How are you holding up in the face of this never ending stream of fear, anger, and hate?
Do you get sucked in, ranting, arguing, or compulsively sharing “Look how stupid they are” posts and videos? It’s tempting – after all, they are really, really stupid.
Do you stall and distract yourself, essentially killing time until everything blows over and we can get back to normal? I get it – nothing seems to make a difference out there. Might as well just wait for all the craziness to exhaust itself.
Do you avoid all the negativity, cutting off news, Twitter, Facebook, certain relatives, etc.? It’s true – there’s a whole lotta ugliness and unhealthiness going on that’s well worth avoiding.
My guess is most of us are doing some combination of these and other tactics. We avoid getting slimed when we can, with varying levels of success, and let off steam when we feel we must. There’s no one right answer. Everyone has to figure out what works for them.
There’s one thing that I have found that makes every approach much more effective:
In this case what I mean is the ability to access a deep sense of understanding whether the experience you are confronted with is helping you or hurting you. It is a sense of “knowing” what is true for you that comes from listening instead of thinking.
Discernment allows you to determine whether watching the news in this case is a bad idea, or whether the decision to avoid social contact in this situation is based in fear or good judgment. Guidelines are valuable, but they are generalities. Your intuition expresses your particular moment to moment truth.
The first thing to do, if you aren’t already familiar with it, is to begin to pay attention to signals in your body.
The more you become aware of them the more of them you will start to notice.
The more you listen the more they will continue to speak up.
The more you honor their message the clearer their message will get.
That little sick feeling in your stomach may be telling you to stop the diatribe about how wrong and bad Mr. Politician is. The point isn’t whether you’re right. (You’re 1000% right. He’s an atrocity!) The point is that it’s doing you harm. This is a tough one because anger and outrage can feel empowering. Especially compared to despair and defeat. But that feeling is probably telling you that in this case the anger is actually costing you. It can be a warning, for instance, that you are stoking hatred; something you claim not to abide.
On the other hand, that tight feeling in your throat could be letting you know that you are withholding the truth, either from yourself or another. This can be an indication that, even though it’s uncomfortable, choosing not to be honest in this case would damage your energy. Enough damage to your energy will start to be reflected in your health – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
That flutter in your heart is possibly encouragement from your spirit to say “Yes” to something, even though it seems silly or it “wouldn’t be like you.” It’s just as important to know when to choose to be vulnerable as it is to know when a boundary is required.
This is not an intellectual process, but information can show up in your head as well. If you suddenly get foggy, it can mean that you are blocking something that is difficult to hear. It might be that you need to focus and listen carefully even though you would rather not, or it might be protecting you from a toxic message. Literal guidance can also appear in the mind, but it will feel or sound slightly different from your usual rational thoughts.
The more you create a relationship with your own signals the better you will understand them. If you are new to this practice, however, I suggest you be willing to just notice the signals at first and allow the interpretation to evolve over time. A headache or nausea are pretty straightforward, but choosing to see them as information instead of a problem is what begins to transform them into valuable tools for surfing this Tsunami of change, and not just endlessly struggling to keep your head above water.
If your spirit is prompting you to have a conversation about developing discernment, I encourage you to get in get in touch with me.