When we make a decision we don’t make just one. Like ripples from a tossed stone, the impact spreads beyond the first one or two we anticipated and moves across the pond of our reality. Depending on the size of stone and force of throw, the consequences of our actions may spread beyond what we originally expected, some reaching all the way to the opposite shore.
In this sense, we make a decision for every step of the way. We may not have been consciously aware things would turn out that way, but nonetheless, we chose to set everything into motion by our one choice.
To every negative choice there’s a cost. We know that. But what happens when the price far exceeds what we were willing to pay…or let someone else pay? What happens when we miscompute? Not just in terms of the length and width of our choices but depth?
There’s impact below the surface. Impact that disturbs plants, stirs the mud and unrests creatures that might have been better left alone — movement of force and energy below the surface, affecting things for better or worse in ways we may never know, never fathom. Or discover the hard way, when the slumbering deep breaks the surface and bears into your hands regret and the ungrantable wish to turn back time.
So does this mean we second guess ourselves, check every contingency, evaluate every outcome, making sure no unintended consequences occur?
No. No matter how well thought out, no matter how we plan, hypothesize, test the waters, check for wind factor, weigh the stone, we cannot possibly foresee all possible outcomes. If we wait for that, we will remain frozen on the edge of our reality, looking across a body of water we dare not stir.
But we are meant to leave our mark, make an impact in our world. We cannot not choose. Even not choosing is choosing to not chose.
What we can do is be mindful, not only of the stone in our hand, but of our motives, the energy behind the toss or throw of stone into our world. Are we compromising? What are we willing to pay or have someone else pay? If we need to manipulate or deceive, before even hearing the first kerplunk of our choice landing into reality, we know the consequences are bound to be messy, and possibly even devastating or tragic.
We need to be responsible for where we stand. The negativity we send out will never just stop at what we bulls eye. Maybe even something meant well can go awry, but that just means there’s no guarantee, which doesn’t absolve you of doing what is right to be best of your ability, anyway.
Justify as you will. Even if it seems okay or innocuous in one narrow instance, your negative actions may impact farther than you can anticipate or bargain for. Ask yourself if it’s truly worth it. Many times the gold prize or payoff turns to dust when you finally grasp it, but the cost remains.
Far reaching consequences are, also, true of positivity. The solid rock of love, of kindness and understanding never stops where it lands. Ripples of validating, respecting, honoring and healing spread across further than we anticipated, sometimes reaching all the way to the opposite shore.
Then there’s the impact below the surface. The movement of energy, the force of caring caresses plants, gently sweeping over mud, breathing in oxygen and nutrients to nature’s babies living in the ecosystem of her womb. We never know how much of a difference we make, the gentle almost imperceptible push we give to another to turn around and face hope, the demons we hush, the tiny bird we set back on the branch to try its wings and this time fly.
And the thing is, you know you can toss in more than one stone, right? That’s the beauty about making choices. As long as you breath, as long as you live, you are supplied with all the rocks, stones and pebbles you need to throw in. Big choices, little choices, choices for empowerment, choices on how to deal with helplessness, every situation supplies it’s own choices and within every pile of stones, rubies, sapphires and other gems can be found.
As well as the option to pull choices out of the air.
Endless or few, we can make decisions that can hurt or heal, enslave or empower. The choice is ours. Make it a good one.