On The Mindfulness Tip: It’s A Matter of The Consequences

 

When we’re little, there are endless lessons on The Consequences—’don’t touch that fire, it’s hot and you’ll get burned’ but some of us did it anyway and what happened? OWWWW it’s HOT! OW, BURNS! WAHHHHHHHHH HAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH SCREAMS. BELLOWS, SOBS etc. ‘Don’t climb up there, you’ll fall’ but some of us did it anyway BAMN! HOWLS, SCREAMS, BELLOWS, SOBS, etc. ‘Don’t put that in your mouth you’ll swallow it!’ Yeah, some of us did it anyway, perhaps swallowing it and having to go to the hospital. Childhood was ripe with lessons on The Consequences—when doing XYZ can give us ABC and beyond. So many of us learned the hard way, but we learned.

But did we? Are we learning? Are we considering The Consequences before doing, thinking or saying something?

My folks were strict. I mean 17th century strict and if caught, my punishment was a 16th century sentence. Off with her head and all that jazz…well, I still got my head but my upbringing was definitely on the abusive/eccentric side, especially as I hit double digits on, daddy ain’t play so mannnnn the goal was NOT to get caught as I KNEW The Consequences would be dire!

I was a good kid but a bit of a tomboy…um ok a full-fledged tomboy and one day I went to school sporting a large wooden bracelet that my dad had made. He was teaching himself the art of Woodcarving and had begun making bracelets. I was in the 7th grade at the time, and am traveling between classes in the stairwell heading down while this boy heading up the stairs decided to bother me, cause that’s what boys do, young or old, and he grabbed my arm, I don’t remember what he said but he yanked my left arm hard and I did what any spirited tomboy would do…I punched him. I punched him hard. UHH! And in doing so, my barely 24 -hour old hand carved bracelet by my strict-ass daddy EXPLODED into pieces. Immediately understanding the impending punishment as a result of my action, I quickly scooped up the parts, making that boy help, he too recognized that that was a baddddddd thing he had put into motion. But I was the one that hit him, a different choice would’ve produced a different result and yes, I reacted in the moment—the key word here being reacted. Yes again, what was I, about 12 maybe? Still really wayyyyy old enough to understand The Consequences.

I went to work mentally, creating a scenario of the why of what had happened. It was flawless. And so brilliant. I fell. I fell down the stairs. Yup, that’s it! I fell down the stairs! That was the answer, that’s what I’d tell him. But needless to say, I was sweatin’ the rest of the day ‘cause I KNEW The Consequences would be extreme when I got home if he didn’t believe me.

I walk into the house. I show him the bracelet as I walk in, (show and tell immediately don’t wait until he finds out, offer up the evidence) “look what happened!” Dad silently takes the pieces, examining them. I tell my tale of woe.

“I fell down the steps and the bracelet broke!”

“You did? Are you hurt?”

“No.”

“Ok,” or something like that and I am dismissed. I walk away stunned and I think, ‘that was too easy.’ But off I go to settle uneasily into a night of homework.

Periodically I would be called into the room he used as his wood-working shop for questioning:

“Let me see your wrist, is it bruised?”

“No.”

“How did you fall?”

“I tripped,” which wasn’t out of the norm, I was really clumsy, always bumping into things or tripping and the tour de force of course, was falling.

“Did you fall forward or sideways?”

Think fast girl, “FORWARD.”

“Okay,” he said or something along those lines, all the while whittling away on what he was creating at the time, steadily working the wood as I stood for my interrogation awaiting my execution, the sound of the file on wood very vivid in my mind. But oh wow, once again I was dismissed with my head still attached!

And this drama played out repeatedly for the rest of the evening, periods of wondering if I got over followed by moments of puzzlement. Why was he asking all these questions? Definitely off balance because his behavior wasn’t what I was expecting AT ALL.

BEDTIME.

I walk into the room to say my goodnights saying to myself ‘IThinkI’mGonnaIThinkI’mGonnaIThink I’m GONNA MAKE ITTTTTTT…’

But no.

He stands up with the broken pieces of bracelet in his hands looking at me pointedly…

I know that look and I think, ‘time to die.’

From glowering eyes, he says, “you didn’t fall…”

Me: wide eyed innocence with a twinge of guilt.

“…no, you didn’t fall because if you did, you would’ve had bruises (and he points) here, here and here, and you would be hurting there, there and there. If you had fallen the way you say, that would’ve sent you downward at a _____ degree angle causing you to hit the steps at a ______ degree angle (good lawd, daddy was analytical gangsta like that) and the bracelet would’ve been broken here, here and here in x number of pieces.”

OMG the torture of that day was worse than him yelling, his quiet laser-like deduction was like the knife cut I would get 3 years later!!! (Oh no, not by him, by another stupid boy. That’s another tale for another time).

I came clean. I told him what happened, the whole ridiculous thing. I was so ashamed. So ashamed. That was worse than any punishment. PHEW that was rough.

I was dismissed. But the torture continued for a few days afterwards ’cause I wasn’t sure if he was done. I could tell however, that he was very very disappointed.

Yeahhhhh those coming of age lessons. OUCH! They come fast and hard as a child, some of us still have the scars to prove it. But what the heck happens in adulthood??? We become so self-absorbed by our racing random thoughts and all the never-ending stuff that we gotta do that we tend to forget to Consciously weigh The Consequences of our thoughts, words and actions. Oh sure, we’re not totally unconscious to possible outcomes, but on a day to day what I Am I Doing Thinking How Are My Actions Influencing The Whole tip—many times that gets glossed over, our Vision a bit near-sighted unless it’s something like relocating, buying a car or house and other big ticket items. In those cases, we may do in depth research or hire an adviser. But starting in our tweens through adulthood as a whole, it seems like Actions and Consequences don’t reside in the same basket. There are so many things we tend to put in between those two, like profit, greed, and power— the hell with what may come afterwards, just let me get mine! I don’t care if people are dying, sick or destitute. I want as much power and glory as possible. I don’t care if I am burning down the entire Amazon, I want the profits from palm (or whatever the heck they’re planting). I don’t care if I’m wrecking the environment, that’s a hoax anyway. I don’t care about this virus, I want the economy open and kids back in school!

Totally devoid of considering The Consequences, it’s all about ‘IwantwhatIwantthatIwant. Consequences be damned!’ Or ‘I don’t want to do what I don’t want to do and I ain’t dooin’ it so what if people are dying, I don’t believe it anyway. Those numbers are made up.’ And then you or a loved one becomes ill. Maybe even dies. Or You cause untold deaths because You don’t wanna consider The Consequences of being uncooperative. Your opinion is more important than The Whole so it doesn’t matter WHAT happens as long as You are doing what You want. Not considering The Consequences is short-sighted, narrow minded, and selfish.

Mindfulness is considering how Your Actions could harm or Positively benefit Yourself and others. What are The Consequences of this Action I take or omit? Will it benefit me and ultimately others? Or will it harm me? Harm others? Awareness is seeing the possible Consequences and acting accordingly. Now this doesn’t mean you’re gonna see everything, there are too many variables, but Your Consciousness, Intent, and Awareness, or lack thereof puts so much into motion.

Ever since I saw the film The Matrix I can’t think of The Consequences without hearing The Merovingian’s voice, “…Causality. Action, Reaction. Cause and Effect…” thus reminding us for every action, there is a reaction or effect, in other words, The Consequences of said action or actions.

So often as we move into our teenage years and even more so as an adult, we claim it’s not our fault or blame others for stuff, not really cognizant that our every Thought, our every Action creates a ripple effect, that we put into the LifeFlowStream an Energy, A Vibration, A Frequency. A MOMENTUM. Remember that EVERYTHING is Energy. Becoming Mindful and AWARE of our Thoughts and Actions, to KNOW and to UNDERSTAND the WHY of why we do something, say something, think something is us claiming and Being Responsible for our Actions.

Yeah I know…that can seem like an awwwwful lot of work and it is until it becomes part of Your fabric. You don’t always have to understand The WHY of something in terms of being able to explain it to another—Intuition springs from our Inner Selves connected to a Higher Source and our Thinking Mind does not speak that language so it cannot begin translate. The Inner Knowing of The Why—YOU knowing You are being moved by Intuition is knowing The Why in a way, and if others don’t understand that don’t make it Your problem, they are the ones that don’t get it. And that’s okay.

So in considering The Consequences in regards to a decision or action, first of all You must be Aware of what You are deciding upon has Consequences. Seeing possible Consequences takes Being Present.

Being blind to The Consequences happens all the time in relationships—perhaps staying in one way too long. Ultimately it takes a toll on You physically/mentally/emotionally/spiritually. I remember from my late twenties into my mid-thirties, I was involved in one disastrous relationship after the other because I did not look at The Consequences of my Choices, my Actions. My gut was telling me one thing, but I allowed the excuses I would tell myself gain sway. On no less than 3 occasions I am lucky I escaped with my Life. In all three, different decisions would’ve reaped different reactions and Consequences, not putting me in harm’s way.

Relationships are one of the hardest things to see that our choices are entwined with The Consequences, Like being with folks that are not a good match or were once a good match but no longer. We enter into relationships with folks who may not show us who they truly are until after “The Honeymoon” period is over, but we so often tell ourselves we are not seeing and feeling what we are once they start behaving badly. We make excuses for why we won’t let go like, “they said they were sorry and we had the best make-up sex EVAH!” “They cried and promised they’d never do it again.” Or they flip the script on ya and make YOU feel like the villan by blaming you for whatever occurred (I was in a relationship like that–the one where I could’ve lost my life or gotten hurt very badly. If I caught him cheating, before I knew it, I was on the defensive).

If You have the slightest inkling someone isn’t right for you, DITCH THEM because The Consequences will not be to your liking. Sometimes we CAN sidestep falling into The Vat of Suffering, but we gotta pay attention!

The Consequences of Your decision to choose Self-Love first will always reward You in Riches and Enrichment.

Are You gonna see every possibility in considering what Consequences lie at the end of a decision and/or action? NOPE. If we could, there would be no lessons, no Life Surprises, no Growth. BUT a large amount of aggravation and suffering that we cause ourselves and others would be lessened exponentially if we took time In Presence to consider our actions prior to taking them. What are the possible Consequences? Could they be beneficial or harmful? Will they serve my Highest Good? Will they advance my cause or hinder it? Is it useful or not useful? What is my Intention here? What do I want? Will it cause me more unwanted problems or be a Solution? Will it bring me Joy? Or agony and headaches? We’ve gotta take the time to consider.

Again, to quote The Merovingian of The Matrix: “yes of course, who has time? Who has time? But then, if we do not ever take time, how can we ever have time?”

Taking moments In Presence to ask Yourself these questions prior to decision making/action taking will save you a lot of trouble in the short or long run. Becoming Mindful is KEY…

 

Jacquie Bird, Spiritual Wellness Logo

Your Wellness Guide