Sometimes, especially when I am struggling, I play the “what if?” game.
This is hard for me to admit but I wonder…what if
- we had only had 2 children?
- we hadn’t adopted so many?
- we hadn’t moved to utah?
- we had saved our money when we were younger?
- I read my scriptures more?
- I didn’t have to sleep so much?
- I had some amazing talent that would make some money?
- I had continued on teaching a couple of years ago?
- I could remember things and people?
- I wasn’t so shy?
- I could travel whenever I wanted?
- we could hire a nanny/housekeeper?
- we hadn’t joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?
- I didn’t have a solid testimony of my Savior?
- I had made __________ choice instead?
- I hadn’t met John at the airport?
Some what if’s can be productive and informative allowing myself the opportunity to make the changes needed in my life.
I have recently come to realize how detrimental most of my What ifs are.
They often place me in a position that makes me regret or feel bad about the direction my life has gone or is going. It makes me ponder on something that can in no way change or I can get lost in a fantasy that could be dangerous to my relationships/ family etc…
What ifs and pondering a different life can only lead to heartache for all involved. The best way to combat this is to make sure we are present in our day to day life.
Most of my what if’s don’t come when I am happy and things are going well. They usually come when I am low (for whatever reason). I feel like these thoughts and feelings come from Satan. They can’t come from a person who wants me to thrive in the life I have chosen.
Lately, I have had the continued thought of what my life would have been like if we hadn’t adopted all of our children. I can’t believe I am even saying this. The struggle is real. I love my children dearly, it isn’t that. It is the constant 24 hour a day demands that having a large family can bring. (I am also very tired because of the limited sleep I was able to get last night). At any given moment 11 of our children need to be picked up/ dropped off or have a choir concert, play practice, weightlifting, chorus, basketball/football games, cheer, go to hang out with friends and on and on the list goes. It gets very overwhelming.
Then, we have the added stress of dealing with traumas and triggers. Theirs and ours. It can be an unproductive vicious cycle when we allow it.
The point I am trying to get at is my life is pretty great. Sure it is filled with struggles and trials but it is all mine.
Usually the what ifs are a signal that I am focused too much inwardly and not focused on the more important part. I am being selfish, in essence.
My friend shared this amazing quote with me a few weeks ago when I was really wondering and struggling with my role.
“To be a righteous woman during the winding up scenes on this earth, before the second coming of our Savior, is an especially noble calling. The righteous woman’s strength and influence today can be tenfold what it might be in more tranquil times. She has been placed here to help, to enrich, to protect and to guard the home-which is society’s basic and most noble institution. Other institutions in society may falter and even fail, but the righteous woman can help to save the home, which may be the last and only sanctuary some mortals know in the midst of storm and strife” (Spencer W Kimball 1982)
My life is more important than what ifs. I choose to ask what now? How can I be better? What can I do to be stronger? What is going to get thrown at me next and am I spiritually strong enough to handle it? Is my marriage as strong as I need it to be? How is my relationship with my kids?
All of the sudden I have gone from fantasizing and not reality to proactive and thinking outward.