Sharks in Our Calm Pools

My husband was a police officer for forty-plus years and, since retiring, has volunteered at a local hospital. Both jobs, from my perspective, deal with powerfully negative and often harsh life events. True, there are positives in both arenas (averting crime and birthing precious babies), but having that positive perspective does not come naturally for me. While hubby can face all things awful and let each experience pass right through his psyche, I function more like a super-efficient sponge. I haven’t yet been successful in letting negative life events bounce off or pass through me. I absorb it all, and then have difficulty facing the world with a positive approach. It’s a strain for me to see through the crap to grasp and experience all the wonderfulness out there.

Our society focuses on the negative drama … we see it on TV and in newspapers, we dismiss it like reality programming, and yet we continue to support the sponsors who keep this drama in our constant purview. And I’m not talking about the reporting of the news, especially when it’s unthinkable like Orlando. I’m talking about sensationalizing the news, and we know the difference. I’ve always felt that, if we ignored the selling of the negative, life events would be shared more authentically and with less lurid detail.

The Pool is Small and the Sharks are Many

We humans are not equipped to process all the horrific information we’re given on a daily and hourly basis. Negative energy literally steals our peace. I refer to this negativism as the sharks that chum our calm pools. It’s a frenzy of drama and he said/she said and soul-deflating competition and an examination at the microbial level of all things awful. And there is little protection from this onslaught.

Constantly watching TV news and reading depressing stories online are total spirit deflators. One can get easily discouraged with what’s going on in the world by paying attention to the biased news, reporting and storytelling of these days.

I can’t be at my restful best after being constantly bombarded by the news and real-life stories of death and destruction and bad behavior. And the news is the tip of the iceberg. Consider social media.

I love social media. I use it to connect with friends and to share my blog and other information about living our best lives as we age. It can be a real peace and joy thief, however, if you let it color your world, allowing yourself to feel bummed if someone doesn’t “like” your post or if you are constantly comparing what you share with what others show themselves to be in places like Facebook. You give up your peace and self-assuredness when social media rules your life.

Protect Your Peace

High-maintenance people comprise the largest group of peace and calm stealers. They may be good friends and/or family, and you may love them dearly, but if they repeatedly dump their problems on you, it can be difficult to detach and protect yourself.

Setting boundaries is one way to protect your peace and take control of the sharks in your calm pool. Be less available — not completely gone, just not as quick to jump when a peace-stealer demands your attention. After all, we train people how to treat us by our actions with them.

Take a good hard look at where and with whom you spend your time. Is it upbeat and supportive for the most part? Or do you feel exasperated and tired by people and circumstances? When you put out peaceful energy you will attract more peaceful energy from those around you.

Whether it’s the media or who you hang with, protect your peace — you deserve it.