This 4th of July, I am deeply grateful for my freedom that I exercise in this country I call home. This freedom I take for granted so many times becomes more and more precious with every horrifying news feed.
We live in an unstable world. Someone with paranoia, like me, can really get caught up in the media hype and sensationalism of the atrocities that go on in this world. The current events may lead a person to hide in her house forever. Due to events in our society both nationally and locally within the last 5-7 years, I have been avoiding the movie theatre for fear of being shot in a massacre or beaten up by a complete stranger. A couple weekends ago, I just recently went to the movie theatre for the first time in many years.
We are supposed to live in freedom, not hide in our homes. We were created for community, not to live as a hermit. We have freedom to live in this great country without fear for our lives!
However, the time has come in our global society where hate often casts a black shadow on what we hold dear to our hearts. What do you do? Stay in your house? Live on your therapist’s couch? Drown your worries and fears with pills? Don’t laugh, because I have contemplated each one of these to get through a bad news day.
Here are some ways that helps me refocus when the world seems to be turned upside down and I believe I have cameras watching me or think someone will burst from within the closed closet in my bedroom. Fear is a great way to take away your freedom.
Limit News Intake
We have the freedom to learn about a world through the news, however limit your time watching and listening to the news. I used to be a real news junky. I would soak in all the local news sometimes watching from 6:00-9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Yearning for more news, I would watch the evening news on one of the networks and also watch Fox News throughout the day. This did not account for the news I would gather on my stereo in the car. This was a few years before the Smart Phone. Boy, would I have been in trouble if I still had this lust for news when those came out!
Increase Good News Intake
You have the freedom to choose what type of news you are exposed to. If you are going to read news, try at least to read uplifting, happy, positive news feeds. Be sure there is a balance between the ominous sounding articles and the ones that give you a good belly laugh or make you feel good on the inside.
Add the website below to your favorite’s list for uplifting news stories:
Join a Support Group
You have the freedom to belong and feel accepted for who you are. Support groups are a nice way to share about yourself without being judged and hear about others’ struggles and victories. Remember, it may take a while to get settled into a group. I have been going to this one group off-and-on for a number of years now and I just recently felt accepted and loved. It was nothing they did. I think I was finally ready to give of myself and show some vulnerability.
Here is a link to Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA):
You have the freedom to worship. The best news you will hear all day: there is Someone Who is bigger than this world and everything in it. He actually created it along with the universe. He knows every hair on your head. He saw your unformed body in your mother’s womb. God can easily be found — you just have to be willing to open your eyes and look.
You can start speaking to God by just talking to Him. That is all what a prayer truly is — a conversation with God. Speak what is on your heart.
Nothing is too big or too small for God. Whatever has you terrified, call out to Him for peace. There have been many times I have watched a news broadcast and heard something devastating. I then tried to remember to pray for the person, the family and friends and even the authorities involved. I might even cry out to God a call for mercy on behalf of our country.
If you have tried any of these ideas to help you experience freedom, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear about your experiences.