I just got off the phone with and elderly female relative. She lost her husband a few years ago and this is the first time in her life she has lived on her own. At first it was scary for her. Then, slowly she grew to enjoy it. And I was thrilled for her!
Slowly, however, the dark side is emerging. She has no one to talk to except the friends that call or the neighbors she sees outside now and then. To fill the void she watches television. She watches Fox News. She listens to the radio. She listens to Rush Limbaugh. She reads the newspaper. She reads tabloid journalism. All of this is horribly, horribly negative and hate-filled, one-sided reporting. She calls me the minute she hears of a celebrity who has died. She calls me with instant news of bad health from another family member or any other bad thing she discovers from them. She calls me with BAD NEWS. She is so enmeshed into the culture of negativity that she cannot tolerate anyone else's point of view. I hate talking with her.
It's like hanging around with Debbie Downer. There will always be something wrong. They look for it. And if you aren't careful, you go down with them. I've made it a point not to be friends with this type of person because I battle depression every day of my life. It is vital to my well-being that I keep my eyes on the horizon of hope. I actively search for the good things in life. They aren't hard to find, either! But, she's a relative - not someone I can choose or not choose.
Through all of this, my hubby has played a vital role. Sometimes he takes the calls and says I'm not available but then engages her in conversation and manages to pull her out to the "good old days" and you know from his laughter that she is laughing, too. He can gently pull her away from the dark side - so gently that she doesn't even notice it - and for a short time, she can see the light in the world. He has a gift. I wish I had it.
So, with all this said, I urge you to BACK AWAY FROM THE TELEVISION and get out there to look for the beauty in the world: the arts, the music, the natural god-given wonders that can be found in your closest tree. You won't find a sunrise or sunset on CNN, or any other news program. You won't hear birdsong or the wind blowing leaves in a tree on Glenn Beck's radio program, or any other radio program.
I'm not saying we should avoid it or never, ever turn the TV on again. No. Especially with things like the Egyptian riots going on now. My neice is over there working for Al Jazeera, English. Her car and those of her coworkers had to be searched for possible bombs. She bought a gas mask, too. Bad stuff.
What I am saying is this. We need balance in our lives. I'm a Libra. I know about balance.