There are days when I have a hard time concentrating because my brain has decided to play out all my future fears. I'm not sure which is worse, reliving past regrets or figuring out what catastrophic event awaits me. Either way, I'm amazed I get any work done at all. But it makes me wonder why fear can hold so much sway over me. Thoughts move fast and pop up unexpectedly, and I recognize the need to practice mindfulness and continually keep myself in the present, but it's hard.
We all know that marketing, along with propaganda, is based on our insecurities. The hope is to present a message, product, or service that promises to solve our problems and remove our fears. What would it look like if love and compassion were promoted instead? What side effects would occur if we advertised health and well-being? (I'm not talking about weight loss gimmicks, but a lifestyle that can be adapted, well, for life.)
Would anybody care to listen?
Fear is a strong motivator that can be used to our advantage to motivate us to stay on the right path. But, too much fear-mongering is leading many of us into a constant state of anxiety. I know the old journalist saying, "If it bleeds, it leads." In other words, society's ills will keep people tuned in to watch every day. I believe in staying informed, but sometimes it feels like a firehose of death and destruction, and I'm powerless to do anything about it. I want to be Wonder Woman and fix all of it, but I'm pretty sure there's zero chance of me being an Amazon Warrior.
Wouldn't it be nice to be overwhelmed with a sense of security and to know that everyone you meet has your best interest at heart? It would be wonderful to feel compassion and empathy throughout your day. I want the headline in the news to read, everything is fine, nothing bad is happening, have a nice day. Is that too much to ask?
More and more, I understand the power of what one individual can achieve, be it for good or for evil, and how it collectively affects us. The only power in my control is to work towards doing what I can to help others. I find sanity in what seems like an insane world when I can make someone smile or feel listened to. My faith in humanity is restored when a stranger offers to help me pick up all the apples I knocked over in the produce aisle. It's these simple acts of kindness that we'll always need to feel connected and loved. It reduces our fears and trepidation about the future when we know we have people on our side to carry us through.
I'm practicing mindfulness by flipping the script of fear in my head and consciously thinking of what action I can take that will be of some good. For starters, I take a break from the news. I reach out to family and friends to catch up. I take a moment and be grateful that I'm healthy and content with my life. Everything is fine. Nothing bad is happening. Have a nice day.