Butterfly Effect, CFS, Chaos Theory, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Emily Dickinson, I shall not live in vain, Lovingkindness, Problem, SEID, Solution, Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease
Some days, being part of the solution does not come easily. I am tired. I am scared. I am in pain Or, I’m just grumpy. It’s on these days that I contract my expectations down to a single goal: to not be a part of the problem. On those days, I am not going to be doing any mind-blowing activism. Heck, I may not even be smiling at people. In fact, I probably will be in my bed, under the blankets, hiding—even from my cat. So yeah, no making the world a better place—and that’s okay, so long as I realize, that if I’m not careful, I might be making it a worse one. How? By telling myself—for whatever insidious reason—that I am a loser, a failure, a waste of space. By becoming a black hole of negativity that is just yearning to suck the light out of the rest of the existence.
On those days, I do my best to be kind to myself—if not for my own good, then for everyone else’s. I think it’s hard to argue with the notion that we are all connected. We may not understand the nuanced workings of those connections—if they are physical or psychic, or both, but whether we like it or not, we affect each other and all the other life on this planet as well. According to Chaos Theory, a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the earth can cause a hurricane in another part. So, if I, if any of us, abuse ourselves with nasty thoughts, even for one day, how much damage does it cause? And not just to those around us, but to the world at large? There are a great many sources of malice in this world and I don’t want to work against the good people who are making inroads against these ills. I hate the idea of adding—no matter how faintly—to the darkness.
In one of my favorite poems, Emily Dickinson writes:
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain,
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
Which is great. A worthy way to live. But if I can’t do any of these things, then let me start my charity not just at home, but in my own heart. If I can’t be part of the solution, please, at least, let me not be part of the problem.
Thanks for reading. 🙂