Turning the Page

I Arise Today and Bind around my Brain

November 12, 2020

We often have the same negative thoughts going around and around in our brains, but we can change them when we arise and bind the brain with truth.

I always marvel at those men and women who lift heavyweights. It takes time, effort, and wisdom. Many of them you will see wrap a binding around their wrists or their waist. Boxers wrap their hands.

Perhaps you have seen other athletes wrap some support around their legs.

All to give some extra support to some weaker and perhaps fragile are of the body. Perhaps it has been previously injured and needs some extra support.

The verb bind means to tie, secure,
or fasten as with string or rope. 

I don’t want to wake up in the morning.

One of my most-read posts is the post ‘She prayed to God that she wouldn’t wake up in the morning.’ In fact, since writing it in July 2018, it has been read over 1600 times, and over 83% of those reads have come through a google search.

There are many that pray not to wake up in the morning.

Life at times can feel too heavy, too hard, and you want it all to end.

The thought of having to lift that heavyweight of life, yet again the next morning, creates feelings of despair and hopelessness. In that place of emotional pain, it all feels too much.

Your feelings feed your thoughts, and you find yourself in a downward spiral—a vicious spiral sinking you into the mud of hopelessness.

I wonder about the words, phrases, mottos, and sentences of thoughts that are repeatedly said over and over again. Binding them to the brain.

Words have power. Sentences have meaning. Paragraphs shape our beliefs. Life happens one thought at a time by default or design.

Bind them on your heart

In the Jewish faith, the men wear a phylactery called a Tefillin,, a small leather box containing Hebrew texts at morning prayer as a reminder to keep the law.

They, in a very literal sense, are binding scripture to themselves.

Then there are these verses that talk about the binding of scripture.

You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. Deuteronomy 11:18

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3

My son, keep your father’s commandment,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
Bind them on your heart always;
tie them around your neck.
When you walk, they will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you. Proverbs 6:20-22

This seems to be an active process. Not passive.

I arise, and I bind

Somewhere in the years between 390 and 461 A.D., a man by the name of Patrick writes a prayer. It’s a prayer about focusing your thoughts.

In the oldest translations from ancient Irish, we have the lines ‘I bind myself’ and then with later translations, we have ‘I arise today.’

“I arise today” is generally considered a better translation of the first line than “I bind unto myself today.” according to the hymnology archive. 

I think both versions have merit.

I pray St. Patricks prayer every morning as part of my thinking compass.

I bind unto myself to-day
The strong name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever,
⁠By power of faith, Christ’s Incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river;
⁠His death on cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spiced tomb;
⁠His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;
⁠I bind unto myself to-day.

I bind unto myself the power
⁠Of the great love of Cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour;
⁠The service of the Seraphim,
Confessors’ faith. Apostles’ word,
⁠The Patriarchs’ prayers, the Prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
⁠And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself to-day
⁠The virtues of the star-lit heaven.
The glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
⁠The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
⁠The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
⁠Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself to-day
⁠The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch. His might to stay,
⁠His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
⁠His hand to guide. His shield to ward;
The Word of God to give me speech,
⁠His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
⁠The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
⁠The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh.
⁠In every place, and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
⁠I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
⁠Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
⁠Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
⁠Against the death-wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
⁠Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
⁠Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
⁠Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
⁠Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
⁠Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
⁠The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same,
⁠The Three in One, and One in Three.
Of Whom all nature hath creation;
⁠Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation
⁠Salvation is of Christ the Lord.
The Writings of Saint Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland/Version of Mrs. Alexander

What do you bind around your brain? 

What are the bindings that you arise with?

What are the support structures that you lace around your brain, giving it protection and shape?

Are there some bindings that are not so helpful? Repetitive self-talk that negates you.

Wouldnt it be better to build and bind truth and hope around your neural structures?

It’s not going to happen without some intent and purpose—a changing of habits.

Building a thinking compass

I use a thinking compass. A little tool that you can check back on at regular times to make sure you’re heading in the right direction.

At its most basic, a thinking compass is a little notebook of written insights, prayers, and quotes that speak truth to you.

You read these every day so that you keep going on the right track.

I keep my compass in my phone. I have a list that I read every morning and often at night before going to sleep. I am training my brain.

Here are some of the little sentences that I bind around my brain.

    • What I focus on gets me. Focus on the negatives/ challenges will always take me down. Focus on the positive/good things will always give me hope.
    • Since every destination starts as a thought, I focus on where I want to go.
    • I design my life and build my future thought by thought.
    • The subconscious can be reprogrammed through cognitive reassessments.
    • No matter how strong, a feeling of hopelessness is an echo and perception from the past and is not how things really are.
    • The brain takes its shape from what the mind rests upon. I choose to rest it upon truth.
    • When I allow achievements to determine my mood, I will always be like a puppet on a string.
    • When my brain is full of what I’m not achieving, I will miss what I am achieving.
    • Life happens one thought at a time by default or design.

These are little truth nuggets that I need to remind myself of. There is a resistance to learning these new thoughts. The brain likes to keep us safe and in familiar territory, so it will take time for a new truth to replace the old.

Quotes to consider

  • You are the creator of your thoughts, and it’s your thoughts that can create the future that you want. It really is in your control. Dr. Shannon Irvine
  • If it’s been learned, it can always be unlearned. e.g., ways of coping, personal habits, survival kits, and nasty addictions. D. Riddell
  • The brain takes its shape from what the mind rests upon. Rick Hanson
  • Despair is a spiritual condition. Despair is when you fall under the belief and conviction that tomorrow will simply be a repeat of today. Rob Bell

Questions to answer

  1. What are some truths that you need to train your brain in?
  2. If you were able to tell your younger self something, what would it be?
  3. Is there a scripture that you need to train your brain in?

Further reading



Barry Pearman

Photo by Jannis Lucas on Unsplash

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