Ripple Effects

Community is a pool, a lake, an ocean. Having people around me means that every little atom of what I think, feel, say and do has the power to touch all of the lives peripheral to mine. That is immense responsibility. Unspeakable power. I may feel small and even rather insignificant in the scheme of the greater universe, but I know from the way that little things thought, felt, said and done by others move and shape me, regardless of whether their sources are famous or not, well-known to me or not.Digital illustration: Ripple Effects

Now that I’ve sensed the probability of my slipping toward a new round of depression and anxiety, I know full well that it’s important to me to arrest the slide and reverse my direction in order to sustain my own health and well-being. But I know, further, that it matters for the good of others whose lives intersect with mine, and that is a set of challenges and needs that should matter to me at least as deeply as my own. Yes, it matters to me if it matters to you. I’m nowhere near perfect or heroic, but I’d like to be as decent as I can manage. Even a small stone, skipped across the surface of the water, can create quite the motion in the stillest pond.

10 thoughts on “Ripple Effects

  1. Sometimes, too, it’s okay not to shoulder responsibility for your effect on others and allow their ripples to care for you. On the downward slide towards depression, worrying about one’s effect on others can add weight when you might just need a little lightness of being to counter the clouds.

    • Thanks, Michelle. I don’t think I’m in danger of letting my concern for my loved ones overwhelm me—I’m always preaching to other people, myself, about remembering that self-care isn’t self-centered but necessary for one to simply get along, let alone think of and assist anyone else. But I do think it’s useful to me to balance my self-protection by figuring out what seems like the path of least resistance for me to take, because it not only makes me more willing and able to pursue my own healing but I feel less like I’m any kind of burden just because I *am* keeping it simpler. If that makes any sense (it sounded pretty good in my head, at least!). I appreciate your words of wisdom, always.

  2. Kathryn, the best way to help others is to help yourself first. I think I found that the hard way. But to be of use to others you have to be in a good position first. it’s so sensible when you think about it and not selfish at all (which I assumed it to be). Best wishes from Cork, MM 🍀

    • You are so right, my friend. And I *am* looking out for my own needs, too. I’ve watched many a well-meaning person circle the drain because of putting others entirely and constantly before themselves. I’m mostly looking for ways (as I’ve said to others here) to minimize the efforts, exhaustion and emotional struggle of all parties, myself included. And I think I’m on the winning side of the equation, generally. Working my way upward. 🙂

      Many thanks for your kindness.

    • Thank you, sweet Laura. So far I seem to be managing. If I can kick this lousy cold and unplug my nose and lungs enough to sleep, it’ll go a long way toward helping, I’m sure; assuming I’m just a couple of days behind my husband in the Germ Derby, I should be much perkier soon as well. And then I’m going to have a little catch-up confab with the ol’ doctor and see if there’s anything I can or should be doing in addition—prophylactically, if nothing else. Meanwhile, I’m grateful for your exceeding kindness!

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