the nest

the nest

Thursday, September 22, 2016

the Fall begins...

Today I started to incorporate the many rituals I've developed to help me as the days get shorter, the nights get longer, and my mood dips. Seasonal Affective Disorder impacts many of us to a greater or lesser extent, but for me it defines this time of year. I'm sitting with my Happy Light. Before I had my first cup of coffee I had a cup of warm water with lemon and honey. I will be more diligent about taking my anti-depressant daily. I will try not to feel like there is something wrong with me because I have to work harder to be alert, focused and cheerful for the next few months.
In the grand scheme of things I have few problems. When the darkness starts to descend though, those few "blips" in life sometimes appear more like mountains.

It is so easy these days to get sucked into the darkness. The hate, violence and fear that is ever present in the world is magnified by the endless source of information available to us. It is hard to not see it. You can stop watching the news, stay off social media, avoid newspapers etc., but that's not realistic. Right now it also feels irresponsible. The future of our country will be determined in the next few months and it feels wrong to ignore the process.

We can support a leader who, while imperfect (by her own admission!), is incredibly well prepared and well qualified to be the next President of the United States, or we can support a demagogue with no political experience, who says increasingly shocking things and supports increasingly hateful, divisive, isolationist and fear-based policies. We can fall into the darkness that is misogyny, xenophobia, racism, homophobia and more, or we can stand strong against the dark and shine a light of love, peace, tolerance and acceptance.

As I'm writing this I hadn't planned on politics. I was thinking about darkness and mood. The politics of our world right now mirror the growing darkness of the season.

In the same way that I'm going to buckle down and do the things that I know will help bring me through the seasonal dark and cold, we have to dig in and fight against the darkness that threatens to overtake the light in the world.

There is SO MUCH GOOD. Maybe, like the historian in a post I read yesterday on FB said, humanity inevitably goes through dark times. Maybe we can't avoid them. Maybe we can't learn from the past. Maybe every few generations we have to learn hard lessons to emerge stronger and better.
This feels so wrong though. I refuse to believe that we are foolish enough that we can't learn from the mistakes of the past.

In the same way that the proliferation of media makes it hard to avoid the hateful rhetoric and lies being spewed by those in the darkness, why can't it be used to spread the light?
Sharing stories of goodness, kindness and selflessness remind us that there is SO MUCH GOOD.
Refusing to share the lies and innuendos that suggest the world is a terrifying place helps keep them in perspective. There is more light than dark. The light always returns.

We live in a world that is increasingly global and interactive. We can open ourselves to the good that is in it (and there is SO MUCH GOOD) or we can close our doors and hide. We can avoid taking a risk on a new friendship because we are afraid, or we can welcome the stranger and embrace them with kindness. We can allow the darkness to envelope us, or we can stand strong and insist that the light will return. The light is stronger than the dark.