. . . everyone on earth jumped at the same time?
. . . tomatoes didn’t exist (think pizza)
. . . Rome actually hadn’t fallen?
. . . our religion was each other?
. . . the 2016 election went another way (oops – rhetorical)?
. . . we could be anything or anyone we wanted to be?
What if’s are funny things. They can spark change or regret. They answer curiosity – with more questions. They can also allow us to let our imaginations run wild, which might be my favorite part.
But, aside from worrying about never being an Italian girl never having tried a tomato, ‘what if’ those words could jumpstart a change we hadn’t thought of. Whether we crave a change in thinking, ideas or behavior, asking ‘what if’ opens our mind to whatever it can conceive, and that can be a world of possibility. The answer to ‘what if’ is also a powerful declaration of intention that can empower us and ignite our imagination. The right question is a diving board we jump off into options and opportunity.
“What if I fail? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” Erin Hanson
On the other hand, ‘what if’ can also be a nifty way of keeping us stuck. Negative questions keep us stuck in the past, produce endless why’s and paralyzing regret. ‘What if I hadn’t changed jobs when I did?’ ‘What if I hadn’t gone on that first date?’ For months after my husband died suddenly, I tortured myself with questions like ‘What if I hadn’t left the house for that hour?’ ‘What if they hadn’t done that last procedure?’ ‘What if we made wrong decisions on treatments?’ No matter how I framed them, none of the answers would have changed what was ultimately not in our destiny. When we are pain, we look for anything to make it better but nothing there’s no answer will change the past and even if we could, that is not the best place to hang out.
Nobody’s got time for dat. Continue reading “What If . . .”