Take a break from the 24 hour news cycle
Take a break from the 24 hour news cycle it will save you :). Okay, maybe not save you, but definitely give you some room to process your thoughts about yourself, your family, your community, your world. I work in media in an off off off off off Broadway sense. I read, watch, listen (radio, podcasts, etc., but not as much as the other two) the news an awful lot. Mostly I stick to specific topics and completely remove myself from the “news of the day, week, month, etc.” News isn’t bad per se, but I’m here to tell you and I don’t want to share this at all because it is something I’m uncomfortable with…
I have had my own personal self-esteem issues over the years, mainly self-imposed and sometimes from listening to not positive things people have said to me over the years, but that’s rare. Here in the past couple of months watching the horrible rhetoric in our (U.S.) media with regards to race, politics, culture, division, hatred, back-biting, oftentimes people talking negatively about each other (from our leaders in politics, government, city, local, church (you name it)). Over and over and over and over and over and over again. The constant soundbites of words of blaming, disrespect — you name it. It’s a barrage of ugliness from all sides. With little snippets of our humanity to each other thrown in. And I’ve begun to question my own appearance, my thoughts, other people, their thoughts.
I know there are people in the world who judge others. I used to be the biggest one of all. I was horrible. I judged people in so many ways. If my friends didn’t agree with me, I didn’t really want to be their friend. Let me tell you it was awful. Oh I didn’t see myself as being awful just right. Oh I thank God for His love and mercy and grace. Without Him, I would still be back in that place. I still have a long way to go. Don’t get me wrong. But this thing about being judged as gotten to me in a way that I’ve never experienced before. It’s an ugly, horrible, hurtful, painful, disappointing, heart wrenching feeling to the depths of my soul. It breaks my heart in places I didn’t know could be broken.
You see I’ve never seen myself as black, Mexican, white, brown, … you name it. My mom is Mexican and my dad black. They didn’t raise us to see color just people. I did form my own prejudice out of fear and being treated a certain way when I was a kid, but I still didn’t see myself as a race or color. I didn’t see my dad as a black person, my mom as a Mexican. I saw them as my mom and dad and I saw myself as an American. Nothing more, nothing less. Now, lately, because I’ve allowed myself to watch or read the news almost nonstop for a long time, I’ve allowed the “news of the day” to seep into my spirit.
Part of me has started to look at people and wonder do they hate me because my skin color looks different than them? It’s weird. That’s not bothered me before — hey who’s kidding who here. I’ve been around for a long time but not experienced this. It’s like this whole ugly dark world has been opened up to me and I don’t want it. I choose not to accept it. Maybe that’s why I’m writing this. There is something to what God says about confessing our sins to one another. Mine is allowing myself to become disappointed in my fellow human being — to start with disappointment instead of hope.
I am so sorry because I know in my heart to the depths of my soul there’s hope for all of us. Even the worst of us. And I don’t know what the worst of us is. I think I have an idea, but even in that God is God. The one thing I tell my friends is, “I’m glad I’m not God.” I would fail miserably. You know? So I just want to ask you to please stop watching the news, stop listening to things people say that speak death, that put others down, that hurt others, that demean others, that humiliate others. If what someone is saying doesn’t speak life, don’t listen to it. Because we’re all we have. We, human beings, we need each other. We really do. In the grand scheme of things — we are really in this life together. :) So please forgive me for allowing the world’s view to seep into my thoughts.
Take a break from the 24 hour news cycle and live your life to the fullest. Learn to trust, love, and care again.