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  • Writer's pictureHelen Chorley

The Flip Flop Effect

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

There are these little stripy millipede type creatures in Bermuda that I love to observe when I’m there.

They seem to have a death wish as they are inextricably drawn to the swimming pool - and thereby a watery demise.

So every trip I spend time “rescuing” them from their one-way swim. Sometimes I pick them up, sometimes I gently redirect them to the lawn and if I’m in a rush sometimes I just side swipe them with my foot.

I reflected that to them this could actually feel like an attack... 🤔😬 There they are pootling along heading for a longed-for refreshing dip with their buddies - when all of a sudden some ruddy great sledge hammer of a flip flop 🩴catapults them into the air for an unassisted bungee onto the spongey grass 😳 What the hell just happened there?! 😱🐛🌱

What seemed like an horrific assault from their perspective was actually a life-saving intervention from mine.

It struck me that this can’t only happen to millipedes!

There must be many experien ces that seem to us devastating, shocking, unexpected and inexplicable, especially when those things change our trajectory in an unwanted way.

But what if those events, people and synchronicities actually protected us? Saved us from a fate we didn’t have the foresight to see ourselves?

I had a recent incident like this. I was attacked in my DMs by someone who doesn’t know much about the situation and therefore couldn’t see the bigger picture. They misinterpreted an action I took as a personal affront and lambasted me for it. (They also don’t know me well, so did not presume I was trying to protect them whilst not dragging them into it).

Sometimes I think it can really help to just take a beat before leaping on someone. While I also don't care for a whack from a flip-flop (I've had a few of those come my way!) often there was much more going on than met the eye. Or foot. And things turned out differently, and better, than I'd hoped.

I'm also grateful to say from experience, many people out there really do have the best intention for all, in the plan. And if you end up on the spongey grass, at least you know where you are, safe and can go from there. Hopefully away from the pool, and to the bar area!

I just thought I'd explore this idea today as we've all been dealing a lot with the unexpected, and I'd love to know what your thoughts are. Have you experienced the flip flop effect?

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