I recently returned from Ireland, which is a soul
home for me. I always spend at least a week in and around The Burren, walking the limestone hills, gazing in wonder at the ever changing sky, breathing in clean and vibrant air, gazing at the sea, and laughing with the friends I’ve made there over the years.
While I’m in Ireland, I make a conscious effort to
disconnect from the news. I cover the television in my cottage with a beautiful cloth, so I don’t even see it. I ignore the newspapers in the stores. It’s ever so nice to have some time when I feel much more deeply connected to the moving sky and my inner landscape than to the media.
So in that respect it’s always a bit of a shock to
the system to return to “normal” life at home. Yes,
I realize there is more I could do to protect the
sanctity of my inner experience. I’m still looking
for the balance between honoring the Divine inside
myself and finding it as I intersect with the world,
even when that is painful.
Yesterday of course I was hearing all about the
impending hurricane and the loss of life it had
already caused. Then in St. Louis where I live
the news was all about Sunday’s presidential debate
here, along with the tragic death of a St. Louis
County police officer. And then I saw a headline
on Facebook that upset me so much I could not bring
myself to read the story because it hit too close
to home and I couldn’t bear to add any more details
to the story that was unfolding in my mind. I won’t
inflict it on you.
So I spent some time breathing, and praying, and
walking. And in doing so I had a little talk with
myself, which I later posted on my Facebook page.
Here’s what I wrote:
“When you hear about a tragedy or a loss, or even
something so awful it is hard to fathom, let your
heart break open a little more. Feel your sorrow,
and your anger, and your worry. Allow yourself to
acknowledge that part of you that is feeling grateful
that this time, it isn’t you. Move past that place of
disconnection into compassion for the people affected.
Let yourself wonder if there is something you can do,
and if there is, make a plan to do that. And before
you go out into the world to make whatever difference
you can, remember that this world of heartbreak is
also a world of awe and joy.
It is easy to get lured into the illusion of news.
And if you spend too much time there, you may forget
how wonderful life can be. Because the most important
people and moments of your life will never be broadcast
on television or online.
The friends who are there for you in times of trouble,
the feeling of warmth and comfort you have when a
loved one comes home after a journey, the people
who make you laugh until you cry, the person who
asks how you are and really wants to know, the hands
that reach out to hold yours, let these be the stories
that fill your consciousness. Allow the rising of the
sun and the glory of the moon and the changing of the
seasons be your inner headlines.
Yes, there is sad news today. If you do hear about
it, let it remind you of the preciousness of each
moment. Stake your claim to your life’s narrative.
Be a meaning maker. Refuse to allow anyone else’s
ideas about what is newsworthy rob you of the wonder
of your life.”
This morning I walked again and wondered at the
wisps of cloud and the singing birds and the crisp
air on my skin. And thanks to a friend’s post later
I remembered that St. Louis made news this year because
our city has been instrumental in rehabilitating
the monarch butterfly population.
So while I’m more determined than ever to keep my
heart open to those who are hurting, I’m just as
determined to seek out the wonders all around me,
“newsworthy” or not.
Sending blessings your way today and always,
Find out how to download a free introduction and a sample chapter from my book, Everything You Need Is Right Here, at