Sometimes it’s easier said than done to make sure that the life we lead inside our head is as nice a place as we would like it to be.
I’m pretty good at seeing the glass half-full rather than half-empty most of the time. And I’m pretty good at not spending lots of time dwelling on things over which I have no control. Pretty good. And usually this Zen advice on letting go helps. Usually.
But there are times when each of us is challenged, and this is one of those times.
COVID has cast a wide net of anxiety over most of us, for a hugely long period of time. That takes its toll. The global pandemic has impacted literally millions of people with unexpected deaths of loved ones, serious illness of loved ones, and isolation from friends and loved ones in times of need and loss. Not to mention loss of jobs and incomes. Not to mention troubling disagreements between friends and family members over COVID restrictions.
Putin’s treacherous actions may well have you severely anxious. In a mere 12 days, the world suddenly finds itself perilously close to the cusp of World War III, all because of the megalomaniacal ego of one man intent on fulfilling his own dream, to recreate the Russian Empire. Sparing no expense in destroying people, towns, and infrastructure, including nuclear power plants, in the process. It appears that Putin’s game plan now is to use the same indiscriminate use of massive force in Ukraine that he used in Chechnya and Syria. In response, the western world feels the pressure to increase their military spending and buildup in order to counter Putin’s moves, hopefully by deterrence rather than force. War. When will we ever learn?
In the midst of all this, you may have friends or loved ones who are struggling or suffering and you just can’t help.
You may feel sad because things beyond your control just seem too important to let go of right now.
That’s all right, for a while. Sometimes the kindest thing you can do for yourself is to let yourself feel the sadness. It’s an honest, heartfelt emotion. Just don’t hang onto that sadness, don’t let the sadness take over. Remember those useful pieces of advice from the Zen master above about letting go. Move into the sunshine at the soonest possible opportunity. For your own sake and for the sake of those you are concerned about.
Leonard Cohen’s song Anthem may sum this up best. This is one of my favourite songs by one of my favourite singer/poets.
Ah, the wars they will be fought again
The holy dove, she will be caught again
Bought and sold, and bought again
The dove is never free
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
I highly recommend a listen. And remember, there’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.