Chaos Theory

This isn’t about butterflies in Brazil but about things much closer to home; much closer to you and I.

You see, sometimes, and sometimes too often for many people, lives are thrown into chaos and disorder by something ‘unexpected’, that happens to, or around them.

You and I of course, being more aware of what is going on around us and more aware of the potential impact of the things we do, tend to suffer from this ‘affliction’ far less often than most.

But we cannot say that nothing ever ‘goes wrong’.

Because we are aware and because we notice what we’re noticing, you and I can, most of the time, avoid or circumvent such eventualities; but not always.

“Bad news comes in threes” is a common saying and does seem to be based on a sufficient level of evidence for it to be regarded as ‘true’ by many people – even if it isn’t, which is probably the case.

But it is curious to notice this phenomenon, maybe because we’re looking for it, and of course, there may be some self-fulfilling element to this popular belief.

But the thing is – when things do go wrong in a big, or significant, way, what happens next?

What I’ve observed over many years and indeed when it has ‘happened’ to me on occasion, is that most people tend to go into a level of ‘shut down’.

Sometimes this can be a physical shutdown, and I even know someone who actually died for about 30 minutes, but most often it’s a mental or logical shutdown that happens.

Not the body or part of it including the brain ceasing to function, but a break down in the ability to function properly on the conscious or cognitive level.

Now I don’t want to get into the ‘science’ of this as that isn’t where my expertise lies. What interests me, is how people become completely diverted from the normal course of their lives and seem to lose all sense of ‘direction’ in what they are doing.

“But you don’t understand” and “I have to (drop everything and) get this sorted out” are the words we hear our friends, colleagues and even loved ones say when we attempt to assist them.

I know, because that’s what I’ve said in the past. I’ve been there (and back) got the T-shirt and wasted many months, even years obsessing with situations that in most, no, thinking about it, in all, cases either simply faded away or actually turned my life into something better.

I just didn’t need to spend that time ‘trying’ to ‘sort it all out’ when it was always going to sort itself out anyway. All that was needed was a little shift on the tiller, a little course correction for me to get back on track.

‘I wouldn’t be where I am today’ if it hadn’t been for all those ‘interruptions’ – I’d have been a lot further forward!

What’s the ‘answer’?

What do you and I do and perhaps more to the point what can we help others do when ‘these things happen’?

The thing is that unless it’s a case of total physical shutdown or incapacity (at least as seen from the outside because there’s still thought going on as my friend who was clinically ‘dead’ explained), then you and I should make sure, for ourselves or others, that ‘life goes on’.

The unexpected disaster is no reason to stop living a normal life, no reason to ‘disembark’ and stop in one place, or worse try to ‘go back’, and resolve the problem.

It’s really a matter of taking that extra cargo on board for a short while and carrying that extra load to the place where it can be dropped off while you and I and those we’re involved with, continue on our charted course.

Albeit perhaps at a slower rate of knots and maybe a few extra short stops on the way until that ‘extra burden’ is disposed of during the natural course of events.

It’s sad that you and I see so many people who ‘go down in their sea of troubles’ because they allow themselves to be overcome by the storms of life rather than learning to navigate and take them in their stride.

So when ‘chaos reigns’ for you or I or people we know, we remember our goals, we remember our course and destination and we take on that extra load and help others do so as well.

Not allowing ourselves or others to run aground or be blown off course so that we can all safely achieve what we set out to do.

“Keep calm and carry on” – even if the storm is raging outside!