Hey, does anyone else get as sick & tired of hearing bad, sad, tragic, disturbing, hopeless, confusing, twisted, sick, weird, cold hearted, careless and just plain negative news as I do. I know, I've posted on this subject before. But whew, it's really starting to drag down any spirit of good cheer I manage to hold on to throughout the day after fighting through Holiday traffic, long lines at the store, impatient people at the Post Office and so on and on.
This morning the Ft Wayne Journal Gazette had stories about a high speed chase yesterday that ended with the guy killing himself and critically injuring his passenger after hitting a Utility Pole. A local man was killed w/his dog while defusing bombs in Afghanistan, particularly sad for his family just days before before Xmas. A continuing story about a woman who apparently killed her 2 yr old son a year ago and officials just found his tiny skeleton in an abandoned house on the city's south side. Floods in California, poverty & war in Yemen.....you know the story. It's the same thing every day, just the names change.
That is why I seek solace from a spiritual source, looking for serenity and yea, inner peace during some trying and tragic times. I fully understand that there are a great deal of positive things happening in the world every day. But with the 24 hour news cycle world we know live in, we really have to look hard for the feel good stories to find them.
I used to be a negative, sarcastic, obnoxiously critical, pain in the ass guy. Always critical, first with hurtful observations, looking for the worst in people. Then in my self righteousness I swing in with my own ideas for saving the world. I was so full of shit!
I truly try today to focus on the positive, to look for the good first, not the negative. That certainly helps me during nasty news cycles like we had this morning. But I've realized from watching people I know how bad it is to constantly sit in front of the TV or computer and let yourself be overwhelmed by the negativity. It can really effect a person, push them towards depression...literally turn a happy person sad. I don't want to be a sad guy anymore, I do know that. So how does one seek a life on the positive side of the ledger?
I've been very open in my life that I have long struggled with religious ideas and yes, Christianity. I felt like it was shoved down my throat when I was young and I never felt worthy enough, I never felt like I belonged. I honestly felt that the Christians didn't want me, I wasn't good enough for them....
These feelings most certainly went hand in hand with the notion that I wrote about a few days ago that I was somehow different, an outsider at birth and never really belonged...anywhere! I felt separate from our religion oriented society so my solution was to push away and separate myself even further through outrageous dress, language, behavior (IE: drug/alcohol use, Rock & Roll music) and hang out on the cultural fringes of our society.
When I felt so alienated I fought back by pushing religion (and religious people) away and verbally attacked them for what I perceived as their judgmental, hypocritical attitudes and behavior. I felt vindicated when noted Christians like Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggart fell from grace. Here I was pointing my finger now in judgment of them. It was an awful way to feel and act towards another human being.
I will admit that as I write today, I can't say that I have resolved this spiritual war taking place inside of me, trust me I wish I felt as confident in my beliefs as some people I know who seem so content, serene and peaceful.
But what I can say is that I have stopped fighting it and I do my best to be open minded. It is difficult because I get uncomfortable and feel awkward when someone speaks of their spiritual beliefs. Even if what they are saying sounds positive and perhaps attractive...I feel like running as quickly as possible in the other direction. I do not trust people at all, it takes a great deal of time for me to develop some trust with someone, especially if they are talking about religion. I have gotten more accepting of other peoples opinions and beliefs, I just don't fully trust any concept that comes from another human being. I know, what a mess I am....
But I will say that I certainly believe in something...it's defining what that truly means to me that has been so challenging and difficult. I know that I am alive today for a reason, I'm just not certain what that reason is. But I'm getting subtle nudges here and there. I feel an awesome power of the positive when I am talking with a person new to recovery and they are starting to feel better about themselves.
So I'll tell you what I have decided to do...I've made a decision that I don't have to decide what I believe in right now. I'll stay focused on positive things and I'll live my life just trying to be helpful to others. What I mean is I am going to try and be good to other people at all times, not just when I feel like it. I lived for so long just focusing on me, my needs with little thought about anyone else. Only if they were impacting me or something I wanted or needed. I know deep down the satisfaction that comes through giving of yourself. So that's what I will try to do, help others. Be a friend, spend time with someone new to recovery, listen better (I really have work to do in the listening department!) just be a good human being. That is the plan.
I realize some will see all this as corny, I feel that way sometimes too but hey, it's what I have to do so I'm going to throw a dart and see where it lands. It feels like the thing to do, my heart is all in...it's my big, bad brain that wants to get in there and screw things up! I think I'm going to listen to my heart this time and see what happens....