It seems as if our world is growing more and more angry. People are increasingly locked into “I am right and you are wrong” positions. We are losing our ability to simply disagree and allow others to hold differing opinions.
Much of it comes from the media, who have discovered that anger and fiercely held positions increase ratings. But wherever it’s coming from, we are losing our ability to talk civilly to those on the other side.
At some level we know that it’s not good for us to carry strong beliefs on every conceivable subject about what is good or bad. It weighs down our lives with anger and indignation.
Although it feels good to be flushed with the adrenalin of self-righteousness, the energized feeling is short-lived. As it wanes we are left tired and drained. Arguing, judging, and complaining steal our energy, separate us from friends and neighbors, and erode our well-being.
As I have become aware of the increasing presence of addictive negative vibes that surround me, I have begun to look at my own negativity and listen to myself. I was surprised at the extent to which I have been adding to the situation.
I am giving myself a sabbatical from all the noise, unplugging and disengaging where I can. It’s time to center myself by searching out more quiet time, reading good books, connecting with nature.
The discipline parents use of time-out is a wonderful tool for adults as well. When we send a child to their room or to sit in the corner, it gives them a chance to rebalance, disengage from a squabble with a brother or sister, calm down and be alone. We all need more time-outs in our lives.
I have been listening to a good song lately called “Stop Your Fussin’.” That short title reminds me to just smile and lighten up.