The Butterfly Effect


The butterfly effect is something that I’ve always believed to be true, but has been playing on my mind an awful lot of late. To bring everyone up to speed, the butterfly effect is the idea that all actions- even the tiniest of actions!- have large effects elsewhere. To put it in simple terms: Every decision you make now contributes, alters, and determines the huge jigsaw that will be your life soon.

The inspiration for this post came from a moment earlier today. Two friends and I were sat along a lake, our feet dangling in the water and small ripples dancing into the distance. The ripples would be small at first, petite, hardly recognisable. But, as though gaining confidence with time and distance, would soon be rhymically shifting meters away.

‘Am I causing all of these ripples?’ My friend asked.

‘Yeah. It’s like… the ripple effect.’ The other replied.

‘The butterfly effect.’ I corrected her, with a small smile at the remarkable way in which fate brings concepts and ideas to you at the most appropriate of times. Ever noticed how you can go months and months without seeing or heeding to something, but then you draw your attention to it and can see it everywhere you go? That’s the law of attraction. But that’s for another day and another post.

The butterfly effect is a concept with the talent to be simultaneously stunning and terrifying. I often find it gives purpose to the small things I live for today, knowing it is building up to a bigger picture and a bigger future. It also helps me to keep faith that I am moving in a direction; whether that be the right one or not. However, it isn’t half daunting. A relatable example at present is university. Am I going to the right place? Am I doing the right course? These factors will inevitably cause a cascade of events that will determine my future. And, if I chose differently now, it really could land me in a different place in twenty, thirty, forty years to come.

However, I think it is vital to remember that the butterfly effect works hand in hand with fate. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. Perhaps I tell myself this to regain a sense of control (i’m an utter control freak) or to stop myself from freaking out when my emotions taunt me. Either way, it seems unnecessary to panic about small actions causing large changes if you truly believe that you will eventually land in the place you are meant to be.

Instead, I propose that we stand in awe of this phenomenon. Perhaps we need to think more into small and seemingly irrelevant actions, in the belief that they have larger influences than you could ever imagine. Perhaps not. Perhaps we should just be excited about the journey we are taking ourselves and others on through everything we do. Through merely existing.

And I suppose what made me feel most grateful today was the realisation that those water ripples are likely the closest we can ever get to seeing the power and logistics of the butterfly effect. I was even more grateful that I wasn’t the only one who could notice it and appreciate it.

‘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.’ – Chaos Theory.

It is easy to get lost in the chaos of everyday life, so I ask that just every so often you bring yourself back down to earth and remember the power behind every choice we make.

Ellie-Paige x


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