News headlinesI’m doing pretty well in my personal life —  generally a reasonably healthy and rich balance, joy, connections, commitment.  Many inner and outer resources are available to deal with challenges.  But oh my goodness, news headlines give me a headache… and a heartache…and a bellyache!  I hardly even read the news these days, but enough of it filters in to have a giant downer effect.

When the news makes us miserable: Remembering a Fuller Presence and a Larger Truth,  a recent email from Tara Brach, inspired this post. I highly recommend it, reading is is a healing balm, and a compassionate reminder of practices and truths that fill our hearts when news headlines empty them.  Tara captures some of the key thoughts that can overtake us these days:

  • How do we stay compassionate when it feels like so much harm is being caused to vulnerable people?
  • Isn’t acceptance a kind of complacency? Isn’t “letting go” like condoning?

In the article Tara deals with these concerns and more.

John Davis, a teacher in my long-time spiritual path, news headlinesthe Diamond Approach,told me long ago, “Accepting doesn’t mean condoning, Jill.”  This resonates with what I learned and taught in my Collaborative Conflict Resolution years too.  The 4 A’s:  Awareness, Acknowledgement, Acceptance, Action.  

Before anything, first of all, we need to become aware, then to acknowledge what is, the situation, our experience.  Acceptance doesn’t mean condoning, it means facing what is, seeing clearly. being present, showing up.  These three, awareness, acknowledgement, and acceptance precede effective and compassionate action.  Which is called for, and is certainly happening these days, around the world.  And we can take heart from this.

news headlinesWe see people standing up, speaking out, offering help; we see countless indications that human consciousness is evolving, that people around the world long for, and are working for peace, and environmental and social justice; there are many signs of sanity and courage.  It’s important for us to connect with likeminded, caring people.  We are not alone, we need each other, and together we move forward.

News headlines?  Tara closes:  May the suffering of our times awaken our deepest understanding and compassion; and may we respond in a way that serves healing and freedom.

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)

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