Editor’s Desk: Current Anxiety and Advice from Wise, Generous Friends

POSTED February 28, 2024 IN

In a recent email to my private list of friends, family, and New Dimensions colleagues, I admitted that I’m struggling to not get depressed and worried when I realize we are 9 months out from the national election. I feel relentlessly bombarded by so much news that it is often difficult to glean facts from innuendos. I’m often trying to sort out what is important for me to know from that which is deeply buried in bias, opinion, misinformation and disinformation. I ended my rant to my friends with an AA quote, “Don’t give up until the miracle happens.”

As, so often heard on New Dimensions, it is not a time to isolate ourselves. We must enter the corridors of life and allow ourselves to be in contact with our wise, generous, and responsive community of friends.

Here’s some of the responses to my email about my current anxiety. Hopefully they will inspire and lift your spirits as they do mine.

From my colleague Dan Drasin,

Thanks for your heartfelt rant. I think we all share your concerns and anxiety! What I keep coming back to at times like this is a quote from an old teacher of mine: ‘Worry is prayer for what you don’t want.’

If, in fact, our collective consciousness determines the future in ways that aren’t obvious to us, I like to think that every ‘vote’ counts…. and then some.

At the very least, our attitude determines how immune we are to the influences of the ‘dark side’ — i.e., the voices of divisiveness. What good are we if we succumb to those very influences rather than keeping one foot in front of the other on the path?

As broadcasters we’re teachers… and I think ultimately we can only teach by example— each in our own way, by following our passions, doing what we do best, and nourishing ourselves with the satisfaction of doing what we can.

My two cents, for what they’re worth: Life is eternal. This is just a pit stop in an infinite journey. Everyone creates their own heavens and hells by the strength or weakness of their being and their love.”

From a circle friend (requested to remain anonymous):

“I thought your recently aired interview with Robert Thurman had a lovely part in it that points to how to move through this extremely challenging time.”

 Robert Thurman, Ph.D. is the retired professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies at Columbia University. He’s been a close friend of the Dalai Lama for over 50 years and is a passionate activist for the rights of the Tibetan people. He’s a skilled translator of Buddhist text and inspiring writer of many popular Buddhist books.

From Robert Thurman Program title: The Dalai Lama – Choosing Love Toward Our Enemies (program #3622) partial transcript.

… What the Buddha discovered to his great relief and to ours is that if you go deep enough and you find the true nature of things beyond matter and mind, yet, including both matter and mind.…It is goodness. It is happiness. It is freedom. That’s true happiness, where you don’t depend on winning a medal, dominating somebody else, getting some wealth, having a temporary success, or having status, and so forth. You feel welling up from within your own reality all rightness and happiness. Human beings, who among animal life forms, are the most blessed ones actually because we are free to choose what we do. We’re not just driven only by instincts…

This is the good news of Buddhism and Jesus. The kingdom of God is here is what Jesus said. Everything is all right if you just relax and look at the birds in the field and the flowers. You know he was mister cool. And he was being pushed around by the Roman Empire which is why they tried to kill him, and the lucky thing is they failed. He couldn’t be killed. There are many great Yogis and Siddhas in history who can defy death like that. You know? And I think Dalai Lama is actually one of them.

From friend of the heart and circle sister Leslie

Dear Justine,

“I appreciate that you are sharing what is in your heart and how what is going on politically and what MAY go on is impacting you. I’m sorry for the anxiety you are feeling. I can feel a version of that as well.

I am curious about the quote you wrote. “Don’t give up until the miracle happens.”

Justine writes back:

“Don’t quit dreaming of a better world and actively contribute to making it so.” 

 Leslie responds:

“Amen! And, I try not to contribute to the anxiety but go to the place of a bigger trust.”

And she included this piece by Barbara G. Walker

Thousands of years
of history have passed…
and during all that time
human beings
have fought, killed,
plundered and wronged each other
in every possible way.
Of such stuff history is made.

But also during that time
other human beings
have quietly and patiently persevered
in the development
of the arts, crafts,
inventions, ideas and programs.
From these millions of creative persons,
most of them unnoticed and unknown
in the upheavels of history,
have come the good and lasting things
in the sum of human culture. 

                                                -Barbara G. Walker

With you in that.”

And so, dear reader, my spirit is raised higher by the generosity, wisdom, empathy, caring, and understanding of my allies and friends. I hope that you too are encouraged by this sharing.

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