The news this week has been horrific. I know that I cannot stop the hate, the poverty, the wars, the disease or the oppression. I also know that continual immersion into the negative aspects of life eats away at ones ability to remain hopeful. This is why I disconnected my TV after 9/11. The hate mongers were terrorizing me in my own home and I wasn't going to remain placid.
In many of the scriptures from various faith paths, followers are reminded that during times of pain and sorrow to "turn your eyes upon the Lord/Beloved/Source of Hope/Creator/Almighty/Light of the Divine." But how can we do this? What are our alternatives?
For me, the answer came as I left work after the 9/11 attacks. I was working at a hospital and needed to see a patient facing surgery. As I walked across the parking lot to the hospital, my mind and soul were struggling to regain balance. In desperation, I prayed, "God help me!"
At that moment, I noticed that the fire bushes were all red and swaying. I couldn't figure out why this was, because there had not been a frost. As I got closer, I realized that what I thought were fire bushes were actually butterfly bushes filled with monarchs on their way to Mexico.
At that moment, peace enveloped me. I understood that if these tiny winged beauties could continue their arduous journey to their winter home so far away, I could continue on in my duties with peace and love in my heart. I knew all would be well.
So, today, find your alternative. Take a moment to find a peaceful spot - look out your window at the trees - watch children at play - stand by the sea - gaze into the eyes of someone you love and cherish. Then, think of someone whom you have not spoken to in a long time or someone with whom you only share pleasantries. Write them a note or send them an email. Tell them about your time finding a peaceful spot. Share with them the sound of children laughing, trees swaying in the summer breeze, the ocean kissing the sand or the joy of having someone close to you to love.
By the time you are done several things will be accomplished. First, you will feel lighter, happier, more at peace. Second, you will have shared those feelings with others. Third, by sharing, you will have created a ripple effect that will travel in directions you may never know, making the world a better place.
Alone, we can do little to change our world. But, together we have alternatives that give us the strength to move mountains.
Blessings to one and all!