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Most of us today are constantly connected to multiple social and news media sources through the internet, cell phones, etc. What happens in our world daily is brought to our attention whether we like it or not. I marvel at the technology today and have embraced much of it. There are obviously good and bad sides to having so much information readily available. For instance, I was just walking down a busy street in Washington, DC the other day, during working hours and was a bit taken back by the number of people I saw who were glued to their cell phones. It was a beautiful spring day in Washington, sunny, mid-70s, flowers everywhere – just a vibrant day. Some people were aware of their surroundings and enjoying the sun as we have had so much rain over the last few months. But, so many people were just talking on their phones or staring at whatever was on their phone screens. Believe me, this has been me too – I’m not pointing a finger at anyone because I could have certainly been someone doing the same with my cellphone. But, it did seem to me that there was an inordinate number of individuals, everywhere in fact, on park benches or walking – even driving their cars -- who were immersed in their phones – a shut-off valve from what’s happening around you in ‘real-time.’

As I have often mentioned in previous posts, when you are in recovery, your mindset and inner disposition are paramount to maintaining Unconditional Recovery. With so much that is happening in the world today, every day, it is so easy to let ourselves become overwhelmed by the negativity, violence, and hatred we see and hear about every hour. We are a new generation of people living with this incessant exposure to world events through social media.

This past weekend I experienced a few incidents that were upsetting. I was travelling in rural Virginia, through the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, on windy roads passing farms and pastures and stopped for some coffee at a small cafe. There was a posting of a missing dog and it turned out to be the dog belonging to the owner of the cafe. Apparently, someone over the previous weekend had abducted five, small dogs from various pet guardians -- right off their properties when the owners were not looking – just snatched them away for what we could only imagine are nefarious reasons.  Everyone had contacted local police, various animal welfare groups along with ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), etc. in an effort to have their beloved pets returned safely home (and to catch the perpetrator(s)).

Then later that same night, I heard about the awful and despicable attacks in London and watched the news into the wee hours of the morning. I was grateful to be made aware of these occurrences – the dog snatching and the terrorist attacks – I want to know about these things happening in the world – I never want to be a person that avoids knowing the truth about life around me – the good, the bad and the ugly and awful. I used to drink alcohol when encountering such types of negative events. And, I thought long and hard about how easy it would be for someone who is new to recovery or maybe several years into recovery, and upon hearing or seeing information about these types of events to resume using or drinking again.

That’s why I wanted to post this particular blog. There will always be incidents that occur in life, for any of us, in recovery or not, that will make us feel saddened, angry, disheartened, depressed or all of these emotions at once. What I did to respond to my own quiet despair over hearing about the dog abductions, and then the tragedy in London, was to take some time out. I prayed for the victims and their families in London, just as I did two weeks earlier with the terrorist attacks in Manchester. I prayed for the little dogs and their grieving owners. I prayed for myself and tried to quiet my own desperate mind from those daunting questions of ‘why’ – why is there so much hatred and violence and evil acts happening all around us? After praying for a considerable amount of time I drank a full glass of spring water and started my deep breathing exercises. I finally quieted my mind from the multiple inner disturbances that assailed me. One of my rescue cats jumped up into my lap and I sat with her while she purred and I stroked her tiny head. I continued to focus on my deep breathing and calming my mind. And, as is usual, the time and effort worked. I got centered, felt my heart and the love I have for life, creation, the tender souls around me, both animals and people, the good folks I know and the countless numbers of individuals in the world who are wonderful, loving people who steadfastly exist in stark contrast to the hateful people in our world. I then prayed again for the little dogs and their owners and families, and I prayed again for the victims of the horrific acts in London.  The same social media that exposes us to the sorrows of this world also exposes us to the outpouring of kindness and selfless acts by wonderful people all over the world -- and it’s vital that we balance the ‘news’ and shared posts with information that nourishes our hearts and minds.

I got up from my chair and felt revitalized and centered to continue my life, one day at a time, one moment at a time – living a life of Unconditional Recovery and knowing full well, that the air I breath, the water I drink, the prayers I offer and the meditations regarding the goodness of life are helping me stay balanced and not give in to the sorrows of the world.  I too can help make this world a better place – but it begins with me.  Until next time . . . keep the faith.


 


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