The Pope. Continued.
Every year when I return to the States for a visit I am amazed by the amount of television commercials for anxiety medications and sleep disorders that, “you should talk to your doctor about.” As these ads finish a voice-over begins a long list of possible side effects, complications with drug interactions, strokes, possible organ failures and/or death. The grim possibilities are sped-read over images of happy, sleeping suburbanites that love dogs, kittens, flower gardens or children. By the end of my seven-year online study of that paper I happened upon, assisted by two computers and two television sets continually covering various, global news stories that seemed to fit into the plans of sinister governments, media and global elitists, my doctor asked me if I ever thought about taking a mild drug to help me sleep and take the edge off a little.
No, I hadn’t. But just her gentle question made me realize how much trouble I was in. I was barely sleeping more than three hours per night and throughout the day I was in news and conspiracy theory overload. I never connected the dots that what I was filling my head with had something to do with my sleep problems and stress. I was reading things that I should not have been reading and what I was saturating my mind with was doing great violence to my very soul. And now that I am free from that pit my ears are very sensitive to what I hear people say who spend too many hours consuming videos of doom and sharing information in chatrooms on the www.
There are certain catch phrases and youtube speak that can only be said if a person has read or watched the same stories I consumed for years. When that person believes with complete certainty that what they are saying is absolute truth from what they read, saw, heard, or personally feel, or worse, if they are smug about what they know, listing videos we should all be viewing and sharing to deliver us, they are getting sucked into a pit of anxiety and paranoia than can only be stopped by unplugging the source of the problem......conspiratorial, doomsday media.
When I went to the States last summer I sat outside with some of my mom’s neighbors to get away from daytime television (which is practically one long drug ad now) and drink lemonade. I went outside in the shade and listened to the ebb and flow of conversations that can be current or possibly from seventy years prior. Some of my mother’s neighbors are in their nineties. One day two of her neighbors used conspiracy jargon that had been spread around the internet and the others nodded their heads in agreement.
Which conspiracy you ask? It’s all a big soup now: most politicians, definitely the presidents of every multi-national, leaders of most European countries, every president after J.F.K. and most before him, all pharmaceutical companies and banks, the military, agriculture, big oil, medicine, education, media, information, technology, music, art and religion (definitely religion) are all tainted by and controlled by these nefarious groups to condition us and eventually enslave us all. I listened carefully to their conversations and comments but never opened my mouth. I just sat wondering where these elderly women had picked up the conspiracy jargon because not one of these women surf the net as far as I know.
Keep in mind, this is just one small apartment community of elderly people in a small town in America and they were fairly up to speed on conspiracy stories.
That’s the power and influence of this type of media in America now.
A few weeks ago I sat in a restaurant in Portugal and listened to a man from England talk about his spiritual journey to become a Shaman. During the conversation he talked about fluoride in water and water crystals taking shape or not taking shape in relation to good or bad energy surrounding them. He continued on about his process toward enlightenment by being buried underground in a casket for sixteen hours into mother earth and then born again on the winter solstice. Weaved throughout his spiritual story to me he pulled up videos with his phone to share spiritual, energy truths along with facts about the economy, medicine, drug companies, toxic drinking water and the dying off of global religions like Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Finally he talked about a global consciousness shift in regards to spirituality. (I’m not mocking this man, I’m just relaying the points of his conversation to me.) I said very little but I listened to every word he said. As he spoke I remembered a conversation I had with a good friend a few years ago. This was when I was in my apex of: Bible’s end-times scenarios blended with conspiracy theories and headline news.
For years I had mentally mixed a salad of prophetic possibilities and global-news-events ingredients into my head and I dished them out to my friend while we ate sandwiches in his car. I leaped ominously from one sentence to another and from one topic to another with no real point being made. In hindsight now, I am sure I sounded like a river of sound bytes from youtube. He nodded his head thoughtfully and tried to steer the conversation to the sandwiches we were eating. My friend could not get in a word sideways to me. I never took a breath or slowed down and just kept pouring out possibilities that were likely to happen because they seemed to fit with events around the world.
That conversation with my friend happened in August of 2010. On December 6, of 2011 I shut off all media in my life for about a year. Prior to that day in December I was in a pit of hopeless fear and in a stranglehold of anxiety that was isolating me from my family and all reality in my life. I was consumed with the, “what if’s” that began to take the shape of, “when?” I actually began to study food storage sites to survive the oncoming end of the world scenarios. I was full of anxiety and certain that it was all coming down just as these experts online had warned us about. My Bible began to be used only as a tool to figure out how close we were to the end of time and Christ’s return to earth. I misused God’s word as a prop to argue my points in chat rooms and forgot about the primary message of the Bible. That message is: there is an end coming and the whole world will face judgment but God has made a way to Him and to safety and that way is through His Son, Jesus. In my process of arguing in hostile chat rooms about signs of the end I neglected to mention God’s glorious mercy and kindness.
I also neglected to model it in my life. Instead, I read headlines and followed videos dragging myself through my days.
TO BE CONTINUED.