Symbolism has taken on a new importance for me recently. With certain things going on in my life, I’ve felt the need for strength and decided to form a picture in my mind of something I associated with strength. A lion came to mind, so I thought of all the adjectives that I think of when I think of a lion – strong, regal, beautiful, fast, powerful.
I never fully understood this before, but now I can see that when I envision a lion, I actually begin to feel strong and powerful. Because I am often an advocate for my mother in a nursing home, I especially like the image of a lion with a lamb – strong, powerful, and protective. The things we picture in our minds often enough and with enough conviction begin to take shape in our lives.
When I picture a mouse, I get a totally different feeling than when I picture a lion. (Nothing against mice; they have their place – outdoors!) The same is true when I picture a field of flowers vs. a junkyard. Symbols can be powerful because they are a sure, quick way of evoking a response in us – mentally, physically, and emotionally, and eventually becoming a reality in our lives. (When I say physically, I don’t mean we begin to look like what we visualize, but that physiologically, our bodies respond to that symbol, and, in the example of a lion, our immune system and other systems become stronger.)
Would I rather be a lion or a mouse? Slow, patient, and steady like the tortoise or impulsive and arrogant like the hare? Do I need to “mount up with wings like an eagle”? Keep your mind on what is good and true and lovely, and include a little symbolism to help you see yourself with the qualities you want in your life. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7