You may have heard of The Butterfly Effect, which is both the title of a movie and the name given to one of the concepts in chaos theory. According to this theory, in complex situations, such as the formation of a tornado, changing one tiny circumstance in one location can result in a totally different outcome for the entire situation. Edward Lorenz who was studying weather patterns, coined the term “Butterfly Effect” in 1972 when he used the example that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil could potentially set off a tornado in Texas.
This is an intriguing idea that is worth some consideration at this time and place in history. Our planet Earth is currently being challenged with numerous environmental difficulties that also threaten the survival of mankind. There is no time left for arguing about the cause of climate change – it doesn’t really matter at this point. The only question worth considering is how we can best make an impact that might alter the course of events and salvage life on this planet.
As individuals we can certainly follow environmentally sound practices, like recycling and reducing waste and consumption. But I believe we could have a more significant effect on this world of ours if we would focus our efforts on healing ourselves, not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually.
When we heal our old wounds and bitterness, we begin to behave with more clarity and integrity. We are free to take greater responsibility for our actions because we are no longer hiding from the truth.
When we stop feeling sorry for ourselves for the events of our past, we can become more authentic in our relationships and share love with those around us. We can help them begin to heal their own wounds and change their behavior as well.
When we clear away the tangles of resentment and anger within our hearts, we make space for more positive energy to radiate from us. We become like the flapping butterfly wings that can set in motion an amazing and unpredictable series of events. The possibility exists that we can change the planet around us simply by changing our own inner world.
But the difficulty then lies in how we go about making these interior changes. How do we actually heal ourselves? What does it take to let go of bitterness and move toward wholeness?
In my work over the years I have seen some phenomenal examples of emotional and spiritual healing that have led me to believe that anything is possible. I have recorded many of these stories in the book “What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying.” And I plan to share even more stories in the books I am currently writing.
Through these stories I have learned that there are three conditions necessary in order for such healing to take place:
1. Courage. Those who eventually heal must have the strength to face their suffering and pain without running away.
2. Honesty. Healing requires telling the truth, no matter how unpleasant it may be.
3. Acceptance. Ultimately, those who heal are willing to let go of the need to blame someone else for their suffering.
Courage, honesty and acceptance are three character traits that seem underdeveloped in our present society. So it is no wonder that we find ourselves in desperate circumstances, wondering if we can save our planet.
But there is hope if each of us will look within and focus on the steps needed to heal our own wounds. In the coming weeks I will share information and ideas about how to begin this process and heal the past, once and for all. Meanwhile find your courage, commit to telling the truth, and stop looking for ways to blame someone else for your life and the state of the world.
You are the butterfly whose flapping wings could change everything. Let’s set you free!