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The Butterfly Effect
Feelings aren’t facts…
Think about it: how much time do we spend agonizing over things that, in the long run, are inconsequential? I submit that about 99.999999% of the shit we sweat in our lives is totally unnecessary. But sweat we do — all the time.
Reminds me of a story. I love stories, so bear with me. A great teacher famous for teaching that life was an illusion was discovered sobbing uncontrollably by one of his followers. He was grieving the death of his son. Shocked, the follower asked his teacher, “Don’t you preach that all life is an illusion?” The teacher turned to his disciple and said, “Yes it is true that all of life is an illusion, but this is one fuckin’ big illusion.” LOL
And so it is with life: feelings aren’t facts, but it’s a fact that we feel. Some issues are graver than others and we can get stuck, and that’s fine. However, the real heart of the matter is how long we stay stuck. If we spend our lives feeling betrayed, angry, resentful, or insulted, then where is the time for living? You will blink your eyes one day and years will have passed and realize they you have used all your energies fighting off the equivalent of a swarm of butterflies.
This is not to say that we should be inconsiderate — to ourselves and others, or that our relationships are meaningless, or that our feelings don’t matter I know I have made some genuine connections here on the ‘Net over the years and I am grateful for them. I happen to consider some as friends, but I have seen others show their real side. There are many people who engage in cruel behavior on here and in “real” life and rationalize it by saying some bullshit like, “It’s just the internet.” I submit that if you’re capable of cruelty in one context, then that potential exists somewhere in you.
Of course we shouldn’t proceed as if nothing mattered because that’s the other extreme, nihilism. What it does mean is that we choose our attitudes and reactions all the time.
There are plenty examples to go around. How many times have you caught feelings over a miscommunication and as a result exchanged insults. Guilty as charged. Some of us resemble out and out psychopaths, resorting to all kinds of stupidity. This happens for several reasons, but the main reason is that there is anger in our hearts. The tragedy (and comedy) in the grand scheme of things is, if we’re honest, much of what we dramatize really isn’t that significant. However, it matters that people feel insulted and disrespected, misunderstood and ridiculed.
Now, before anyone here begins commenting, let’s all be honest and just say we have all experienced similar events in our life, okay? I see it and hear it all the time. Most of the time, it’s not even worth it. That means you and me.
Shit happens: we lose jobs, grow out of relationships, get hurt, and betrayed. Shoot, I live in a city where pushing and jostling is considered the norm. I run up against sweet old ladies who act like All Pro NFL linebackers when getting on and off the subway! The thing is that life is like that. There’s shit happening all the time. If you’re waiting for the perfect moment, with the perfect love (“The One”), at the perfect job, or location — if you’re waiting for all that in order to smile, or smell a flower, or walk barefoot at the beach, then you will have wasted your life waiting, because, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but there’s no Santa Claus, no Tooth Fairy and life is hard.
Life is hard and fuckin stressful. Believe me, I know and I’m sure you do as well. I mean, I’m about to get my phone cut off in a day or two, I don’t have my own place, I am unemployed, and I’m literally down to my last shekels. But you can be sure I will make it my business to see something beautiful or to find the sublime in the mundane. I will laugh today, even while I’m crying because I have to walk several miles to make a job interview.
Yes, life is hard and often unfair, but it’s also beautiful and amazing. Life is the most precious gift, and the one true choice we have — the one card we can play — is whether we will face it all with a smile or a frown. This is it, people. I mean, the internets are full of memes with great quotes, and we can all adopt this highly evolved, super guru facade, but the best definition of spirituality I have ever heard is that it’s what you do when no one is looking. Can you find the serenity within the chaos? Can you put meditation in action? Can you walk the walk? Can you sit in the midst of life and face it with joy and love — all of it, not just the good shit?
My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…