Have you ever had a great day, celebrating something good or happy in your life and then. . .
You get on Facebook.
Or you turn on the news and hear of a terrible tragedy?
All of a sudden, you’re holding this weird tension in your spirit between the good things in your life and the sadness you feel.
It’s the same feeling you have when you’re planning your wedding with a friend who so desperately wants to be married. Or when you’re nursery shopping with a friend who aches to have a baby of her own. When you’re leaving to go to the job that your roommate really wanted.
I’ve noticed lately, that it’s hard for me to hold feelings of joy and sadness at the same time.
I find myself feeling guilty for not being obsessed with sadness when terrible things happen in the news. Like I should stop every time a news story comes on and hold space for the tragedy in my heart.
If you know me at all, this is hard.
I’m one of those (sometimes annoying) people who likes to look on the bright side. I like to move past the hurt as quickly as possible, find a solution and go about my merry way.
Unfortunately, that’s not how our human emotions are designed.
We are made to react to the information our brains take in. Some of that sadness stays in our hearts, even as we go along our merry way, no matter how hard we try to push it aside.
We can’t un-see or un-know these things.
We have a constant attachment to our screens feeding us the latest tips and tricks along with the latest dramatic, sad story. It gets our anger up. It breaks our hearts.
I have to wonder how all this information, constantly filling our minds and our hearts, is changing us.
Is it numbing us to the pain or even the joy in our own lives?
I’m not claiming to have all the answers, but I certainly have an opinion. I think we should focus on the lives in front of us. On our family and our neighbors. We should talk to each other. Search the eyes of the people we love.
Hold their hands.
Then with the excess, our extra time and attention, we should look out to see where we can fill in and give.
I don’t think it’s good for us to try to hold it all. I don’t think we can constantly fill our minds and hearts with ALL the sadness of the world and then expect ourselves to function at our best, most whole selves. It has to be changing us.
A person can only hold so much.
When I look at my hands, I want to see another hand in mine, not just my crack-like addiction to my phone. When I stop at the traffic light, I want to see humanity not just everything that’s wrong with our society. When I get on Facebook, I want to make connections, not just numb my mind with more information.
This is how I want to order my love today:
- Love the people in my life
- Love the people in my sphere of influence
- Search out ways to love those who are heavy on my heart
Then, I can pray for the people I can’t reach and realize all the stories of the world aren’t mine to own.
What if, instead of reading the full story and obsessing over all the details, the comments, the stances of right and wrong, we closed our eyes in prayer or mediation just for a second and then reach out to make a real connection?
I know that’s easier said than done, but we could try it once today.
Once you realize it isn’t a subject your heart is drawn to own, you could skip the full story + comments just once, in favor of a moment of hopeful reflection.
Then you could do it once again tomorrow.
And the next day.
You’ll find more peace and hope when you focus on the things you can change.
Because your life matters.
What you choose to do with your mind and your heart matters.
It matters to each life you touch.
Don’t let your heart be numb.
We need you.
To more love,