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Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Living with chronic illness: How do you respond to the world?

Image courtesy of J Frasse/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of J Frasse/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

No doubt about it, there are lots of problems in our world. Close to home and far away, the news of the day is full of strife, violence, awful issues, and injustices.

But even closer to home is your and my life with chronic illness, a war of its own, and, many times, full of trouble.

How much “news of the day” do we need to be aware of, given we’re already juggling serious issues of our own? And, if we do tune in to radio, television or print news, how do we respond to it? filter it? let is sink into our hearts and weigh us down more than we already are?

Enter the ostrich.

It would be tempting to do as these large, flightless birds do – that is, bury our heads, ears, and eyes in the sand of our closely-held lives. No stories of humans’ injustices to other humans, or of humans’ violence or neglect toward the world. Taking away the “noise” of discord might bring some peace to our troubled lives, or even comfort…And yet, I don’t think we can forever close out what’s going on beyond the walls of our heart and home.

Some news, after all, is instructional for us. We still need to be aware of the latest in healthcare and insurance issues, economic tips and trends. What goes on in our communities and neighborhoods does affect us, so it’s important to know at least the bare facts. And, even if we are confined to our homes and cannot move about in the world, we can hear of the needs present and lift them up in prayer.

What we do have to be mindful of, as we keep current, is how the news, especially the bad news, affects our hearts. We’re weighed down enough with health issues, we need to be aware of how we bring on extra stress and learn to keep it at bay.

I try to time my exposure to the hard news of the day, limiting my tv and radio time to certain programs or snippets of them.  As for “pop culture,” well, I limit my viewing and listening time there, too. Frivilous news can take a back seat to something more worthwhile or truly humorous. In conversations, if someone with whom I’m talking starts to get too negative or drone on about this or that world issue, I have no problem saying, “I’m not going to talk about this today,” or “Please, let’s talk about things other than the problems in our world.” Friends and family who care truly do understand.

We don’t have to be like the ostrich, but a little rebalancing of our exposure to news and other world issues can help us balance our need to know with our need for peace!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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