The biggest benefit of living in big cities is that there is just too many of everything good: theatres, concert halls, restaurants, stores, bookstores, cafés, libraries, associations, offices, schools, diversity, parties, recreational places, and so on.
On the other side of the coin, the biggest problem of living in big cities is that, of course, the city is too big. There is also too many of everything not so good, i.e., things that can potentially be an aggression to your soul: cars, workers, people, constructions, lights, buses, taxis, subways, telephones, people talking on telephones, noise, visual and air pollution, billboards, stores, apartment buildings, roads–big and small–criminals, gangs, traffic and traffic lights, honking, tiny apartments, cockroaches and other pesky critters, elevators, power lines, garbage, sewage, abandoned animals, beggars, graffiti, and so on.
I used to live in one. For strange life circumstances, I don’t anymore, and I am tremendously grateful for that, because, every time I go to a big city, my heart sinks at the sight of so much aggression towards my soul. It is not that I don’t like to face reality, but there are realities that can be avoided altogether.
It is just like listening to the news or reading the newspapers: what a difference are we going to make in view of so much corruption, violence, and aggression in this world? I think our power to make a difference is extremely limited, so, on my part, I avoid it and do the little I can do, just like Mother Theresa preached: do your small part.
Now, if you are living in a big city, how can you cope with seeing so much ugliness? Here are my suggestions:
1. Leave the city entirely. If I changed from being a big city woman to being a small town one, so can you. I am no better or braver than you. Of course, it requires some planning and adjustment, but it is totally viable.
2. Make a heaven out of your dwellings. Paint the walls with a smooth color; have flowers and plants to greet you when you get home, hang posters or painting of beautiful art.
3. Wake up with soothing music, or music from nature. Forget the news, at least upon waking up.
4. If you don’t travel much and are good with animals, adopt a couple of cats to embrace you in your quiet moments. As a bonus, you will have a lot of fun enjoying their playing. It is important to have a couple so they can keep company to each other when you are at work.
5. Have a little corner of your house where you can set up a little “refuge.” Have a comfortable chair, some candles and incense, pictures of people and places you love, or anything else that refills your soul with the acknowledgement of the wonder of your being.
Even though you don’t notice a big difference in yourself, your soul will thank you for it.