Coping with war

I’ve been wondering how to deal with the situation in Iraq on a personal level. We’re living in a world which is now at war ? how do we cope with that? How stressed should we feel? How much do we need to hate Saddam or Bush and his people? How much CNN should we watch ? or not watch?

The war is here. We may never know the the Bush administrations true motivations. Many people may die. What should we feel about that? Do we shake our heads at the TV news? Should we hate and despise the people we think have caused it? Should we feel sad at the thought of what this war might do to the world?

The important thing is this: You are not powerless. There’s something you can do.

We as individuals are not responsible for what is happening in Iraq. But we are responsible for how we react to it, and for how we allow it to affect our lives. It’s a paradox, that no matter how terrible the state of the world is, it remains important for you to take care of yourself. You may be a small piece in the geopolitical game, but you’re important to yourself and those around you.

One of the ways to do this is simple but difficult: Try, no matter how unpleasent or strange it may seem right now, to think the thought: ?The world is exactly as it should be?. Let go of the idea that the world should be anything other than what it is right now. Not because you should give up. Not to stick your head in the sand and avoid it. And not because it doesn’t pay to work for change ? quite the contrary. But the position you find yourself in when your angered and sadddened by the state of the world is a weaker position.

If you spend a lot of energy being angry and sad, you have less energy left for actual action. And when you act out of anger and sadness, your overview suffers, and your judgement isn’t at its best. It gives you strength to accept the now precisely as it is, even in the face of war. In that way you take care of yourself. It puts you in the best position to do something about it. And when you act out of a deep, unconditional acceptance of the world as it looks right now, there’s a much bigger chance that it will work.

So deal with the war in a way that still allows you to live your life and to care for those who care for you. And do something about it.

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