I’m on so many lists and receive so many e-mails about important social and civic activities. When General Foods refuses to label GMOs in any its products, I get an e-mail, a call to action. When one political party or another throws roadblocks in the path of progress or makes the issues personal rather than about positive change, I get several e-mails and am asked to sign petitions, write letters or share a point of view with all my Facebook friends. I even have an app on my phone that allows me to scan the purchase tags of items I may want to purchase allowing me to find out if the company has ever supported apartheid or been associated with controversial activities, like having its workers housed in sweatshops.
Access to Info Versus Lingering Toxicity: I love having this information so effortlessly at my disposal and appreciate my initial contact with many of these ’causes.’ Of course I’m going to stand up and acknowledge that I want a government shutdown to end now. Of course I’m going to say I abhor underage workers slaving away in unhealthy work environments for pennies a day. It’s what happens after these initial contacts that has left a slightly toxic feeling in my soul.
Morning e-mail: The more I became involved and enlightened, the more my mailboxes, both real and virtual, became filled with negative messages of all that is wrong in the world. It could be people, politicians (because we know they’re not people), companies, both here and abroad and the environment that evidently acts alone to bring about things like global warming and shockingly aberrant weather in the form of storms like Hurricane Sandy or a super typhoon in the Philippines. I would cringe when I logged on each morning, afraid to see what terrible activity or person was plotting to ruin the world. I felt nervous, afraid, naïve, and pessimistic about having a safe and abundant place to spend my glorious days in fulfilling activities.
It Sticks With Me: Some people can see this daily barrage and let it float right through them – not me. It bores into my heart and robs me of the assurance I create daily to be able to live and love fully. It beats me down, more rapidly than most people I admit. But I’m determined, so I swept through my e-mails and unsubscribed from all those organizations who are probably just trying to do good with their notifications. I’m sure this purging won’t entirely solve the build-up of negative input, and I know it’ll accumulate again, but I feel relieved.
Open to Goodness: This cleansing reminds me that I’m in control of my happiness, regardless of what is happening out there and regardless of what I ‘should’ being doing about it. My wellbeing is tied to a good and generous world that supports fellowship and love, but I have to choose activities that reflect that attitude. For me, I can’t be open to a lot of negative and turn around and project the positive. This doesn’t mean I’m giving up learning about and supporting the good cause, it just means I need to step back and reclaim my peace and prosperity periodically in order to more fully live a well-rounded life.