Reality shows reflect how we as a society are acting these days -- and how we need a collective cleansing.
We’ve all lost our minds! I realized I had gone bonkers after reviewing my chosen night of TV programming. From "Basketball Wives" to "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" to "The Bad Girls Club," aside from the US Open, I had chosen chaos to entertain me. No matter which of the franchises I was watching, it was the same script, different cast; senseless conflict and dysfunctional relationships – all for our viewing pleasure.
Ironically, I don’t watch the news to avoid all of the doom and gloom that our news media seems to focus on, especially on the local evening news. Without fail, the lead story reminds us that we’re not safe, we’re all broke (except for those Wall Street guys), and that the world is coming to an end. Equally, I gave up the addiction I had developed during the Obama campaign to “liberal” cable news. I was determined not to let the news destroy my happy. (Instead, I watch Tami Roman throw drinks and fists at other women.)
I find even greater irony in the fact that most responsible adults protect and monitor what our children consume for entertainment. We do this because we know the effect media can have on a child’s development and perception of him or herself. There’s something about the power of media that has the ability shape our beliefs about our world and ourselves. Yet, as adults, we consistently consume things that perpetuate the most negative aspects about us as a society and as individuals.
To that end, I really do believe all of this negative consumption is taking a toll on our relationships. We’re being fed the wrong information on how to conduct ourselves in our personal and intimate relationships. We look at our President who tries to conduct himself in a civil manner as being weak, not a fighter or tough enough. And, we’re so combative and destructive in our own relationships that we forget that being civil and kind is a sign of strength, not weakness.
It was on my spirit this past week, in particular, after having several of my sister-friends come to me with various issues with their relationships. Some issues, in the grand scheme of things, will prove to be minor bumps, while others may add up to be deal-breakers. Miraculously, I was at a loss to advise many of them, so I gave my support and my friendship. I have learned that sometimes you need to just be there for someone without any feedback.
With that said, I couldn’t help but contemplate everything and try to make some sense of it all. It wasn’t until watching television last night that it dawned on me. As a society, as a world, we are in need of a collective healing. We are consistently bombarded with so much negative information that it’s difficult to find the sanity in our day-to-day living. Thus, it forces us to act in a way that is contrary to our life’s goals or the standards by which we know how to conduct our lives.
Husbands and wives are fighting because of their money and infidelity. Brothers and sisters aren’t talking because of a simple misunderstanding. Friends are ending great friendships due to a misspoken word. The reason why we’re watching the crap we’re watching is because we’re living these shows every day and we want to feel better about it. “At least someone is crazier than I am,” we think.
We should be working to mend our relationships and keep the viable ones strong. A consistent problem in all of those “girl fight” shows is the lack of communication. The only way you’re going to be able to save, maintain or grow a relationship is through proper and frequent communication. We often fail to communicate our feelings to the people who mean the most to us.
Communication is the first step in healing our wounds. And, from the looks of it, our country is a collection of the walking wounded. Healing also continues with forgiveness. You must first forgive yourself for your contribution to the problem (and if there’s a problem both people contributed to it). And then, forgive your spouse, sister, friend or co-worker for their actions. It always bothers me when people say, “I don’t think I can forgive her for this!” As I say, the forgiveness you refuse will be the forgiveness you seek.
Then, we need to do what they don’t do on those television shows: move forward from a place of love. I pray each day that God opens my spirit and guides all of my actions from a place of love. I don’t always succeed 100%, but when that is your goal, it is very difficult to encounter the constant turmoil that we’ve come to know as “normal.” When love is a priority then, those little devils: ego, pride, vanity, arrogance, and so on have no power to live in your spirit or your relationships.
Just as we protect what our children consume, we must also protect what we consume. Moreover, we need to begin a collective healing to rebuild our society to a point where those shows no longer have a place. But, it starts on the micro level with our own personal relationships. Let’s begin to save us all by saving the ones closest to us and ourselves. It is the first step toward a much needed collective healing.