What if

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like now

if …..

if …..

if ……?

Well, I have. Would I be a mother of two if I hadn’t decided to break up with my then-boyfriend more than fourteen years ago? Would I have become a happily settled woman (wife?) who had managed to totally adjust to the mentality of a small village in The Netherlands? Honestly, I don’t think I would have been able to do that but what if. Would I be dead if I hadn’t insisted that my mom takes me to hospital on that stormy, rainy October night nine years ago? Would I still be chasing demons in my head if I hadn’t invested time and effort into dealing with my anxiety and scary depersonalisation periods? Would I still be single if I hadn’t registered on Tinder and swiped left and right because seriously ‘what the fuck have I got to lose anyway?’ Who knows? Life is sometimes stranger than fiction. Nope, these are not my words. It is song title by Bad Religion. But the reason that I like it is probably that I have already figured the truth in it myself.

Anyway, the truth is that I stopped whatiffing a while ago. Probably because it just tired me out. Running circles in your head until you wish that someone handed you a sledge hammer so that you can bing-bang out and crush those draining and useless thoughts. Probably because I am just happy with how things are at the moment. Or it has got something to do with age. You know, that you grow older and wiser and you just accept things for what they are.

What I have noticed is that I am learning to allow myself just to be happy. Or at least to feel good. And not to overthink stuff. So, yes, I am learning to waste as less time as possible on what ifs. Actually, I have learned that what ifs are not necessarily bad. They just tend to be tricky. With a little bit of practice you can learn to use what ifs to your advantage instead of ruminating about the past or worrying yourself sick about the future. What ifs can be fun. Like ‘what if I wear pink instead of black today?’ or ‘what if I smile at and have a chit-chat with the sales assistant?’ or ‘what if I get on the first bus and see where it takes me?’ or ‘what if I try to be as imperfect as I can be today?’ or ‘what if instead of planning and wanting to control everything I just lean into this moment and see where it leads?’ That’s quite different, isn’t it?

So, here is a list of my altered what ifs:

What if I accept that I am a loveable, one of a kind, very special person? (As those who matter tell me?)

What if I ban all those self-sabotaging beliefs (I am not enough, I don’t deserve good things, I should do better and more) and leave them behind forever?

What if I just stop trying to please people at the cost of my own well-being and happiness?

What if I learn to set my expectations just a little lower? Especially of myself?

What if I start to see that I am perfecter than perfect in my imperfections?

What if I stop feeling guilty about doing things that make me happy?

What if I start believing that I deserve to have the best of the best?

What if I start living the way I want to live and enjoy life with everything I have?

What if …

What if …

What if …

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