Mainstream media is feeding us a continual stream of news about the recession, the debt crisis, the housing market and the need to create jobs. Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and tsunamis are killing people by the thousands. Children are starving in many parts of the world. It is no wonder that many of us are confused or in fear about what is happening to life as we knew it.
It’s not the events or the news that are making us fearful; it’s our thoughts about them that create our feelings. Observe your emotions when you are watching television or reading the newspaper or checking a story on the Internet. Do you remain calm or do you become passionate about the issue? Are you often angry or outraged? It is difficult to remain neutral and not be affected by the images or the stories that we witness. We react with compassion when children are dying of starvation and there is no clean drinking water in a village. It is inconceivable that we would not be moved. This is often the very motivation that inspires us to take action and help find a solution.
When we experience fear, we are either thinking about a past event or worrying about the future. We doubt that we will have the ability to handle the situation. If you want to move past the fear, bring your mind to the present moment. Focus on what you would like to experience instead of the fear. Have faith that you will be able to walk through any challenge that you will face. Call on your Higher Power to guide you at the time of a crisis.
A Course in Miracles, Lesson 129.2, says, “It might be worth a little time to think once more about the value of this world. The world you see is merciless indeed, unstable, cruel, unconcerned with you, quick to avenge and pitiless with hate. It gives but to rescind, and takes away all things that you have cherished for a while. No lasting love is found, for none is here. This is the world of time, where all things end.”
There is a world that I want, and it is joyous, peaceful and loving. I can choose to see this world instead of the one I am currently viewing. We don’t have to give up the world; we just have to exchange the one we see for a different one. We cannot think two thoughts at once, and it becomes critical to choose the thoughts that will bring us peace and harmony.
Try a simple experiment. Take a break from listening to or reading the news for an entire week. Instead of the news, spend your time visualizing what you want to create in your life. Use the time to dream big. Read an uplifting book, listen to an inspirational message or attend a spiritual workshop. It’s hard to create the life you would like to live when your mind is occupied with fear thoughts. At the end of the week, describe how you feel. Are you motivated, excited, and anticipating something new? Are you calmer and more peaceful? Only you can decide which emotions you want to experience and which ones you want to avoid. Remember that the thoughts come first and the emotions follow them. It just might be time to start monitoring what you are thinking and make a different choice.