Loving the Chaos

Since I began blogging in 2004, my website has been hacked half a dozen times. People I’ve never met have published scathing personal criticisms of me as a human being. Some have sent me hateful messages, including the occasional death threat. My ex-wife actually had to get the FBI involved to deal with a nasty online stalker. This stuff happens – it comes with the territory of sharing one’s life online.

I can predict that more bots will probe my website for vulnerabilities today because that’s been happening every hour of every day for many years. I can trust that bots will continue to behave as bots do. I can even log in to my web server and watch the bots attacking in real time.

In a similar vein, I can trust that humans will continue to behave as humans do. I can trust that sometimes they’ll behave like nasty, rotten scoundrels. I can also trust that sometimes they’ll behave as beautiful, compassionate, and brilliant beings of light and love.

To have a sensible model of clarity, we must account for this. Our model must allow room for chaos. Even if it’s been sunny for three weeks in a row, we must know that it will eventually rain again. Living in denial about that doesn’t serve us.

Expect that the unexpected will happen. Expect that heroes may become villains and that villains may become heroes… and that sometimes you won’t be able to tell which is which. Accept this as part of your reality. Know that sometimes you’ll be surprised and that some surprises will be delightful while others will be dreadful.

Aligning with this truth is helpful of course. We need to align our expectations with reality. But this is also an area where some additional love alignment can help tremendously.

What would it look like to love the chaos?

Could we go beyond accepting, expecting, and tolerating the chaos to reach the point where we actually like it, love it, and welcome it?

In order to do that, we have to see some greater value in the chaos.

We could say that chaos makes life interesting. It adds some variety and spice to our years. It prevents life from becoming too predictable, so we aren’t constantly bored.

But perhaps the greater benefit of chaos is that it helps us grow. Chaos sculpts your character and personality by exposing you to events that test you. Again and again, you’re put into situations that cause you to make tricky decisions, and you aren’t always consistent in how you make those decisions.

Note that chaotic systems have given rise to galaxies and stars and planets. The natural systems of earth are chaotic at their core. And behold the tremendous beauty and variety of this planet – so much of it sculpted by chaos. Volcanoes and earthquakes and oceans and wind and sunlight… a spinning planet with an orbital moon… so much chaos and yet so much magnificent beauty as well.

Chaos is sculpting your beauty too. It’s fair to say that the more you interact with chaos, the more beautiful you become. It’s through chaos that your inner art – as well as your inner artist – is created.

Without chaos you’d be a mindless drone at best, sculpted only by endless predictability. You’d be static and fixed – if you even existed at all. But it would be hard to call yourself beautiful because you’d be lacking in depth. Your beauty, if you could claim to possess any, would only be skin deep.

Dealing with chaos can feel brutal at times. Sometimes you’ll want to flee from it and return to the apparent safety of stable predictability, and it’s fine to feel that way now and then. But we are not beings who can thrive in a static state. We are born to grow… to learn… to change.

If you can love what chaos does for you, you can increase your sense of clarity, as opposed to merely tolerating the chaos.

Love that chaos tests you to make decisions. Love that chaos sculpts your character. Love that chaos helps you recognize the magnificent beauty within yourself and others. See the beauty all around you, and know that it was born of chaos.

Chaos will be part of your life for all of your days. Regardless of what you do or don’t do, chaos will continue to behave as chaos does. You can treat it as an enemy or even as a frenemy. But your clarity gains will be greater if you treat chaos as a tremendous gift by acknowledging and appreciating all the good it does for you.

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Read Loving the Chaos by Steve Pavlina

Steve Pavlina

Steve Pavlina is an American self-help author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. He is the author of the web site stevepavlina.com and the book Personal Development for Smart People.

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