Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm coming out of the closet

One year after my father passed away, I started an anonymous blog. Typically this sort of post would have been over there but I am closing that down and "coming out of the closet" so to speak and will start to share some of what was on there, on here. I felt like I had to switch gears, when writing on one or the other and sometimes that was difficult. And it was part of the reason I neglected this one so much. So now, I'm going to somehow marry the two together and just see what happens.

I am fearful. We all have fears. How can we not? Watch the news, read the paper, click on "warning" emails from friends/family about possible dangers, some even in your own home. There is reason to be fearful. We live on this enormous planet filled with billions of people and we have access to more information through so many mediums that our minds can't possibly process it all. It is overwhelming. Exhausting. The last few months, starting with the senseless murders of several police officers here in Seattle and now ending with the recent obliteration of Haiti has my mind in a fog. Throw in the failed attempt to take down a jet liner on Christmas day and all the other news making stories (deadly home invasions, gang shootings, rapes, car accidents, natural disasters, I can keep going on for hours here but you know where I'm going with this) the point is, just click on any news site and read the top headlines. These aren't just words. These are life changing tragedies. When I read them online or watch them on the news I think, someone's life is forever changed by what just happened, and I pray for them. Them being, complete strangers, but that could be any one of us. I say a prayer asking for God to give them strength and guide them through their pain. And sometimes I just sit and cry.

I'm learning how to compartmentalize my fears/worries/sadness about the things I can't control without losing compassion. I never want to turn my back and be one of those people so caught up in their own little world that I become ignorant to the suffering of others. But I also don't want to become paralyzed by my emotions and feel like I'm slighting those around me, who I deeply love and care for. Does that make sense? And when I am with my friends and family I want to be PRESENT. Physically, I'm there, but emotionally I remain distant because my focus is on another part of the world, or with the family of a hit and run victim that headlined the morning news. I need to file those thoughts away one by one. Right now they appear as thousands of pieces of paper swirling around in circles blown by an industrial sized fan. I need to pull that plug.

Recently, during a sleepless night I came to a conclusion that brought me some comfort. I thought about all the people in the world and all of the good things that happen every minute of every day. Just imagine if those were headlined! There is not enough ink in the world or bandwith on the internet to broadcast those stories. So for every tragedy, there are multitudes of blessings that off-set the bad. This brings balance to the universe as well as peace in my little pocket of the world.


karen gerstenberger said...

Absolutely. And remember that the newshounds look for blood and sadness because they have learned that sensation sells. If we focus on the good that is in front of us, in our own corner of the world and the larger one, our hearts lighten. Gratitude has the same effect. It's not closing down, but boundaries are vital to maintaining one's equilibrium. I speak from many years of mistakes!
Love you. XOXO

Anonymous said...

It's been a particularly awful month, I think. I have stopped listening to the news. I just turn it off because I agree with you -- there's just so much negative energy being publicized.

I love your idea of thinking of all the good that's happening in the world right now. I'm going to meditate on that!

Anonymous said...

It's been a particularly awful month, I think. I have stopped listening to the news. I just turn it off because I agree with you -- there's just so much negative energy being publicized.

I love your idea of thinking of all the good that's happening in the world right now. I'm going to meditate on that!

Clippy Mat said...

Until a few years ago we didn't have all of this news unfolding with such immediacy. We now have all of it, as it's happening and it can weigh pretty heavily if you listen to it and take it on board.
It's not that we don't care when we 'filter it', it's just that we CAN"T. It would be impossible to think about it all and feel the pain of all of it.
I think Smiley Girl, Laura, you hit the nail squarely and firmly on the head.
all of the wonderful, good things that are happening right now. they probably outweigh the bad things by 10 to 1, maybe 100 to 1. Possibly 1000 to 1?
They don't cancel out the bad things but as you so rightly say, they balance things out a bit and help us to feel better.
I believe it's a good idea, and it took me a while to figure this out, to NOT read, listen, or watch too much news.
I latch on to good news and take it on board eagerly.
It works for me and I'm better for it. Hope it works for you too.
Pat :-)

Anonymous said...

I was hoping this post was about something else. Shucks-------------

I'll still read you blog. You've got a big heart Smileygirl, one of the biggest. And your funny as hell. A rare and unique combination.

ANd you are pretty to look at.


Karyn said...

Did you know that MSNNC has a page of happy news called "Wonderful World: Happy, positive news from across the nation and around the globe"? They do. Here's a link: MSNBC: Wonderful World

J-Mom said...

I know exactly how you're feeling. I find myself sometimes not wanting to watch the news or TV in general other than Housewives or some other mindless show b/c I don't want to hear about the heartache. And then I feel guilty b/c I have a roof over my head and fresh water to drink and food to eat. Just this morning as I sat down at my computer at work, I thought, "What am I doing?" Does this job better the world in any way? No. So then why am I here?" And I donate as much as I can but it's miniscule in, a small little grain in how much is needed. And I also feel guilty for being born into the family I was born into b/c those kids dying in Haiti right now didn't have the luxuries I had growing up. It's all so overwhelming, but you're also right that there is so much good out there. I struggle with so many of the same issues and I'm glad you're "coming out" to discuss it all here!

On another sort of funny note - E (the husband) totally mentioned a "whore's bath" in a conversation we were having! I told him that's the second time in two weeks I've heard someone use that term! Made me smile.

Anonymous said...

I try and limit how much I watch the news. Creating a state of fear also causes people to consume.

lizziebelle said...