Yikes, yikes, yikes! An invisible demon is out to get us! Everybody, stay in bed!. Get under the covers. While you’re under there, wash your hands!
Although we naturally, spontaneously offer great compassion and sympathy for those folks whose families have suffered the loss of a loved one due to the recent outbreak of H1N1 – e.g. The Swine Flue— or are currently suffering the yucky symptoms of that flu, nevertheless the quick regress of our medical and media communities into adolescent enthrallment and systemic paranoia is to be laughed at. In fact, laughter is the healthiest thing we can do!
A couple of basics: Yes, indeed, normal people are catching swine flu , though those who have a compromised “immune system” are most at risk for catching the flu—any flu (swine, bird, donkey, etc) just as they are more at risk for catching a cold or the bubonic plague. And these same folks with compromised immune systems are, alas, the ones most likely to suffer the most severe consequences, including the dropping of the mortal coil. It happens every year, with all kinds of maladies, including normal human (Kentucky) flu.
However, we don’t just have a physical immune system. We also have a psychological immune system. And now, even though we might have relatively healthy physical immune systems, our communal psychological immune systems are under heavy attack from the constant barrage of the media/medical community’s highly contagious fear, paranoid projections, and mass alerts of the possibly deadly pandemic at hand. Their fearful broadcasts have created countless false alarms and over-reactions around the world.
So how do we protect both our physical and psychological immune systems? Cutting edge medical research confirms that we do this first and foremost simply by staying centered, staying peaceful, staying happy and upbeat. Duh. If you are running scared, worried about every sneeze, depressed and out of sorts, washing your hands won’t do you much good.
So exactly how do we do this—stay happy, healthy, upbeat? Contrary to widespread assumptions, it’s actually quite simple. Dr. Charles Lawrence, the main character in Practicing the Presence of Peace, observes that we stay happy and peaceful simply by enjoying the stories and thoughts we entertain in consciousness. We find peace, he says, by being at peace with our own inner dialogue. We suffer, and compromise our immune systems when we focus on and magnify the thoughts and stories we don’t enjoy, or with which we are not at peace.
Dr. Charlie suggests that in order to protect our immune system whenever necessary or appropriate we can simply ask, “Am I at peace with these stories, am I happy with these thoughts, yes or no?” He says that if the answer is not an immediate and spontaneous yes, it’s a no. Thus, if we are happy and at peace with the thought/story of a worldwide flu pandemic, we are free to think it. If we are not at peace with such a story, we are free to drop it.
Study after study has proven that our mental attitude has a huge impact on our physical condition. So I’m determined to simply enjoy, and be at peace with— not be too troubled by— the silly adolescent behavior of the media and the flat-earth medical people who continue to assault the mass immune system. And do my part, with posts such as these, to simply say— I ain’t afraid of no swine. Think I’ll have a BLT while searching for cheap tickets to Acapulco.
Maybe wash my hands before boarding.