What If? The terrible question we all ask ourselves, we all ask each other and we all internally question.
The question can be asked for numerous different reasons. Maybe, what if I have a takeaway tonight? Or what if I go into town tomorrow?…Questions as simple as that are some we think about every single day without even realising we actually do so. But, that question of what if can be much deeper than we ever intend it to be.
2020 is a huge example of a big ‘what if’. With the uncertainty of this year, and the lack of knowledge even those of such high authority in Britain and around the globe had, regarding the big C-word (not to be said, because we’ve all seen it and heard it so much), has come with our own internal what if’s on the remainder of the year. I know I have asked myself numerous times this year ‘what if we go into lockdown again?’ ‘What if I catch it?’ Or ‘what if I die?’. As dramatic as the last one sounds, the news and social media doesn’t particularly make light of the situation or ease worries, so sometimes my mind (and I’m sure many of you can relate) does drift off into thoughts of the most unlikely of situations.
The questioning can make these larger events, and smaller ones too, seem to end inevitably (as we believe) badly. Sometimes these what if’s stem from much more than global issues, but from your own individual experiences in the past. If you ever experienced a car crash then your ultimate fear and questioning would maybe occur in a car or before driving. These can become incredibly intrusive and upsetting, but it’s fighting these horrible ‘what if’s’ that you can’t do alone. In these times, I find what’s best is to distract your active brain from the stimulus that sets off its adrenaline rush of questions. Reading, playing a game, baking or spending time with loved ones. Having somebody there to be with can help you to feel less alone in such a large, scary world of ‘what ifs’ right around our corner.
I have been so fortunate to have come across fighters of this awful disease, because although it isn’t physical, it really can be an overbearing part of somebody’s emotional life. One particular girl I know has dealt with this for some years. I have watched her fall at times from these thoughts, but now she has created such an aura of strength that those thoughts don’t take over as much anymore. The progress she’s made with her internal questioning of ‘what if this happens?’ is quite incredible. The ‘what if’s’ come around now and then for us all, and they still do for her. But, having the persistence to keep those questions a more distant thought in places they would’ve normally come up, is such an achievement and something that should be celebrated and I will continue to celebrate for her.
There are also many other people I know who feel this every day, and one of them might be you. You could be reading this article, with a ‘what if’ lingering on your mind right now. However, the reality is that we come across such awful news stories every day, and I can’t lie and say our world is super safe and bright because it’s not. There’s going to be a danger everywhere you go, big or small in your mind, but we get past them that’s how living works. Asking yourself what could happen on your way to the shops and creating this possible scenario in your head is only going to lower your expectations and make you live your life in fear. We can’t guess everything that is coming up for us, we have to let life work its magic. Although optimism isn’t always the answer, it sure does help in these ‘what if’ situations. So, use it when you can.
But what if, just what if you end up being happy in that negative scenario you created in your mind?
What if life just worked in mysterious ways?….