Suggestion for improving mental health: watch less tv news, turn off radio talk shows, be selective on the newspaper articles you read!!
No I am not advocating putting our heads in the sand or ignoring challenges before us, but it seems that negativity sells and people are making money about complaining about almost everything or putting a negative spin on what some might see as positive news. It is kinda like the person who says, “oh today is beautiful ….BUT I HEAR it is going to rain [or snow] tomorrow.
Personally, I have found myself watching enough news to know what is going on, but turning off the commentators [talking heads] who drone on and on about what MIGHT BE or the tidbit of bad news that they can grab on to. Some of my favorite tv shows deal too much, it seems to me, on murder plots, rape stories, and “ripped from the headlines” stories of abuse. So, I find myself turning the tv off.
AGAIN, let’s deal with the real and pay attention to what we can do to make things better/right, but lets also see that negativity is depressing and discouraging.
TODAY, before we celebrate the birth of the savior, the Church calls us TO REJOICE. The best news of all …..God sent his Son as a Savior AND ONCE HE CAME, HE NEVER LEFT. God is still here with us and within each of us. God Came and God stayed. God has destroyed the thing we fear most — death. Now for that — I REJOICE. No matter what comes my way … I will be ok.
This the CORE of our faith . . . . we have REASON to rejoice always. Without this unerlying belief …. without living this belief … our faith is empty and shallow.
Even if the postal service stops delivering mail on Saturdays …. I will be ok. Even if LSU does not win the national championship and the Saints/Packers do not win the SuperBowl, I will be ok …. (I might be MORE ok if they do win … but I will be ok if they do not!)
The prophet Isaiah (61:1-2a, 10-11) proclaims: I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul;
Tough times and problems are inevitable … misery or joy are choices. I CHOOSE to rejoice, because God has “clothed me in a mantle of justice”.
Happiness comes and goes depending on what goes on “out there” …. I am happy when the weather is good for my outing …I am disappointed/sad when the weather cancels the event. I am happy when I succeed in a project … I am unhappy when the effort flops. BUT JOY stays steady and constant.
In addition to turning off tv which can ROB me of joy …. I am working to prevent others from ROBBING me of my joy ….. negative, cynical people can rob us of our joy by complaining about things that are insignificant or that I have no power to change.
Finally, to maintain joy, my faith must be in God and not in a person, or people, or an institution …. these all fail ….John the Baptist saw people coming out to him, but he deflected the attention to God …. today, there are people who want us to have faith in them, but our faith must be in God.