Several years ago I came home from the grocery store while talking to my sister on the phone about my nephews health. He was having some health problems, and it was upsetting. In that moment I felt worried, powerless, and helpless about my precious nephew.
As I entered the house, I walked into a beautiful scene: Jeff and the boys were playing legos at the table, and they were peaceful and joyful and in a bubble of love. It was truly lovely. And, while I registered the scene, I couldn’t see it because I was in my own pain.
I raised my voice to complain that no one was there to meet me to help bring in the groceries, and no one had opened the door for me. (To be clear, no one ever did that, this wasn’t new, …but it was a Big Problem in this moment.)
As I was barfing on them, I simultaneously registered the impact of my energy and words had on my family. It was like a soufflé that just cratered and fell. Within moments, the boys started bickering with each other. The beautiful bubble of connection and joy and safety was over.
It was humbling and painful to see the impact of my actions, to see that I had the power to harm the most beautiful and precious of my relationships…that in that moment, because of my unprocessed and unfiltered energy that was being indiscriminately discharged at them, my boys were not safe with me.
“In the 1960s, meteorologist Edward Lorenz discovered that even the smallest changes in the atmospheric currents, those viewed as being insignificant by usual standards, created huge discrepancies in developing weather patterns. This phenomenon became known as the butterfly effect of modern chaos theory. Even the slightest addition to the atmospheric current could create drastic changes in the weather patterns globally. Something as small as a butterfly flapping its wings determined whether a storm would develop on the other side of the world a year later. Chaos theory taught us that every current that enters into the flow has an impact on the overall pattern.”
I see these two stories as being deeply interconnected. In the same way that the smallest of imaginable atmospheric events - a butterfly flapping its wings - can directly create events that take place a year later on the other side of the planet, my energy can do the same thing.
These are the exact same dynamics, because, of course, they are both comprised of energy.
This means that not only did my words and actions have an impact that morning, but unless those actions are taken responsibility for, are addressed, atoned, and responsibly healed, that that discharge of unprocessed and indiscriminately discharged energy will continue to live on and shape future events.
It’s humbling to know that I. am. that. powerful.
But, it’s true.
And that is why my wholeness, your wholeness, the wholeness of all, matters. Because the absence of my wholeness - disturbed peace and indiscriminate energetic discharge - will cycle and expand and grow, and ultimately wreak havoc in some altogether distant moment.
And, just as we create those future events through our unprocessed energy, we are simultaneously impacted by previous unprocessed energy that took place in the past, and in a different place.
These energies will continue to be recycled and regurgitated, growing ever larger, until we learn how to take responsibility for the quality of our energy. Until we take responsibility for our wholeness. Until we stop seeking to blame and judge others, and simply honor the energy, release it, restore our wholeness, and stop the cycle.
We are powerful creators, and our wholeness matters. The problem is, until we embody this wholeness and see our place in the greater whole and see how we perpetuate that which we do not heal, we will seek to change people, places, events, out there.
It is the act of growing up to take complete responsibility for the quality of our energy, and taking responsibility for our energy, and restoring our own wholeness before engaging on the outside, is an act of tremendous empowerment.
And once we experience it, we will never look at the world the same again.
Norma Van Horn