I want to stay well-informed and current – really, I do – but after watching the first presidential debate, I knew I couldn’t endure any more of that. I skipped the VP debate, as well as the second, town-hall-style presidential debate. I know myself, I know my own nervous system, and I just find combative rhetoric too agitating to my spirit. I don’t want to stick my head in the sand, but I also need to be mindful of the environmental “inputs” I allow into my heart and psyche.
So I didn’t watch.
I’ve also “hidden” a few people on my Facebook feed. These are friends, colleagues and relatives that I love, and I don’t want to push them out of my life – but neither do I want to read dozens of posts that cause my blood pressure to skyrocket.
I reflect on this. I don’t want to become one of those people who only listens to the side of the argument they agree with. I don’t want to be deaf to the nuances of public debate; I want to be open to all the voices in the discussion. But I also know that I have to protect my soul, my spirit, from too much exposure to inputs that hurt it/me.
I’ve decided it’s not selfish to protect my own peace of mind – and sometimes that involves filtering the environment.