Cultural Terror

Technology has ushered in so many amazing things. The ability to reach anyone, anywhere, anytime. Social media bringing our worlds closer together. Endless options for news and entertainment. Google has changed us forever. We are so informed. We've all become experts on everything. Or have we? What if we're being fed a steady diet of highly distressing information, frequently unsubstantiated by, you know, facts or perspective?

What impact has the constant barrage of information had on our individual, and collective, psyches? Anxiety, substance abuse and depression continue to gain steady momentum. Apps for relaxation and sleep are in staggering demand. One of the coolest aspects of the human psyche is its' constant striving for homeostasis. Our brains are always trying to regulate themselves. I joke (kind of) that the overstimulation produced by the never ending stream of news is solely responsible for people's obsession with funny cat videos. It's our brain's way of saying "I'm going under. Quick find me something furry and funny."

Beyond the constant humming of agitation, dread and irritability? It's making us crazy. It's grossly distorting our realities. It's making being a human, and especially a parent, exceedingly challenging, because every feeling and thought is being filtered through the lens of fear. It's becoming increasing challenging to hold onto to hope, and peace, and faith. Faith that this whole thing is unfolding exactly as it was meant to, and that, despite our best efforts, it's all gonna be OK. We're living in a culture of terror.

The impetus for exposure to greater amounts of information is good. We want to be informed and useful. We desire being proactive. And yet we are freaking out about everything, especially our children. With all the good that the influx of information has brought it comes at a cost. It can provide us with some really great info and insight. It can also stoke the illusion that there is a right way, and of course a wrong way, to handle life. But what if this was true; what if love and miracles continue to FAR outweigh darkness and despair? What if we're exactly where we're supposed to be? What if our loved ones are going through precisely what is required of them so that they may continue to grow stronger, kinder, gentler and more self-aware? What if there are no mistakes, but rather lessons required?

I know, I know. You see it on the news, you hear about it all day long. The world is a dark place. We've never hated this fiercely. We've never been in this much danger, or this divided. The Earth is dying. It's hopeless. But what if it's not? What if, in fact, the world has never been safer? What if we are fundamentally good and loving and naturally driven to find solutions? What if what we say online is just a twisted way to express our fears, but if we saw you on the street and you needed our help we would rush to your side without hesitation? What if our most brilliant minds are working tirelessly on Global Warming and are exceeding our greatest hopes, and it's all gonna be OK? What might happen if we chose to shut off the tv, put down our computers, and get back to the business of living life, and behaving as though the positive far outweighs the negative?

Dark news makes for great ratings. It's sexy tv. It is designed to hook us, ensuring our attention and devotion. It feeds our most primitive fears. But ultimately we get to decide if the cost is too great. We are in control of stepping away. We get to decide if we are, in fact, being brain washed by distortion and terror. Today, just for today, I implore us all to consider choosing joy, hope, and faith. I hope we will decide that enough is enough, that we are done being held hostage in our own lives. There is darkness. There is also vast light. What we focus on grows exponentially. So, just for today, I pray we all choose joy, kindness, gratitude and hope. I pray we stop focusing on sharing our most brilliant opinions and begin sharing our examples of what goodness, love and hope look like in action. And tomorrow? We get to make that choice all over again.

Peace & Love Always,

Beth

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