As a girl I remember hearing, “Thank you Lord for waking me up this morning in my right mind.” Well, now as a woman, I find myself repeating the same phrase. Although, one day, as I was acknowledging God with this praise report, the light of mental consciousness beamed brighter and I asked myself , “Am I really in my right mind?” I was awake and in the mind I had been in before I fell asleep, knowing myself, knowing where I was and that it was morning, but as one thought led to another, I began to literally ask the question “What makes a right mind and what separates it from a wrong mind? “ Recently the media raised the issue of ideology versus fact. So within this context I wondered was a right mind a fact, an indisputable objective reality or an ideology, an organized set of beliefs, a subjective pretense?
Was there a way that I could evaluate my right mindedness for all of those important decisions or values over my lifetime? As a Clinical Social Worker, I had routinely performed mental status exams (Who am I? Where am I ,? What time is it?), but most people buying a loose cigarette and a 50 cents can of beer at the bodega at 7 am can pass this exam. So, this is a very low bar for deciphering a right mind.
Then I thought, if there was such a test and if I did discover that I had lived my life in a wrong mind, the discovery would be sad at best. It would be comparable to living my life in the wrong lane, going in the wrong direction. This thought led me to a subsequent tangent, the pain of discovering a right mind versus the regrets of living in a wrong mind.
With this “new” sense of awareness, I have since spent time thinking about “In My Right Mind” and, I am feeling certain about a few things. The first, I feel sure about is that getting to a right mind is a journey, not an arrival. A right mind is a process; a right mind is one that is developed; it is strong, powerful and full of love. Second, I am certain that in a right mind, there is no room for obsessions, compulsions, addictions, fear, aggression, selfish or unforgiving behaviors. Most importantly, in a right mind, there is a strong connection with God or recognition of the power of the the universe and the need for that relationship.
The benefits of living life in a right mind is similar to having access to what is genuine..like being able to have a genuine fur coat instead of a synthetic one–if you preferred, or if your preference is for a live plant instead of a plastic one, you have access to it. It’s like a sunny day, without clouds or shadows. There is clarity and you are sure you can see clearly; you do not feel overshadowed by doubt or fear.
Realizing that my mind can ramble and be fickle is one reason why mindfulness and investing in forms of mental discipline like meditation, yoga and prayer is a must for me. These tools help to ensure that God’s will and and my best and most pure intentions will direct my mind and control the way that I think, speak and behave to establish my life priorities and inevitably continue creating my destiny. These tools transcend my mind from being perfunctory to being superlative. Being in my right mind is a conscious and precious process for which the rewards are many.