“The Butterfly Effect.”

“It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.”

The Butterfly Effect, Chaos Theory

No matter how much life has changed or how good things continue to get, the word “should” has a tendency to circle, round and round, in my mind.

I should be able to do this.

I should be able to do that.

This should be easier.

It should have been this way, not that.

It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking that things could have or should have gone differently. The idea that if things had played out in a slightly different manner – if that one tiny thing hadn’t gone wrong, if just one single second could be altered, then everything would be better than it is right now.

Mentally, I time travel to an alternate world, one where my life looks exactly as it does now, but my body is completely healed.

I imagine how much more fun I would have if I could jump and dance. How much more spontaneous I would be if I wasn’t hyper aware of my injuries and the limitations they’ve placed on my movements. How much simpler life would be right now if I could just go for a run. I’ve found myself subconsciously caught in this trap so many times over the past two years, conveniently forgetting that it’s impossible for that world to even exist.

On the flip side, you can’t take a single thing from your life without also taking away all of the subsequent good that has come from it. In science they call it “the butterfly effect”. My life, which I love and embrace and cherish beyond words, would look nothing like it does right now if it wasn’t for all of the crossroads where decisions had to be made – even the moments I wish that I could change. Perhaps instead of wishing those moments away, I should wholeheartedly thank them for helping me to create an entirely different reality – for having the courage to love, trust, and begin all over again, as well as, discover an entire community of people that I might have, otherwise, never had the opportunity to meet.

The truth of it all is actually quite simple and, somedays, I can see it as clearly as the bright sun shining in the bluest of skies above me – everything did happen and it is exact like this. Perhaps, in some ways, it really “shouldn’t” be. Perhaps mistakes were made. Perhaps things would have been easier or better another way – but this is how it is, and that’s really all there is to it. Five years into some of the greatest life changes that I have ever known, I realize this with a newfound clarity. I realize that accepting things for how they are instead of fantasizing about how they could have been is one of the most valuable, brave and transformative things we can ever do.

It feels very full-circle, and that enables me to viscerally feel the contrast between who I was all those years ago and who I am now. It makes me realize that, although my body might not be what it once was, I, myself, am far, far more.


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