“We can train our minds. We are not stuck with our fearful, habitual, self-centered ways of seeing and feeling.”
“When we find ourselves caught up in the compelling and complex inner screen of our mind, we need to remember that we have an option. We can shrink or minimize the current screen down to a small icon on the bottom of the mind-screen and open up the serene blue sky of our inherently boundless, clear mind.”
-Jan Chozen Bays
We currently live in a fear-based culture. It seems like literally every television commercial is for drugs that will save us from diseases that are lurking behind every corner. If the potential diseases aren’t bad enough, the side effects of the drugs are scarier than the disease. Most drugs seem to have a potential side effect of filling our minds with thoughts of suicide. Why would anyone take a prescription drug that may drive you to suicide just to clear up your sinuses? The evening news is full of terrorism, murders, and the effects of global warming. Whenever I take out the trash at night I jokingly tell my wife that if I am not back in five minutes, call the police because ISIS might be in the back yard. If we don’t already have enough fears, now millions of people in the United States and around the world are in nervous suspense wondering what our new president is going to say or do. Fear and anxiety have become common emotions. I have always been a news junkie because I like to know what is going on in the world. However, when such knowledge does nothing but depress you, what should you do? You can’t live every minute in a bubble. You can, however, reduce your exposure to 24 hour news, endless debates by pundits, and “alternative facts”. Sometimes I have to just turn it off or walk away. In other words, I minimize these types of things in order to maximize the reality of my life and the moment I am in. In times of outside fears and anxieties, I need to focus on good things and my gratitude for them. Instead of counting my fears, I count my blessings. I believe it is a teaching of Islam to just deal with what’s in front of you. There is also the mentality to “Think globally but act locally”. Mother Teresa said that “if you can’t feed the world, feed one person”. Get the point? Don’t be overwhelmed with fears and anxieties. Do good whenever and wherever you can.