Action and reaction

By: Annie Sragner, Arts & Life Editor

After a good heart-to-heart with a great friend of mine the other night, she handed me a little threaded doll that came in a tiny red draw-string bag. “It’s a worry doll,” she said. “Whenever you’re feeling nervous or troubled about something, whisper your worries to her, put her under your pillow and wake up with a clear mind.”

I thanked her for her generosity and told her I would keep it in the chest-pocket of my coat for safe keeping. I haven’t tried it out yet, but the gesture led me to think about how the expression of our thoughts can affect the way they turn out.

Although I doubt this doll can actually listen to my thoughts and banish them from my mind, it does allow a positive outlet for these emotions so that they can stop manifesting.

Whenever tensions start to thicken and blood begins to boil, there are either positive or negative expressions of these reactions. At a moment’s notice, we must decide which route we wish to take.

One could possibly blow their lid and violently take out their frustrations on a nearby person, or they could furiously scribble every racing thought into a notebook page. One could lock themselves in their room and sob themselves to sleep, or they could call a friend and unravel before a listening ear. One could slam kitchen plates into thousands of sharp chunks across the floor, or they could fly a paintbrush across a canvas and turn the fire into art.

The outcome of our frustration depends on which direction we send it. We can direct it toward other people and add more company to our misery, or we can direct it into something creative that we can share in a way that ends up being positive.

When one is in that heavy moment and must decide which course of action to take, it requires an extra step of effort to slow down and think about the situation outside of oneself. That moment offers us the chance to create either a happy ending, a nightmare from hell or any possible outcome in between. It all depends on what we decide to do with that confined energy.

Every single one of us carries a lot of power in our actions, but we must decide if we want to use that power for creation or destruction.

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