Friday, October 21, 2011

Cause and Effect

    Cause and Effect. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Immoveable Object, Unstoppable Force.
    I am often overanalytical about how my actions affect the world around me. There are times when I become nearly paralyzed with the knowledge of how my every action and deed can have a ripple affect, changing the world around me, even if only by an infinitesimal mote. Plastic bags, recycling, chemical cleaners, oil spills, garbage, excessive packaging. How my behaviors, emotions, reactions, words can influence those around me either for good or ill. A misunderstood phrase, a snatch of conversation taken out of context, a squint mistaken for a scowl, short temper, anxiety caused over-reactions. All the little minutiae of life that add up to who I am, what I do, how I am perceived.
    Lately, as I ponder how I am often overconcerned at how my behavior affects those around me, I am stymied at how often others are completely unaware at just how much their actions affect those around them. So many people are willing to point fingers at the misbehavior of those in their life without pondering just how their own actions, words and deeds may have created or caused the behavior. They move through life oblivious, unconcerned. They cannot see the ripples, or just choose to ignore them. Cause and Effect. Action, Reaction.
    We are influenced by the events around us, just as the events around us are influenced by our Actions and Reactions. Cause and Effect. I see this as a giant spider web; touch any part of the web and the vibration will be felt throughout, the spider reacts, deciding if it is food or threat, then acts accordingly. Flee or Feed.
    I know how my actions can influence those around me. Whether it is just a smile and courtesy to the overworked gas station attendant, or a short tempered reaction to another inane question from an annoying telemarketer. I also know how my words and actions can affect those that I care about. And this is where caution must be taken. The closer you are to someone, the deeper your affect on them.
    On the flip side of this, I am having to force myself to be less concerned at how my actions affect others, and instead focus on how my actions affect ME. Too many times in my life I have been untrue to myself, to my nature, to my very essence, all because I have been concerned with action and reaction. How I am perceived, how I am judged, how I measure up. Every time it has happened, I see what I have done, analyze my behavior, see the reasons behind my actions and vow to never do it again. And yet, I fall into the same pattern again. It is a self-sabotaging behavior. I know it for what it is. I can even see myself doing it again, and will justify it because I tell myself I am merely adjusting to a relationship, making a few compromises as we all must to make a relationship work, being easy-going, mellow. And to some degree, this is true. But I often find myself agreeing to things I don't want to do, modifying my behavior to fit an acceptable role.
    Because of this, I feel like in the public eye I am often playing a role in life. Just a walk on actor, a stand in, a body double, the understudy. I know I do this because I feel as if I were to be completely myself, no holds barred, unguarded, that I would find myself even  more an outcast than I already feel. I know all my friends would argue this, tell me they love me for who I am, would accept me no matter what. And of a few of them, I would believe this. I know my close family would love me no matter what, because that is what we do (just as I would love them, protect them and cherish them no matter what). 
    But to the world in general, only a fraction of me is for public viewing. The rest is shielded by caution. As for my relationships, sometimes I think that those I have been closest to may know me the least, for it is for them that I have altered myself the most. This is a tragedy.
    As I read over these words, they are rambling and raw. Incoherence caused by fatigue, stress, and inner confusion. I am at an odd crossroads in my life. I am presented with paths that will alter the world as I know it, change my life completely and irrevocably. I have paths  before me that must be taken despite the pain, anguish, stress, loneliness, discomfort and fear that are with me now and will be my companions for some time to come. It is because of choices I have made, am making and have yet to make that I am grappling with Cause and Effect. I know I need to be true to myself, find my own way, keep moving forward despite the ripples that spread out from every step I take. I am struggling to take complete ownership of my life, my fate, my destiny. I accept the consequences of my actions, and refuse to justify my reactions. I know I can do this by Myself, for Myself.
    I will become the Immovable Object and the Unstoppable Force.

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