Sometimes I mentally review my life and think about what would have happened if I avoided what I know now were serious mistakes.  I spend some time chaining the effects of an event (good and bad) and quickly realize that the good was worth more than the bad and decide I would not have changed a thing.  Since one thing inevitably leads to another it’s impossible to separate out only the negative results while leaving the positive.  Although I am still suffering the consequences of bad decisions (and these bad decisions also affected those I love), I am able to also see good that came from the bad or as a side effect of the bad (not directly from the bad).  Although, years later, there are still those in my life who continue to use my past mistakes to manipulate, control, and eat away at my personal worth, in my heart I know that they, too, are enjoying great things (and people) in their lives that would not have been possible had I made different decisions.  We would not have been where we are, met who we met, had the opportunities we had, or know what we know if we had not been down the paths we followed.  Our lives, in fact, would have been completely different.  The very existence of certain people are dependent on us doing exactly what we did and when we did it.  We would not have met the people we married, we would not have had the children we had, we would not have the jobs we have, and we would not have had the strong characters we developed.  I, personally, would not trade the people in my life now if given a choice to go back and do things differently.  My life, surely would have been different but there is no guarantee it would have been better.  I could have, instead, made even worse decisions that resulted in worse outcomes.  The movie, THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, illustrates this perfectly.  A group of young people did discover a way to go back in time and “correct” terrible things.  The problem is that every time they “corrected” a bad thing from the past, it created an even worse present.  They had to keep going back to correct the corrections and it just resulted in more and more tragic outcomes.  I am not proud of my mistakes but I am thankful that God in his infinite love and mercy does, indeed, makes the best of my ignorance, defiance, and carelessness to give me the greatest life possible given my own bad choices.  All blessings come from God and no matter what a huge mess I’ve made of things, God does figure out a way to make things right again.  I’m sure the life I have now is not the one I could have had if I had stayed completely in God’s will 100% of the time.  On the other hand I’m not complaining either.  I am very thankful for the life I have now and am even more thankful for the husband, amazing children,  and awesome grand children I am blessed with in spite of my dumb self. (written 12/3/17 for webbwisdom.com)

butterfly effect

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