A Meditation on “What If” Thinking

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Our latest post from Will Williams is a meditation on “what if” thinking, and how we can how show ourselves self-compassion.

I’m feeling it’s time for us to give some consideration to the immortal phrase ‘what if…’

How many times have you thought this phrase? How many times has it been followed by a remorseful pondering; what if I hadn’t ended that relationship? What if I’d got that job/contract? What if I’d made that decision? What if I hadn’t have waited? What if I’d been more patient? What if I hadn’t said that thing? What if I’d told that person how I’d felt about them before they passed? What if I’d spent more time with my children when they were growing up? What if my mum and dad had given me more love? What if I’d been a kinder, more loving, more human? What if I hadn’t have taken that wrong turn down the cul de sac of discontent? What if we’d chosen a different holiday destination? What if I’d had the courage to follow my dreams?

Whatever the end result, it may be worth being more compassionate with yourself. For if you made the decision due to rationale considerations, then you would have been operating according to all of the available information at the time, and therefore, how can you berate yourself for making a decision based on the data, even if on reflection it may not have proved optimal?

Unless of course, it wasn’t your rational mind making the decision… maybe it was your emotional brain? Perhaps it was responding to all of those subconscious patterns and triggers you’re either not aware of, or unable to yet transcend.

If that’s the case, then the episode is a great lesson waiting to be learned. How can you better identify when your subconscious shadows are colouring your decisions? Are there any patterns to the prelude to events that lead up to poor decision making? Usually, there is an early warning signal that you self destructively brush aside. Perhaps there is fear based thinking, there is a need to prove oneself, there is some objective you feel driven to try and realise. If you can learn to spot this, and course correct, then it’s one of the most valuable lessons you could possibly experience!

What if you learned to accept life’s lessons and graciously integrate themĀ  into your learnings, so that you can be a better person henceforth? What if you spent your life looking forwards, not backwards? Being in the present and not in the past? What if you could heal yourself of all the subconscious injuries that cause you to self destruct? What if you felt so connected to your deep inner reality that the ups and downs of life glided off of you like water off of a lotus leaf? What if you trusted life and the universe so much, that you were willing to accept changes of expectation in the moment, knowing from experience you would learn later why that had to happen? What if you felt like you had an inner compass guiding you through all of life’s meanderings? And what if you felt like you could succeed as a human being, no matter what?

This is why we do meditation. This is why we say yes to surprises, and to being outside of our comfort zone. This is why we say yes to healing our wounds, through learning, therapeutics, journaling, meditation and better communication.

If you step forward courageously, then at some point, ‘what if’ stops becoming about regret, and becomes a source of genuine possibility.

Wishing you a great week

Will xxx

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