Sometimes I regret opting in to news alerts on my phone.
I majored in journalism in college and have always liked being “in the know” about what’s going on in the world, so news alerts seemed like a good idea at the time.
But some days, the headlines that pop up on my lock screen are depressing…frustrating…enraging. I find myself wondering:
What the hell is wrong with people?
Why are we okay living like this?
What the actual f*ck?
The latest depressing headline came yesterday:
I had to take multiple deep breaths before I opened the article. Did it mention anything about also rejecting the practice of legacy or money and privilege-based admissions. Of course not.
I felt my energy deflate as I considered the far-reaching impact of this decision. And then my mind spiraled a bit to all the other enraging things that happen daily in this country and in our world. The overturning of Roe v. Wade. The endless mass shootings. The natural disasters. The discrimination facing the LGBTQ and disabled communities. The racial and gender-based injustice. The everyday injustice.
It feels—and honestly, it’s felt for a long while—like each day more and more trash is being added to this dumpster fire we call life.
When we’re caught up in the flames, it can be difficult to put things into perspective. To recognize that even when most things seem terrible, that’s rarely the whole story.
And while I’m not a fan of spiritual bypassing or beating anyone (myself included) over the head with the positivity stick, I do think it’s important to find ways to keep the chaos, hate, and stress from taking over. From rendering us useless, or worse, careless.
When I need to calm my fears and put it all into perspective, I read these two quotes:
“Miracles do happen. You must believe this. No matter what else you believe about life, you must believe in miracles. Because we are all, every one of us, living on a round rock that spins around and around at almost a quarter of a million miles per hour in an unthinkably vast blackness called space. There is nothing else like us for as far as our telescopic eyes can see. In a universe filled with spinning, barren rocks, frozen gas, ice, dust, and radiation, we live on a planet filled with soft, green leaves and salty oceans and honey made from bees, which themselves live within geometrically complex and perfect structures of their own architecture and creation. In our trees are birds whose songs are as complex and nuanced as Beethoven’s greatest sonatas. And despite the wild, endless spinning of our planet and its never-ending orbit around the sun–itself a star on fire–when we pour water into a glass, the water stays in the glass. All of these are miracles.” ~ Augusten Burroughs
“So don’t be frightened, dear friend, if a sadness confronts you larger than any you have ever known, casting its shadow over all you do. You must think that something is happening within you, and remember that life has not forgotten you; it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall. Why would you want to exclude from your life any uneasiness, any pain, any depression, since you don’t know what work they are accomplishing within you?” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Do these words fix all that’s wrong with the world? No, but they fix me. They mend my heart. They remind me that this world, this life—even and especially when it’s crumbling around us—is worth the fight.