When I meditated on the content of the challenge, multiple moments in my life sprung to mind, and also one realization: It is an illusion. Our brains are wired so rigidly into cause and effect, that we bend our reality and memories into recognizing such moments, even when they don’t exist. This is not an iffy subject at all, if you were about to interject that. Every change is gradual. Even if you blamed your turn to the worse on the death of a loved one, or your success in life to winning the lottery, handling the situation is much more influential on the outcome than the event itself. It also very much depends on what you define yourself as. In ten years, your sense of self and the identity you have developed will ascribe value to a different event than you are now, unless you are a bureaucrat or an accountant.
For a long time, I was obsessed with one event in my life. A little more than eight years ago, I nearly died. All anyone needs to know is that it was from a congenital disease that skips one or more generations, unless both parents have it (recessive, gonosomal). Example: I have it, because my mother passed it on to me from her father; my sister might have it, but she has two X-chromosomes, of which only one could carry the disease. My brother got the healthy X-chromosome from my mother, so he is unaffected. No, it’s not hemophilia. You see where my argument is going? I had a near-death experience because of a congenital disease. Where is the moment of impact on my life? When I had the experience, when I was born, conceived, or everywhere in between, because I wasn’t tested for the condition until I actually almost died? It gets even more complicated. I might not even have had that experience, if it weren’t for another disease that causes my veins to age more quickly due to a slight abnormality in my homocysteine metabolism, and that is also dependent on my hypothyroidism, i.e. the medication thereof, and even all of these things factored in, it might not have happened if I had kept up my athletic ambitions. Even the circumstances that led up to my near-death experience are very iffy, and like any other wake-up call, it took some time to respond. Too much time, from what I can tell today. For so much time I tried to restore my body to a state close to what I had been before my experience, when I should have worked on moving on. Depression, alcohol abuse, dropping out of university might not have happened if I had handled myself better. And why I didn’t handle myself better, well, that is one more complex constellation that I don’t want to get into right now, for lack of meditation on the subject.
You see, I have construed an entire constellation on one event, a network of cause and effect, one event that I could have given all the credit for who and what I am today. And those were only the markers I could identify, I assume that there are so many more beyond my imagination.