These are my thoughts on how to counter daily life stress off all kinds, but especially that caused by local/global media (in all formats) and social media.
I was inspired to write this last year after returning home from vacationing in Mexico. I returned home to flags at half mass and immediately started to research what world event occurred or who was being honored. I was very sad to discover that the world event happened in Dallas (I live just outside the city) and that during a protest Dallas Police Officers were targeted, which resulted in the death of 5 officers. To be honest I do not watch or read the news, not on TV, not on the internet. When I do I find myself overwhelmed by the tragedies in the world and a sense of hopelessness begins to sink in. I am not one to ignore or dismiss what is happening locally and abroad. I simply know how it will affect me emotionally, mentally and physically. In fact, it creates so much stress internally it is as if my empathy sense is off the chart and I cannot separate myself from the event itself. I have learned over the years if the news is important enough I will hear about it. In the meantime, I do my best to limit social media, almost never seek out the news, no longer watch war movies, movies regarding human trafficking or children in harms way. This includes documentaries as well.
Please, do not misunderstand. It is not because I do not care. It is because I care A LOT! My deep seated nature is to care. To take care, to nurture, the facilitate healing, to help, to better, to educate and most of all to love others. When I learn of various tragedies: loss of life, abuse, war, famine, disease, neglect and the like, my heart breaks. Over and over again my heart breaks. I become anxious about the world we live in and a sense of hopelessness that it will never get any better settles into my gut. I feel stressed and at a loss, helpless. It is a terrible way to feel and yet I must cope, we must cope, somehow. I am not going to tell you that I have chosen all the healthiest coping mechanisms. Sometimes it is a margarita, or two. I want to say I journal every night before bed, not so, but on occasion. I want to tell you I meditate every day, same time, for 20 minutes or more, but I can’t, because I don’t. I do meditate and pray regularly, however there is no set schedule or time limit. I want to say that social media and Facebook especially no longer tempt me and I cancelled my account. Again, not so. I, like most everyone, struggle to cope in all the best ways (diet, exercise, and examples given). I do not give up, I do keep trying and slowly I change. Life as I live it and see it changes, SLOWLY! I am not the most patient of people, so yet again it is a challenge.
I am incredibly grateful for the mediation that inspired the title of this article. “See the good, Be the good” came to me during a difficult time in my life that summer of 2016. It was during a short meditation that those words came to me very clear. Much like Gandhi’s famous words, “Be the good you want to see in the world”, this inspired me to keep a positive outlook. From this affirmation I am reminded to focus on what is good and the more I do, the more good I actually see and hear about. These few words have changed my life for the better. There are days where it seems impossible. It is not easy for someone like me. Most worthy changes and mental shifts are not easy. What I know to be true for myself is that I have changed in a deep, soulful way and I continue to do so because this takes daily practice. With enough practice our brain begins to build new neural pathways and this can become an automatic way of thinking. I must emphasize again this takes time, months, even years, so please be patient and kind with yourself as you make positive changes in your life.
I will leave you with this, the world is no utopia and that is no surprise, but there is so much beauty in all of creation! Consider giving your time to something you love. Acts of service will fill your heart with joy and you will be surrounded by other like minded individuals that help you see, THERE IS GOOD IN THIS IMPERFECT WORLD WE LIVE IN.
“SEE THE GOOD, BE THE GOOD”
Kindly, with love……