Abrupt change of subject.
Caution: pontificating ahead
Tracey over at Sweetney is asking some Big Questions about how to deal in this messed-up world:
And though I'm not quite cuckoo enough (yet) to believe I can change the world, I think I need to do something, however small, to stop feeling like a rudderless boat adrift on the violent seas of apparent global insanity. And I know there are many people out there who feel just as I do. People who, like me, read the paper or flick on the TV or turn on NPR and feel wash over them an almost incapacitating mixture of anger and sadness and outrage and disbelief that even Katie Couric's perkiness and obligatory feel-good-story-of-the-day wrap-ups can't quell. Maybe you feel this way, too.Yes, of course I feel this way, too. I think everyone does, though some are better at denying it.
I have been thinking that one of the wisest things ever written is the Serenity Prayer so popular in 12-Step Groups:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things
I cannot change,
the courage to change the things
and the wisdom to know the difference.
That simple, seemingly cliche prayer, contains the way out of this mess. After much soul-searching, I believe that the path out of the darkness is through forgiveness. Not just forgiveness of other people and forgiveness of ourselves. Forgiveness of everything. We have to stop being mad at everything for being so screwed up.
Because practically speaking, where is our mad getting us? Where is our sad getting us? Unless our feelings motivate us to act, they don't DO anything for us. It sure feels important to burst into tears at the injustice and the horror and the pain, but once the tears are gone, has anything in the world changed?
Should we stop having feelings? No - impossible. Have feelings, feel them completely, and let them pass by like the weather passes by. And then if we have the courage and the wisdom and the energy, we should act to make things better.
And if we don't? Forgive the badness. Forgive ourselves for not being able to act right now. Forgive the darkness. Let it go for now. Breathe and trust that when the time is right, we will act as positively and as well as we know how.