I was thinking, “What if”?

265My personal commitment in life is to celebrate any success, large or small. I believe each day is a gift to enjoy.  While spending time to accomplish whatever the task at hand, we all may look forward to special occasions in the future. It can be exciting when the final time arrives that we have been waiting for. There are many different things or events we all wait for in one way or the other. One may be ready and available, hoping for a promotion at work, another may be waiting for their longed for wedding day. Pregnant women who are approaching their predicted due date will have an entirely different experience, actually waiting with anticipation and great expectation!

This past week I have been excited and waiting with great trepidation. I realize the time is near and soon there will be major changes in my life. While waiting for this to occur I became tempted to worry about the “What If’s. What if raging fires get out of control and destroy the whole world completely? What if the ocean suddenly left its boundaries and crashed over the mountains, flooded the valley, and swept us all out to sea in a millisecond? What if one of the key players in this exciting event tragically flew over a cliff while driving over the mountains and no one knew where to find them? Or, what if I wrote the wrong date down and completely missed out on the whole opportunity to participate? What if all the things that could go wrong did go wrong all at the same time? How would I handle taking care of business; after all I am trained in psychotherapy and in the field of emergency and critical incident stress management.

Is it possible that we all entertain thoughts that are similar to those I just shared? I wrote the above examples, although they are obviously exaggerated, to point out that we all can easily worry about things that others may view as highly unlikely. Yet, when someone is of this mindset anxiety, anger, fear and agitation or excitement will manifest as logical thinking momentarily disappears. Looking from a positive point of view, there are also times when these emotions occur even when a wonderful experience is about to take place.

I will use the example of a woman giving birth. I do so because it is so unpredictable. Under usual conditions doctors can estimate the time frame the baby will be born. Only the mother will be able to say, “It is time”, as she begins her final journey in labor. There is an excitement and joy that climaxes to a level that our written language cannot describe as a new-born baby is delivered.  At that exact same moment, anxiety levels rise with the fear of the unknown that is tantamount to a soldier on the battle field. As the baby draws its first breath and lets out a cry, those with the mother let out a sigh of relief and with tears of joy. I realize all fear, worry, and hand-wringing did not make any difference in the outcome in my past. So I choose to celebrate this day once again, and surrender the care of the outcome with silent and grateful confidence that the what if’s do not matter.





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