My grandmother used to say “I planted What If and it didn’t grow”! She of course referred to looking back with regrets and second guessing ourselves for the decisions we have made.
The words “What If” always intrigued me. On the one hand, they refer to regrets and looking into the past wishing we had done things differently. We tend to do this a lot as humans. We even use them when we have had a loss. As a denial and bargaining tool. Replaying a scenario in our minds over and over again with statements like: what if we had moved quicker; they may still be alive. Or what if I had gotten to them sooner; I could have prevented the fall. What if I had insisted on taken their keys away; they may still be alive. What if I had told them I loved them more often? And the list goes on and on.
Of course these are all hypothetical questions and we may never know if the outcome we are trying to alter would actually play out the way we imagine. But they do not stop us from ruminating them in our minds.
Another way we use these two little words is to worry about the future that may or may not happen. As well as playing into our fears. Examples: what if they don’t call? What if they get into an accident? What if I lose my job? What if I fail the test? What if I fail? (Or even what if I succeed?)
On the flip side, What Ifs can be used to entice imagination. Scientists use them all the time whether they realize it or not. On the path of discovery, the What Ifs are crucial to exploring new ways of thinking and inventing. “What if we splice the gene in this juncture?” “What if we change the formula to this one?” “What if we try this drug or intervention?”
The words can be applied to anything that requires imagination: concocting a new recipe, taking a different trail when hiking etc.
The point I am trying to make is that we can use these two seemingly simple words to torture ourselves for things that might have been, or imaging things that might be.
In 2022, I am choose to imagine. What if I can make it to the top of that hill? What if I can create harmony in my life? What if I can make a bigger difference? IMAGINE THAT!
Wishing you health and harmony in 2022