Lately, I have found myself thinking and wondering about, “if I had taken this road, where would I be?”
Life is a big series of roads and paths, isn’t it? In some way these roads all lead to nowhere, or maybe they all lead to the same place, I’m not sure. I do know one thing, it’s alluring and human to ask yourself these questions. But why? Does it do us any good to look backward and do the “would have”, “should have”, “could have” dance? I don’t think it’s all that bad to reflect and see where you might have taken a wrong turn, so that you can improve and avoid that path in future, but when those thoughts start to take over, you can become blind to the gifts that you have today.
Sometimes we’re not even aware that we’re doing it.
How many times have you crossed the finish line of a less than perfect race and thought, “If I had only done this in my training,” or “I should have fueled and hydrated different,” or maybe even “Why did I eat that huge salad last night?”
“What if’s” are dramatic, alluring, and can be romantic to ponder: “What if I had married this person instead of my spouse?” or “If I had only pursued that career, would I be happier?”
It feels good to fill in the blanks of our unhappiness. When we feel unfulfilled, we are programmed to want an easy way out of suffering. The fact is, the grass isn’t greener, it’s just different grass. I believe it’s perfectly normal to mull over the past a little, but if done too much can lead us down a dark path.
When out on walks or playing in the park, my children can not resist the lure of blowing on a soft, fluffy, magical dandelion puff. “It’s fun, mama!” they say, smiles on their faces. I don’t think we pass too many without them stopping to blow them into the wind. What their innocent minds are unaware of is that every time they blow one of those puffs, it spreads weed seeds all over the beautiful, green grass. Okay, one or two won’t hurt much, we can pluck those as they rise up, but if you blow too many the weeds will take over the lawn. Unlike grass, weeds are hardy, strong, resist drought, and multiple quickly. Weeds can be much more dominant and are difficult to control once they take root. Weeds will take over your lawn if you let them, just like our “what if” thoughts.
I like to think that every time I wonder what life would have been like had I taken this or that path, its like blowing on a lovely, soft, puffy dandelion puff. You see, as tempting as it may be to wonder about the past, if you open the flood gates of those feelings into your soul, the weeds will eventually take over, leaving you unable to enjoy the rolling green grass that God so graciously provided us.
God is the parent of our soul. He knows what is good for us or not. We are the innocent children who recklessly blow on too many dandelions. I believe that He looks at us the same way we look at our children. He sees us run toward a weed puff with glee, but He is also saying to us, “don’t blow so many that you lose the soft, cool grass that I gave to you.”
I start each day with a run or walk and I pay attention to small gifts that the universe has given. It would be easy run past a dandelion and not hear what it has to say. It’s our job to listen to our parents, it’s our job to listen to God. When you start each day contemplating life, you are more apt to face the day with a positive force. God can’t speak to directly, but if you ask Him how you can serve Him at the start of each day, then you take the time to listen, He will answer… sometimes in the form of a weed.
Corny? Perhaps… but it works for me.
[bctt tweet=”How reminiscing about the past can be damaging–The What if Weed #fitfluential #selflove”]
How about you? Do you ever get the “what if’s?”
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