Barbara and I have been in Vermont for the past week, soaking in the gorgeous colors (leaves), enjoying unseasonably mild temperatures, glorious lake views, breathtaking mountain views, and getting to know the land we purchased for retirement. I worked really hard to leave everything behind and to attend only to screens that take pictures or that project books. I highly recommend it.
What I also highly recommend is to turn off, unplug, tune out social and corporate broadcast media for a time. Certainly, our world may have ended this week while we are away, but I couldn’t have done anything to stop it anyway. I have been persuaded that much of our current problem is saturation in messaging intended to provoke, concern, irritate, or terrify. Not much real information, but an unending stream of opinion/rant/slant/insult/ire with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. We are better than this. We do not need to keep focusing on everything that is wrong, vile, evil, negative, hostile, irrational, and offensive in our entitlement culture. There is a great good, great beauty, and real truth in our world. Somehow our psyches have gotten all bent out of shape.
So, here is my prescription for this week. Spend as much time as you possibly can thinking of the happiest, most contented and fulfilling times in your life. Think about what brings you joy. Think about the ways you bring joy to others. Think about your deepest hopes and aspirations. Think about what you want for your children and grandchildren. Think about the best meal you ever ate, the best wine/beer/fruit smoothy/candy bar/cookie/cake/pie/pastry/donut/croissant/bread/biscuit/muffin/scone/tart/cocoa/tea/coffee (you get the idea) you ever had. Think about places you love to go, things you love to do, and people that you just clearly and completely love. Fill your minds, hearts, spirits, and souls with these things. Take a walk. Take a nap. Take a chance and just refuse to let the negative in.
Heading home with mixed feelings. Love home, love church, love colleagues, love Isaiah (cat), but do have to confess that this past week was heaven on earth. I wish you each and every one a slice of your own heaven. Finding our bliss and living there (and inviting others in to share it) may be the only hope we have for a way forward.