CUP O’ JOE: Oh, The Noise

Growing up, I remember my mother using a pressure cooker on occasion to prepare a sumptuous meal. I don’t remember what was in the pot, but I remember the noise that it emitted. The purpose of the pressure was to cook the food inside more quickly, I think. To do this, the unit had to be tightly sealed, and had a release mechanism on top. As the pressure increased, it would occasionally relieve the pressure with a releasing noise. When the pressure got too great, it would wail with incredibly loud, disturbing, distressing noise, until mother would lower the temperature. Then it would go back to its less-stressful state.
Like mother’s meal, we are all in a state of loud, constant pressure right now. The political noise is loud. Trouble in the nation, in virtually every community, is there. Our economy seems to be quite boisterous at times. And the industry we serve is causing us to hear so much noise—pressure—from clients who can’t acquire the units they need to grow their business… in fact for their business to survive in many cases.
Every one of these sources of noise seem to act as though the loudest one will get our attention. But, in the noise from every point, it’s hard for me to focus on what I can do to help in this moment.
Ah, the filters…
For me personally, I have to work hard to keep myself from getting down. I do this by working constantly to relieve the pressure, to quiet “the weather in my head.” I realized three-plus years ago that medicating (alcohol) didn’t help, so I quit. I realized over the past few years that I needed to spend time in meditation, and that helps. Here are some of the filters that work for me and that I encourage you to consider:
An incredibly sensitive article, a letter, written to a young activist, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes titled, “Do Not Lose Heart, We Were Made For These Times,” is especially good. I copied it years ago, have it in my notebook permanently and read from time to time.
The scripture written by St. Paul in Corinthians (2 Corinthians 4:8-10) helps. I memorized it.
The scripture from Jesus (John 14:1-6)…let not your heart be troubled. I memorized it.
Inspirational daily by Fr. Richard Rohr, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (cac.org).
Encouraging insights from dear friend Terry Minion, who used to contribute to the FordPros magazine, and is still offering his words in Facebook.
These filters help me keep the noise down while I look for ways to use the energy I have to offer to this needful earth. There is still so much good out there, and so many good people as well, that sometimes we need the filters to help us remember these facts.
Share any of your filters with me, at [email protected] and I’ll pass them along. Let’s keep each other going strong.

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over coffee.
Joe

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