Bad News Blues

(originally posted on www.createdbychance.blogspot.com on 9/1/14 )

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This morning I read a post by Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook (I really like her and the manner in which she lives her life). It struck a chord in me, and I suspect it does in many others as well. A reader posed a question about how she (Liz) copes with all the horrible news in the world. How does anyone with a conscience, anyone who cares about what happens in the world not succumb to the terrible weight of the daily horror? You can read Liz’s answer on her Facebook page.

I guess like all things in life it requires balance. Yes, as a person who gives a damn about justice and fairness and standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves, it’s hard to look away from the news. I want to know what is going on out there, I don’t want to be “happy” simply because I’m burying my head in the sand.

But my soul is gentle and my heart is vulnerable – and I want them to stay that way. I don’t want to become hardened by the world. I want to remain open, and I want to experience the beauty and the joy that the world also provides in equal measure to the evil. So it’s a question of balance. Of knowing yourself well enough to know how much you can take in before it starts to have a negative effect on your well-being. I don’t watch horror movies or really depressing dramas or read books that are incredibly sad because my soul just can’t take it. I know that about myself.

Liz gives great advice – set a limit for yourself. Be choosy about your news sources and how much time you give them in the day. Then set them down, turn back to your own world and be reminded that there is joy and beauty. We create our own realities by what we choose to focus on. So while it’s important to know about those terrible things, by focusing solely on them we give them power. They become our reality.

So focus on some of the good stuff, too. Our world is a beautiful, awe-inspiring place of abundance. Let’s remember to spend some time reveling in that, so that we have the resources we need to be a force of good in the world.