January 29, 2012


For a long time I played the "what if" game with myself.

You know that game right? The game where you imagine you had made a different choice instead of the other which seemed to hold something that you would have never imagined for your life. At times, I've lost myself in the what-if cloud of questions. The things I wondered about haunted me and brought me deep sorrow. I used to what-if myself into depression or a cycle of violence against myself wishing anything else could be my reality instead of the one I found myself in.

I used to have a lot of what-ifs.

What if my parents had stayed together?
What if I had decided to visit my Aunt in Africa after high school rather than going to college right away?
What if I had never met Aaron?
What if I had stayed there with him? Would we both be dead, or would he still be alive?
What if I had never stopped singing?
What if I had given him a chance back then?
What if I had never met him?

And there are more.

But I used to sit and obsess and wallow in regret for all of the places I felt like I had to what-if about because where I was now, wasn't where I had wanted to be. And maybe if I had just made one different choice somewhere along the line, there would be no more what-ifs.

A friend told me once that no matter what happens in life, there will always be what-ifs. There will always be paths left untaken. There will always be choices that we never made that we won't know the outcomes of. If we knew every option and where every road led to, it would probably make life a lot duller and leaving little room for surprise or adventure.

The temptation to still ask that question and wonder about a choice I made and where it would have taken me, is still there. It feels easy to want to go down that road and it's usually when I'm feeling sorry for myself or not wanting to be honest with my own heart about why I'm even wanting to imagine something different. Maybe I will always be inclined to wonder, what-if, about my past - because it feels painful and hard and tainted. There are always mistakes I wish I could un-do and always places to wonder, what-if, about.

There are other what-ifs though. I've asked myself these questions too - and maybe these what-ifs are kinder to the longings of my heart. I cannot change anything in my past. But I do get to decide what life looks like now.

What if I choose to respond another way, instead of the way I have before?
What if I stopped believing that I'm a failure?
What if I threw out all of the labels I've carried around?
What if I decided to trust God with this?
What if this has a different ending than I am fearing?
What if I really believe what God says is true about me?

Maybe it's okay to what-if ourselves when we are moving towards hope instead of sitting in regret about things we can't change.

I'm sure there might always be a piece of my heart that what-ifs and wonders about my past and some of the choices I made. But it feels good to feel present and living in the here and the now and moving forward instead of feeling lost in looking back.


  1. Your friend is exactly right, there's no way you can do everything in the world, and by choosing to do something, there are other things you're choosing not to do, and that has to be ok. :)

  2. Just randomly flipping through blogs and came across your old blogger page. Your "About me" was so cool that I linked over here to see what your blog was like. Lo and behold, I found someone thinking the same things as me. Although, lately I believe less in conincidence and more in the idea that a higher power shows me what I need to see if I will only open my eyes.

    I love that we can turn "what if's" around to face forward not just backwards. I just started blogging and I call mine Believing in Possibilities. For me it all stems from the fact that sometimes I don't believe 100%. But what if I could believe that just the possibility exists for me to ...(be happy, healthy, successful in my recovery, etc...).

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the universe. (And me!)