Yesterday as Mr. Universe and I were driving to see REO Speedwagon and Chicago, an odd thought popped into my head. We were stopped at a stop light and I started wondering if there was a time in our country’s history when people were happy…with the government…their lives…the state of affairs. I have no idea why this popped into my head at the time it did…maybe because Chicago is feel good music…about love…summer…what seems like a simpler time, even though it really wasn’t.
So, have we ever taken a moment and thought, “Ahhhhhhh…everything is good”? Or have we always been fighting…against or for someone or something? Have we always been clawing our way toward a better future…more prosperity…in pursuit of happiness?
And if we’re always criticizing where we’re at as a country…what our government is doing…who our leaders are…is it no wonder that we do the same to ourselves? Is it engrained in our behaviors and thought process to critique rather than praise? To struggle rather than embrace? To live in discord rather than harmony?
Now step back and think about all that negative energy that is swirling around on a macro level. As individuals, it is nearly impossible to escape the affects. There’s virtually no way to avoid getting drawn in…caught up…peppered by the negativity.
Hence so many people feeling triggered…annoyed…pressured…bombarded with negative emotions that stem from external irritants. To recoup, we turn inward but in doing so sometimes all we see are the things we don’t like with ourselves. Why wouldn’t we? That’s the energy we’re existing in on a daily basis.
So what do we do? Ignore the news…get off Facebook…lock ourselves away…avoid all external human contact? Nope. By not being a part of the solution, we’re still very much a part of the problem.
I think we need to start to reframe how we talk and think about ourselves. If we can see all the beauty…all the positive effort we put forth on a daily basis…if we can recognize that for all our faults, we are genuinely trying to do our best…If we can bring that perspective to our own thoughts and actions, I think we can begin to shift how we view the people in our lives. And if we can shift our viewpoint of those close to us, I think we might be able to train ourselves to see our fellow humans in the same light.
I don’t think it’ll be easy. And it certainly won’t happen overnight. But if we start by loving ourselves…then love our friends…then accept and love the strangers we meet…might we also be able to love the humans we don’t know by trusting that like us, they are human too?
I realize this all sounds like a bunch of hippy-shit, but who cares. I know the news affects me. For whatever reason, after reading about Tony Stewart (yes, the race car driver) striking and killing a young driver…all because both men lost their tempers doing something they love…I was bothered. I don’t watch/listen to/read the news. Anything I learn is through friends or Facebook…and that’s where I learned of this tragedy.
The anger, grief, sadness, loss…I carried those emotions with me all day. Do I know Tony? Nope. Did I know the other driver? Nope. Does it matter? Nope. There was negative energy and loss swirling around the story and I felt it. It bothered me enough I even posted about it on Facebook…internalizing the story.
My mind kept coming back to the story but I didn’t realize it was affecting my mood until Mr. Universe asked me what was wrong…as we were walking into the show. What was wrong??? Nothing…I had nothing to be upset about…yet I was. I did a double check, nothing…yet clearly something external had shifted my mood and now my mood was affecting Mr. Universe. See how easy it is to pick up and pass along something that isn’t even yours to begin with? THAT is what I’m talking about.
Imagine if we could be conscious of this phenomenon…if we could learn to let it go…to eventually unplug from it all together…Imagine if we could just accept life for what it is….a beautiful lesson in love.