Yin YangI have come to believe that everything in life is a relationship.  We have relationships with ourselves, with others, and with everything in our environment. Those relationships can be healthy or unhealthy to varying degrees.  They can be intense to casual and that level changes.  Think of the yin and yang symbol.  There is a bit of yin on the yang side and a bit of yang on the yin side. Nothing is constant and absolute.

Those relationships are part of systems.  Our bodies are systems of organs and tissue and even have other organisms like bacteria that we depend on for life and that sometimes cause us illness and worse. We are in systems with family and friends and strangers and our various cultures.  Systems are parts of larger systems.  We depend on our senses to perceive the world and those systems, but our senses are incomplete. We fill in the blanks with a process called “closure.”  Think of the dots that make up pictures in newspapers.  The closer you get and the more you magnify the picture the more it becomes a series of gray scale dots. We do the same with our perceptions in every day life. What we don’t perceive, we fill in based on our experience and expectations.  A theory as to why overheard cell phone conversations are so annoying is that we are hearing only half the conversation, and our brain wants the whole. We choose our truths based on what we perceive, and what we perceive is incomplete.

Change is not only possible, it is inevitable.  The question is, how much you want to control change in your life.  That does not mean you have control over everything that happens. You do not.  Things outside our knowledge that are part of the greater system can have a great impact.  Chaos theory tells of a small event – the wind from the flapping of a butterfly’s wings – affecting the weather in another part of the world as the air molecules begin to bump and flow.  You can think of examples in economics, health, and any area of life. The flow passes through distance and time. Counterfactual history is full of the study of what-might-have-beens and what-ifs based on small choices having major and long term impacts. Where you do have control is in the choices you make. Those choices help you cope and determine how you cope.  Those choices affect your relationships. Those choices impact the systems, and then come back and affect you again.