Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

quote- the mind December 26, 2013

The mind is its own place, and in itself

Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n

Milton said that in Paradise Lost in 1667.  That’s 344 years ago, and as fine a statement on mental health as ever I’ve heard.

If you’re not clinically depressed, it expresses the simple concept that your  attitude to the situation is what’s important, not the situation itself.

I’ve known a lot of people over the years who are constantly saying negative things about their hard-working, diligent spouses.  For whatever reasons, they feel that bashing their spouse is acceptable sport.  Inevitably, their relationships crumble, and they blame the spouse for the divorce when in fact, their own attitude is what doomed the relationship.

Speak what you want to be true, and you will make it so.  Articulate thankfulness, appreciation, and passion and you will create those things.  

It may only be in your mind, but your mind controls the body.

If you are clinically depressed, this quote expressed the simple concept that your perception of the situation transforms it.  Other people may see simple delights, while you see complicated anguish.  Your perception is valid, but don’t let it ruin you.  See your doctor.  You’d be willing to medicate for a heart condition, your brain deserves just as much respect.

Your mind controls the body.  Make sure it’s healthy.

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19 Responses to “quote- the mind”

  1. Truer words were never spoken. I used to have my students write an essay on this quote, and it was amazing the examples from real life that they provided. So many people will take a positive situation and turn it into a negative one. It is the optimists who can find the positives in a negative situation and turn it completely around.

  2. Proverbs 18:21
    New King James Version (NKJV)
    21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
    And those who love it will eat its fruit.

  3. Aimér Says:

    Reblogged this on books.pens.papers.

  4. The encouragement of one’s spouse is an amazing thing. Uplifting them is even stronger than uplifting yourself. Pulling them down is akin to blinding the driver of the car you’re in.

  5. doncarroll Says:

    I see your point here. I’ve seen a few relationships where that has happened. but having a spouse is completely foreign to me and that can sink one into depression as well. but as therapist would do, they would create diversions for you. so I guess if I went out on a date that would be a diversion.

    • Social activity helps, as do exercise and hobbies. Being self-sufficient and lovable are important ways to capture interest, if you’re looking. Desperation is unattractive.

      • doncarroll Says:

        all good points. social activity is a tough one when introverted. exercise is great too, but I don’t go to a gym. hobbies such as writing is wonderful, but as steven king says, writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life. see that’s where i’m at, I have to write to find life, and it hasn’t gotten me there yet. desperation would definitely be that, but my take on the date as diversion was strictly sarcasm. because that’s how I view the whole process. forget lovable, that’s been trampled right on out of me. no wonder i’m a poet – sorta like a Sylvia Plath

      • Eeek. Things didn’t go well for Sylvia. Depressed the hell out of Ted and into the oven she went. >sigh<

        Introversion is about where one gets energy (from quiet, solo time) not about being shy or uncomfortable around others. Extroverts (who gain energy from interaction) can be shy, too. Shyness can be overcome, with effort. Finding a group of like-minded folks who share an interest sometimes helps get over that hurdle, as there is built in conversation. A walking/hiking group or a fun team or club (tennis? badminton? table tennis? soccer? hockey? basketball?) can mix social interaction and exercise. My husband gets really bad Seasonal Affective Disorder, and he doesn't like group things. He combats the SAD with almost daily cross-country skiing or cycling on a trainer through the winter. He rides several thousand kilometres when the roads are clear, for strong mental health. He never goes near a gym.

        However, the desire to change has to be greater than the aversion to the activity caused by the shyness. That often means 'hitting bottom' whatever bottom is for an individual.

        Good luck to you!

      • doncarroll Says:

        as to syliva plath she went into the oven because her hubby had an affair.

        I see the point as to introversion being attributed to quiet time and being solo. I’ve watched and observed a lot of people over the years and have yet to see an extrovert be shy and not want to be around a group of people because solo time would drive them nuts. as to like minded interests for the introvert I had been going to readings. I fit into that but haven’t been able to get back to that due to the critical crisis i’m contending with. I will say if I had been with a female at that particular time, the mess that i’m now would not be happening. this isn’t a situation where I was involved with another directly. but it does involve one that is very manipulative and vindictive.

        good points as to all that your hubby does to combat s.a.d.

        right now therapy is in diversions as it’s the only safe haven I have at the moment. the further I am from reality the better.

      • Sylvia killed herself because she suffered from clinical depression. Whatever Ted did or didn’t do, it wasn’t going to make a difference. She’d tried many times before she even met Ted. Millions of women bare their husband’s affairs without killing themselves.

        Read into the Myers-Briggs http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/ Personally, I max out on extroversion. I have NO introversion points at all, but I don’t like crowded social situations, and I can go days alone quite happily, I just get more and more tired, until I have to go out and get energized.

      • doncarroll Says:

        good point. that just may have been the last straw for her. as to the Meyers briggs. I took that i’m INFJ. they say it’s good for what I do. they also say it’s the rarest type of personality. now you know why it is very difficult for me. I hate crowded places to the max unless i’m with another. one exception would be if I went to see a band in a local bar, then I can blend a bit. you would never find me approaching anyone to generate convo.

  6. 52kuppajo Says:

    My daughter wanted to get a tattoo on her forearm last week for her birthday. She originally selected William Blake’s “To see a world…” from ‘Auguries of Innocence’, but the tattoo artist said the words would be too much and it wouldn’t look right. I suggested Milton’s “The mind is its own place…”, which she took and thought more appropriate, as it relays about creating your own perspective and destiny. I may even get one myself…


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