There are four and half hours left in 2016 and I came to my computer to write, as has become habit for the last four years. This year was seen by many as the worst ever. So many icons died in the music, literary and film worlds that it seemed overwhelming. But people die. It’s a beautiful part of life that we endure and if we’re able, we see the necessity. Others see this year as particularly bad since the election. This is what I want to focus on tonight because I haven’t been at my best for what seems like a long while. I feel the need to write it out so I can sit back and actually look at what I’m feeling in words because it seems so overwhelming at times.
I know that I only have so much time on this earth. I believe that we don’t “die,” spiritually speaking. I love the saying ‘Not to spoil the ending for you, but everything is going to be okay’ because I take that spiritually, not earthly – but even then, it applies. I believe in life everlasting. I hope I get to see those I love again in another realm. I know how blessed I am. Taking all of that into consideration, I’m angry and stressed out and unhappy and it mostly has to do with the direction I see my beautiful country going. Without getting into all the reasons why I feel that at this moment (because I don’t want this to be all about that because it could take a long time and I’d rather write about how I feel about it), I want to address what I’m going to DO about it.
Many of my friends feel caught, too, in this up/down, right/left, backwards/forwards world of spirituality and politics. We all feel pulled. Those I’ve discussed this with are truly horrified about what the future holds. I know it sounds silly after reading the paragraph above and all the jargon about ‘everything will be okay,’ but it’s real. Every day I feel pulled – no, compelled – to share with my conservative Facebook friends what is in the news because I fear they are only listening to FOX news and don’t hear what is really going on. I know I, too, can become an echo chamber so I try to debate issues with those who see differently. I set up a friends list that is only seen by my extreme conservative and liberal friends so we can banter without others “sneaking a peek” and not joining in. I have to admit, I chose some vocal people and we have had heated discussions and except for one person that I made invisible to this political list (for acting like she was above the fray when she was actually stirring the pot and not in a good way), things have gone okay for the most part. Invariably someone will name call and healthy debate comes crashing down.
Here’s where I find myself: I don’t consider myself a nasty person, but recently I sometimes cheer internally when I see a response that may be slightly nasty by a poster, mostly because the poster he/she is responding to was nasty. I know my posts make others feel bad for voting for someone they may not have particularly wanted to vote for. I know they are also not happy with me for sharing it. The conundrum is what to do about it. Do I stop sharing and hope they’re seeing more than one side of the issue or do I continue? My peace of mind is important and I feel social media has affected many of us in negative ways. My dang dog even hates me on it! My wife hates it but doesn’t bother me about it like she used to – she gives me enough rope to hang my own damn self and I feel that’s what I’m doing. If she were to die tomorrow with the social media habits I have now, I don’t think I could forgive myself for not spending more time with her. She’s much much more important to me than anything on social media, so why do I do it? Like I said, we only have so much time on this earth and my duty is to figure out how I want to spend the rest of it. She means more to me than life itself. That should not be followed with a ‘but.’ When I ask my friends how they feel about social media, they agree it’s time consuming but many said they would be lost without Facebook. They said they feel they might miss something. They like the friendships and the connections. They all feel overwhelmed with the current political climate in the country and online.
Which brings me back to the point of this writing. I know the answer to my searching. This writing clarifies it for me, but I’ve always known what to do. It’s just taking the necessary steps to give up needing to prove anything to anyone, to “shine the light” on stupidity. I need to have more faith in my countrymen that they will support the right thing. There is a big jump time happening (and has been happening for quite a while now) and I have to decide if I want to be part of the problem or part of the solution. I can affect world peace by being peaceful within myself (getting back to meditation) and radiating that out to others. I can be happy by making others happy. I can please those who love me by being more present. I just don’t think I can continue to spend as much (any?) time on social media and be happy.
The new year is in four hours and I plan to spend those hours being present, with my Love and my dog. The new year brings hope and a new direction, filled with possibilities and choices. I am the only one responsible for my life.