I know it’s dark out there in the ‘real world’, but it doesn’t have to come home with us. The negative head space is rampant. It’s a sad, cruel world out there, right? Or is it?
Some would say it is. They make their living on it. It doesn’t sell, they say. Ugly, scary, fearful stories sell, attract people, get people talking, they say.
How are they? Why do we listen to them?
Well, I stopped watching television about six years ago. I think that really helped to free my mind. I would watch the news and that’s when they spoke most often. They spoke in advertisements. They were a part of my lessons and a part of my desires, and fantasies. They were speaking to me every day.
I stopped watching the news, and that made me feel more comfortable. I mean, when I thought about the community I lived in, and thought about the changes I saw here at home, they were few. They were measurable, and I could relate to them easily. Would my day be better, or would I live better knowing about the wars or negative stories around the world? They happen. They have always happened, but now I know about it. What difference has it made to me?
It has made me fearful. Scared about other people and their motivations. Wary. That’s not the community I live in, not is it the community that I want to live in. If I was going to be a productive positive member of the neighbourhood, I needed to make some changes in my environment. That was step one.
I was still watching TV documentaries and enlightening programs, but often the ads were stacked in the beginning of a popular show or movie. Finally, I got so mad that I was watching more advertisements in the first ten minutes of a program than the actual program, I cancelled my cable.
If I want movies I will get Netflix or some other service to give me what I want. A life almost free of advertising is quite nice. I feel calmer; more in control of my feelings. I feel more positive. I think freely more often.
I recently started ‘un-liking’ several news agencies on my Facebook news feed. This is my most recent step to minimize their exposure. The time of FB is meant to be with friends and family, and I don’t want that feeling to be interrupted by the negative press and all the vitreous comments that go with it.
The next step is to unfriend those that do this personally. I ask myself if what I post will lift people up or not. If it doesn’t, if I am even wavering on it, I will not post it. I want to be a light in a world, in a society that casts a pall of darkness on us. The news outlets are run by those that profit from big money ventures, and that is fear, war, politics, and capitalism. I know that. It’s classic capitalism at it’s finest, or worst, depending on your perspective, so I get the motivation to make it that way. It doesn’t mean I need to accept it.
I choose light over dark. I choose to say nice things to people that are genuine because I know it’s rare and their is value in it. I endeavour to listen to understand before I respond.
Some like sarcasm. Some like to warn us of things, many of which are myths. Few build us up. Those that do are valuable and I build them up too. The time I spend on the computer at home is valuable to me. I am giving it my full attention. It will be the environment that I create for myself, or I will not go there.
We all have the power to create the environment we need in order to feel happy, unrestricted, free. To some people the changes I have made in my personal life may sound drastic, but I have read more books in the last few years than ever and I feel more genuinely enlightened by the various viewpoints I can hold on to at once than I ever did before.
I may not know who did what the next day, or what country was invaded next, but I do know what store is in my neighbourhood, I think about ways to engage my neighbours, I get outside more often, I feel happier about life, and I love talking to people…about anything.
The internet and any social network that people may use is highly customizable, just like your real friends list. Take advantage of it and make it the best experience it can be for YOU. I know I will.
This reminds me of a great article I read about leaving (can’t find the link). Be ready to leave anything…a movie you paid for [you can often get a full refund before 20 minutes is up], a conversation that goes nowhere, a circle of friends that does not build you up, a course that isn’t what you thought, a bad lecture, a relationship that holds you back. By the same token, give your heart to what you do believe in, or who you believe in, and fight for them, shout in their corner, support them furiously.
Creating a custom online experience is a part of taking back control of your life for the person you aspire to be. That’s always a journey, so make the journey your own. Make it personal, and make it exactly what you want it to be. It will give you the positive feedback you need when you hit those all too frequent stumbling blocks, or um, teachable moments we all get.
A good friend told me that whenever she becomes aware of a negative or judging thought, he immediately thinks of what she is grateful about. When you put your mind to a thought that is grateful, perhaps for being witness to something negative that reminds us about what we have in life, we lose all negativism. Our mind calms. We gain perspective, and we change our body chemistry for the better. That’s what being a beacon is all about. Be a beacon not just for everyone else, but for yourself too!
PS, those that know of the book or film, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, (author: Nesnesitelná lehkost bytí) may see a link to being a source of light, and living the one life we have to live; the lightness theory.