Below is part of an article by Robin Chancer.
It has been my goal not to get into politics on my blog. But the current situation brings me to re-consider. Robin is a professional therapist and she is writing this article to address what she sees as a growing problem of depression among many people regarding the current state of affairs in our country. My current pre-occupation with reading Dark Money has brought me into the realm of some serious thoughts about all this. You can read the full article here.
The part about using "mindfulness" as a help in steadying one's course was useful to me. As I so believe that "attention" and "mindfulness" play a large role in life. Despair is not an option!
"Mindfulness —essentially, the art of shifting attention — is revolutionizing mental health care. Current research in mental health demonstrates enormous benefits to mindfulness practice. In order to promote well being, we can learn to practice mindful attention both to the present moment and to the good as we understand it. Faced with a frequently depressing, maddening world, this can mean focusing intently on the inspiring work going on around us in a multitude of spheres. Each time you feel hopelessness creep in, focus your attention on the kindness, generosity, and good will around you. We are witnessing an unprecedented blossoming of activism. If our eyes are tuned to the light, we will find the light — in the surge of donations to ACLU, in churches offering sanctuary to immigrants, in town hall meetings packed with civically engaged citizens — everywhere.
Each time the tapes of despair and anger play in your mind, doggedly shift your focus. The mind will wander, again and again. Each time it happens, we notice the anxious thoughts, and shift our focus back. The anxious mind will scream, “How could our President cut Meals on Wheels? What a monster! Those poor people!” Then, shift focus back to the good, “The program has seen a 500% increase in volunteers since the cuts were proposed. Maybe I could get involved!”
You may object, “But I can’t just forget all the terrible things going on!” You are right. Mindfulness is not about forgetting. It is about shifting focus to what is most immediate and most helpful. We help no one by staying in our anguish for long. Bernie Sanders said it best: “Despair is not an option.”