Sunday, October 02, 2011

Day 600: Greater than through love and support

My friend Robert Laws posted something on facebook the other day. Robert is an episcopal priest who I give a hard time to because he loves him some roman catholic saints and feasts! :) (I think it's the drama and pageantry of it all!)  He is so dead on in the message of poverty and understanding human nature and our real need to source our connections for love, compassion and understanding. In short, he is someone I have connected with who "gets it". 

To his post I said "somedays I think the Antichrist is not a person or being, but the creation of misinformation that feeds that part of us that is too lazy to seek truth. I have yet to find out what it is that makes us so willing to accept what we hear, particularly when it is negative. Why we don't inquire, question, want to see good and seek the best in things. We have such a privilege in being alive..having grace..and yet...." 

I talk alot about the three fold person that I believe I am: physical, mental, and spiritual. Trying to find some balance and feed the best for those parts that make up all of me is my goal. So, Robert's post really got me thinking of the mental influences that can really effect my spiritual well being. 

Part of this is just the news in general..from the local paper to the national level, from the headlines to the "angle" they choose to take on any particular subject, there is a constant barrage of negative. this week over 300 people showed up for an environmental review process for a concrete plant in our region. WECT reported it and they led the story with this brash man (who they did not identify and was clearly NOT an expert) saying loudly to the camera "I was in a room full of idiots".  He was among the maybe 10 people in the entire room FOR the plant and instead of stating what the sound reasons where for having the plant, his character assassination of doctors, citizens, environmentalists who appeared in the room (about 300), with facts, sound reasoning, and real data in tow, where reduced on our evening news to being called "idiots".  It was heartbreaking to see. But what if I was someone who did not know better. What if that was the only information that I had? What time then does it take for me to research deeper and look for more details. 

This story is not an exception to the rule. The more I have gotten involved, the more I have seen how this takes place. How things get "reported". But I cannot completely blame the news for the way people perceive things and what they believe. See, we get this barrage. We get this information and what do we do? We accept it. Or, depending on the source (ie, because, supposedly, MSNBC Is controlled by liberals and fox is controlled by conservatives, we screen all information from these sources accordingly or based on our own political bent) we reject it as biased.  So, once the information is in our hands, it is now up to US to do more, and I am afraid most of us don't. What I have been seeing in political campaign after political campaign, and year after year is more information and less critical inquiry. Less depth in looking at what is being presented. It is as if we are just willing to believe things based on a narrowly defined set of pre-determined perimeters and our really looking beneath the surface, looking at things and information critically is not done.

The danger of this on so many levels is what I see influencing my spiritual life and what I see eroding the spiritual life of the world around me. We are more polarized than we have ever been. We are literally fed a script and we are not thinking for ourselves and as a result we suffering. We are dividing amongst each other. We HURT each other as a result. I see the characterizations and the fear, the "us vs. them", the judgments and the quickness to come to opinions about one another.

So, like the goals I have for my health, I have goals for spiritual and mental life. One of the biggest goals is to not accept the superficial. To be critical of the news I hear and to look beyond the headline. To be a part of the solutions and INJECT positive into the discussions but also to be more thorough in my examinations before I speak and speak out. To take time to find out what is going on and not seek beyond the first level of information. 

On a much more personal level, I also have to be willing to not become part of someone's else's ugliness about others. When their is criticism and negativity being shared, I have to say NO and be willing to walk away. I think this is the one that takes the most discipline and work and it requires more than just this blog post. But to be healthy, to truly love, there has to be a true sense of support for others. that support has to extend itself to not being a party to listening to the bile of others. Just because I may not trade in gossip or criticism does not mean that I am not living vicariously through another by standing by and listening to them do it. How nice that they are the negative one and I am such a saint by just "listening". Well, that negativity is as poisonous coming out of me as it is going into me. 

I want to continue growing, not in blind faith of others (that is not a wise path), but in seeking out the best. That does not mean that I will not encounter negative or be around things or even behavior that is not sound, it just means that I can be about those things that make ME healthier and maybe that will extend itself. 

Now, here is the part that really is the kicker. If I am positive about others. If I am clearer about the issues around me. If I am more focused and caring about my relationships, then the aggregate effect on my physical health is abundant. It all works together.

I am rambling..but it is part of my goals...and I am grateful to have the awareness.
thanks be.

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