
Proverbs 4:23

Be wise about what you see and what you hear. Good things will yield meaningful and positive thoughts, crappy & trashy things will obviously bring about negative and unsound thoughts. Perhaps at the moment it seems okay, but in the long run it’ll make you a very miserable person indeed!  

“For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7

Carpe diem,
Janielle =)

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