Here’s an answer to a question I received recently. . . .
When so much of the world news is sad (the Earth is dying, the bees are dying, soldiers are dying) how do we prevent ourselves from being overwhelmed by it so that we can act?
Oh yes, the facts of life. If you thought I was going to write about the birds and the bees, think again. (Although I could . . .)
Anyway, Facts—with a capital F. Earth dying. Bees dying. Soldiers dying. The facts seem compelling, don’t they? Look anywhere you like, and there are troubles to be seen. Instant news magnifies our difficulties. In fact, sometimes the news is just one big ouch. What to do?
When I’m feeling overwhelmed by bad news—whether it’s of a personal nature (from my own life) or a public nature (the life of the world)—I get still. I stop the merry-go-round of informative facts and input, and I go within myself.
Within myself and within each self, there is a haven—a sanctuary—from the maelstrom. It is never full, never closed, never unavailable. Better put, it is always spacious, always open, always available. 24/7/365.
The Spirit within each human is a spirit of divine peace. Divine peace is what lives in that haven. It sounds good, doesn’t it? I believe that peace is the universal desire of all beings at their deepest, innermost cores. Whether we know it or not.
The Hebrew word for peace is shalom. The best definition I ever heard came from a rabbi whose name I have long forgotten. He said, “Shalom is all that is wondrous in life.” Can I see the wondrous in bees dying or soldiers dying? Or, in dying at all? Some days it’s harder than others.
Think of the many things you see, hear, read on a given day. They’re all billed as fact, indisputable fact. But think! Most of the “facts” have to do with motion, action, change. Facts change. Constantly.
This is why stillness is part of remembering that divine peace lives within us. Stillness must come first, and then a reminder of the peace within.
Breathe out the word peace. Then, breathe it in. Remember that peace is available.
Let that peace rise up within you, and then, give it out to whatever is concerning you. Send peace to the birds. Send peace to the earth. Send peace to each soldier.
Dear one, after all the facts have changed and changed and changed again, the peace that you are will remain. In that quiet, inner sanctuary of peace, once I feel it for myself, then, and only then, do I ask what action I am to take. When I come from peace, my actions promote peace, and that is why it is my fundamental choice above all others.
I am a big fan of songwriter John Bucchino. On his lovely album, Grateful, Lois Sage sings a magical song called "Temporary." Let the facts go on willy-nilly, changing all the time—they’re temporary—and foster peace first within yourself and then within the world.
P.S. I love this planet! I wrote this entry for my blog on Sunday night. This morning I was reading the March/April 2007 issue of Spirituality & Health magazine. Thomas Moore writes a column for them. This one is entitled, “Soul & Science.” In it he uses the phrase, “a slave to facts.” No mistakes!