“Happiness is not a matter of intensity
but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony”~ Thomas Merton.
In case you didn’t know, with or without your help, your body always strives for balance. There is even a word for it: homeostasis. It is the drive to keep things in check, to correct what life, illness, and stress do to you at the cellular level. There are chemicals of all sorts, messengers that activate correcting responses, hormones that tweak and adjust actions and reactions. Without even knowing it, we expect our bodies to cope with our irregular lives; with our unrealistic demands and commands.
Until we get sick, or get sick and tired of our appearance, or feel aches and pains that remind us that we are taking our faithful cells, tissues and organs for granted. They used to say: garbage in, garbage out. That concept can be readily understood as it applies to diet, but what other forms of garbage are you allowing into your life, into your thoughts, into your world?
We are hooked in to our electronic world, a steady diet of alarm and terror; tapping into messages of hatred and divisiveness that penetrate our conscious and unconscious thought processes. Whether the distressing news is local or global, we are fed this steady stream of frightening images, making it hard to maintain an even keel. It is tempting to give up on TV, stay away from Facebook, block the outside world. It is hard to maintain a healthy perspective when confronted with so much poison.
But do we have a responsibility to counter the negativity, to replace trash with flowers, to spread positive images instead of violence? I find myself ‘hiding’ images on facebook that I feel are ugly or misrepresentative. I refuse to watch videos that expose someone else’s pain or humiliation. It may not affect them, but I feel that in some small way by refusing to participate I am doing the right thing. When we allow our world to be dominated by harsh rhetoric and unkind images, we are changing our own chemistry. Garbage in, garbage out.
These are some trying times. I was happy to see protestors out in the cold, standing for love, for inclusion, for acceptance of our diverse world, in the face of bigoted xenophobia. But we have to be vocal, we have to verbalize our disgust of the politics of fear, hatred and division, we have to work overtime to rise above and stand tall.
Whether it is on an individual, a local or a global level, it takes extra effort to fight back, to show the power of love over hatred. We cannot wait for others to object on our behalf. We have to get involved and make our voices heard. Just as the body has to overcorrect in order to bring our blood levels back to normal, the status quo will not save us.
This week my message is short. On a personal level I am out of balance, dealing with loss while continuing to meet work and school commitments. We cannot always take the time for healing, but sometimes the very act of having to stay busy helps to keep you moving forward. I am looking forward to gathering with family to remember our mother, and of course our father, who has been waiting for her these past five years. I know there will be tears, but they will be balanced by laughter, as many old stories will be revisited and retold. They may not be completely accurate, and in fact may be embellished for effect, but in the end we will declare “And is true you know!”
This weekend may you find ways to maintain balance, to do those things which restore your soul, and compensate for the day to day stressors that threaten to overwhelm. May you help to spread light and joy in this world to eradicate the messages of hate. May you pay it forward, and create a chain of positive acts that infects neighborhoods and worlds.
Once more Big Thanks to all for your messages of love and support. I will carry them with me as I go to celebrate the life of my mother. Have a fabulous weekend Family!