I don't pay much attention to the news anymore. We dropped our cable TV two years ago, and so my awareness of the latest news only comes with an occasional glance on the web, or from the highlights showing up on my Facebook feed. Sometimes I feel a
bit out of the loop when colleagues or friends are talking about the latest big story... But most of the time, and especially in the last couple of weeks, I have been blissfully unaware and incredibly thankful for that. And this is why...
While catching up on the recent events in Paris, not only did I learn more about the tragedy of lives lost, but I became the recipient of what appears to be an over abundance of news expounding the hate and vitriol and condemnation toward every potential
"group"... The internet is swirling with all the details of how one religion condemns another, or one political ideal condemns another, or one "righteous indignant" of a specific belief condemns another... Each one sure that they are right and the other is
And I can get seriously caught up in all of that. Reading each article through the filter of my own made-up thoughts and beliefs, I find myself unconsciously passing judgment on who's right and who's wrong. And as I see one argument
or another, I find myself being swayed back and forth with each new perspective I hadn't even yet considered, and of course continuing to get more frustrated and continuing to pass more judgment. And through all of that process, in my own "small" way, I am
just adding to the anger and fear that is being worked up into a frenzy everywhere.
But eventually, when I notice my "bad feeling" (judgment, anger, frustration, fear, sorrow), it's like a gentle tap on my shoulder that says "Hey Jonelle,
snap out of it, your thinking is off, you're not looking in the right direction, you're sliding down the scale more toward fear and away from love", and then I remember...
If I want to be a part of the solution, it is better to NOT operate
from feelings of judgment and anger. And my awakening to the truth of the human experience allows me to see that my bad feelings are nothing more than my human barometer telling me that I'm just temporarily caught up in my naturally occurring insecure thinking
which is pointing me in the wrong direction. I'm looking "out there", instead of "in here". And so instead, if I just wait for the eventual clearer mind, some of the following might occur to me...
- I CAN have empathy for the loss
of human life... while remembering to have gratitude for the richness in their lives that they were able to experience before their passing.
- I CAN have empathy for the families and communities left behind... while remembering to have confidence that
they will eventually get through this tragedy and even thrive. Despite our delicate human form, our indomitable human spirit was designed for survival.
- I CAN have empathy for the lost human souls who have forgotten who they really are, taking out
their own fears on others in a terribly tragic way... while remembering to NOT add my own fears on to theirs, and remembering to be grateful that my own insecure thinking hasn't led me to acting out in such extremes.
- I CAN be grateful for the individuals
and communities that, without thinking, prevail on their better nature (our human default, in the absence of our insecure thinking), by helping and supporting those in need... while remembering that there may be more positive ways for me to contribute as well
- I CAN have empathy for others who feel fear and frustration about the world around them, and who innocently voice judgment of others as a way to understand the reasons why and a way to find solutions... while remembering to not add on my own judgment,
and remembering to listen with compassion and desire for understanding... looking for wisdom instead.
And ultimately, less caught up in my own insecurities, and with a clearer head, I CAN, if I am so inspired, find my own
way of contributing to a solution... even if it's only to remember to not add more hate and fear. And maybe, with that same clarity I'll remember to see the obvious good and common humanity that is much more plentiful around the world, but for the news giving
me the impression otherwise.
Whatever the actual measure of good or bad, there is a lot of unnecessary suffering in this world... hopefully tomorrow and the next day and the next day, I'll keep remembering to pay heed to my reaction to
the latest news, and I'll keep remembering which way to look for the solution. Thanks to the understanding of how I experience life through Mind, Consciousness, and Thought, I have a better sense of the direction.
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If you'd like to hear about how to consider this latest tragedy from two established Three Principles practitioners (Jenny and Rudy Kennard), please check out the recording of a webinar held on Wednesday, January 28.
(Hosted by Imogen Caterer, Transformative Coach)