Life Lessons Personal Development

Hitting The Wall: feeling saturated by News, Opinions, Prognostications & Hindsight

Why events appear so much larger (and scarier) than they actually are

I wasn’t sure when, or if it was even going to happen. And when it did, only yesterday, it was a random and unexpected ‘trigger’ that caused me to hit The Wall. I’d definitely reached my saturation point of grim news, opinions, prognostications and ‘hindsight’ wisdom.

I’d been following the guidelines as a Responsible Citizen, when my city announced stay-at-home edicts. I’d tuned in for Updates and pondered ways I could help. If at all. But then came the tipping point:  a trusted source of helpful insights (what some might call a Light Worker) turned her Skype mic over to a visiting colleague. He launched a rant so dark and bleak with pessimism that I had to leave the live-stream and take a walk. Things were about to get much weirder.

It was a sunny morning when I escaped my house and started walking. I hadn’t gotten very far when I noticed another walker, a woman, headed toward me. We’ve all been isolated for a while; so when she smiled and waved, stopping for a chat felt right. But as the woman drew closer I noticed a large, deep scab on her forehead. I instantly assumed she’d been in a really bad accident:  car or bicycle maybe? She was clearly self-conscious and with a quick smile said, “Don’t worry:  I’m not contagious!” I wasn’t worried about that, just stunned by her appearance. The thing covered the right side of her forehead, eyebrow and temple.

She then shared that her wound was actually a type of virus – a ‘shingle’. Recent events in the news, she said, had (apparently) prompted a kind of stress-reaction in her body. I was Present with her, but also doing a “Huh?” in my mind.

When a stranger spontaneously shares such personal information with me, I have to wonder, “Why me, why here, and why now?” Crazy times, I figured. People everywhere are doing weird things. So I listened, for a minute. But then this seemingly sweet little old lady (I realized she was probably close to 80 years old) began talking about Conspiracies. The Virus now holding us hostage, she said, had been manufactured and delivered with precision and malevolent intent. So — another Message of Darkness, even as I was trying my best to enter a warmer, lighter space.

Even though I was sort of transfixed by this woman and her situation, I needed to walk on. Now, feeling pretty heavy in spirit. And as I continued walking, I realized that this onslaught of Unhappy and Disturbing Perspective was something that I, personally, needed to shake-off. Have I been sleeping well, ever since local and global events began accelerating? No. My nutritious and conscious-eating has also been way off. With my weightlifting at home, I’d swear that some kind of ‘kryptonite’ is hidden somewhere in my house – I feel that weak and mushy. A constant reader, I’ve had trouble getting into my three Fiction escapes, bingeing nonsense on Netflix instead. Most noticeably, my urge to write feels pinched-off by mental and emotional stress.

But, but, but…just before news of The Pandemic intensified I’d been drawn to a book titled “Not to Scale: How the Small Becomes Large, the Large Becomes Unthinkable, and the Unthinkable Becomes Possible” (author, Jamer Hunt). The review looked super- relevant to my coaching and consulting, so I bought it and began reading in that frame of mind. Now I understand that Hunt’s perspective holds the key as to why I’ve been feeling Not Myself for more than a week.

I’m more informed than ever before, with ‘urgent ’information coming to me whether or not I want it; and whether or not I’m in any way prepared for it. It’s not just the news cycle. Urgency also invades whatever casual listening I might do. It permeates the minds of random strangers who want to drench me in their own angst. Not surprisingly, I lost – temporarily —  my sense of “scale”, during this strange time. I began feeling vulnerable and “small”; the terrors of the world appeared large and even ‘unthinkable’ by comparison. But the more I read Hunt’s book late last night, the calmer I felt. My breathing slowed and deepened. I fell into a deep, untroubled sleep.

A loss of ‘scale’ is much more than just losing perspective. It’s when we lose sight of our personal value, significance and power — relative to what’s clamoring for our attention 24/7. The good news (says author Hunt), is that we already know that non-stop Influencers and Technology distort — like a Fun House mirror — our relationships with ourselves. We feel insignificant and even ignorant of The Facts and our own perceptions of Truth, relying on what seems larger and more important instead. Hunt’s book now has a permanent place in my Library.

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