One week after being ordered to attend anger management classes by my supervisor, I finally met with a counselor that was assigned to me.
On the phone, she sounded very kind, like a grandmotherly type. I was surprised that she answered her own phone. I guess her schedule was pretty open because I named a time and date, and she immediately said she’d see me then.
I wasn’t greeted by any receptionist window when I entered her office; a nice, cozy, empty living-room-type area was all I saw. I wandered around the “office” until I finally heard voices coming from a back room. Feeling more at ease, I plopped down on the fluffy sofa with plenty of mismatched pillows surrounding me.
Finally the other patient left, and the therapist, a tall, thin lady in her 60s, came to get me.
Her office, what looked like a converted bedroom, overwhelmed my senses in a good way: shelves of stuffed animals, knick-knacks everywhere, flowers and plants placed all over. I got the impression right away that she counseled lots of families and children.
Taking my seat on the comfortable sofa, I immediately noticed her main bookshelf, where The Secret was prominently featured. Hmm. She is wearing lots of bangles and stuff. I pegged her as a New Ager right away. What the hell, I thought. My school is paying for all this, and I’m allowed to miss work, so relax.
Before we started, the doctor (she has a Ph.D.) asked me what my goal for these sessions was; my school is only covering three sessions after all.
“Anger management. How to control my anger at work and be professional. Even when I don’t feel like it.”
That seemed to satisfy her.
The rest of the 45-minute session was straight out of The Secret: our positive thoughts flow into the universe, and the universe sends back positive energy and results. And vice versa.
I felt like I was trapped inside a giant infomercial for that book. The doctor went on and on, sharing testimony after testimony about how positive thinking and will power changed her life for the better. No mention of God or Jesus.
I told her I would give it a shot.
On my way home, I started thinking about the session and what I was learning. Then I realized that I could take the “normal” things, like positive thinking, and leave the universe-energy-Secret stuff.
Then a Scripture came to me like God whispering in my ear:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37)
And then another:
…I beat my body and make it my slave… (1 Corinthians 9:27)
This last one didn’t mention mind, but I believed it involved making every effort to be positive. Anyhow, I was on to something. I went home and searched the Scriptures for mention of the word mind. Here are some verses that I found:
I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind… (Jeremiah 17:10)
The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)
And then this one:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
Why hadn’t I paid attention to all this before? Well, one doesn’t seek medical attention until one is convinced of an illness. I do suffer from mental issues, but nobody (that I can recall) had ever
taught convinced me that even I could take control of my mind and feed it positive thoughts.
It would take some work, like giving up some extreme metal music that I had come to enjoy and putting aside some of those dark independent films that I’m fond of.
I met with the doctor for a second time this morning and told her of my progress: I had actually seen some sort of improvement from our first session! By feeding my mind positive thoughts, I had been able to enjoy work more and get along better with my students and colleagues.
And I was overjoyed to finally discover and put into practice the idea of taking on the mind of Christ.
…But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
(photo by Topaz)