Fighting the “What If” Monster

Before I go to sleep –I do most of my thinking. Instead of laying in bed like the next person, relaxing, and drifting to dreamland –I think of everything that happened during the day, all I have to do the following day, and just because my mind is that hyper-active (and rather tiresome), sometimes I’ll think about the past and the future –and I’ll start worrying.

And I won’t just worry or fret –I’ll think of the worse case scenario. When I was little, my mom called this “catastrophizing” –and she even bought me a children’s book about beating the “what if” monsters that ruled my thoughts.

I used to be plagued by “what ifs” like:

What if there really are creepy-crawlies living underneath my bed or in my closet?”

What if none of the popular girls in school want to be my friend?”

What if I can’t go spend the night at my BFF’s house on Saturday?”

Now, as a 22-year-old –my thoughts are a little more serious, desperate, and intimidating:

What if I don’t find Mr. Right?”

What if he doesn’t exist?”

What if I broke up with him or he broke up with me, and we missed our opportunity?”

What if I’m not loveable?”

What if I’m destined for a life of single-land, a house full of cats, and I never get to wear that wedding dress I clipped out of Time magazine when I was seven?”

What if my guy is inexcusably stubborn and will wait until my boobs are past my belly button before he shows up?”

What if all of this true-love-stuff is just a myth?!!!!!!!!!

As I was deciding what else I needed to admit to myself as I start this journey of self-discovery, love, and acceptance –I realized I needed to ask myself the “what if” I’ve been avoiding all of my life:

What if I just stopped what iffing?

Sounds like a simple task when I type out seven little words –but to really put these words in action…is going to take work. Like studying for an exam or teaching yourself how to breathe at a healthy pace while running –bad habits take practice too.

I can’t automatically turn off the switch inside of my head that asks, “What if that’s never you?” when I see a cute couple in sweats drinking Starbucks walking down seventh avenue. I can’t make “What if you’re just not pretty enough for him and you’ll need to settle for something else?” instantly go away when I see a tall, good-looking guy walk past me and not even notice me.

In meditation, which I’ve been incredibly interested in lately, you choose or you are given a mantra that you repeat to help yourself relax and fall into meditation. I do plan on trying to meditate at some point during this adventure –but not just yet. However –I do think it’s a good idea to come up with my own mantra or saying –that’ll combat the “what ifs” as they come.

So what comforts me and gets me out of the what-if routine? Thinking about fate. I haven’t decided yet if I believe everything is pre-determined, regardless of the choices we make–but I do believe in some way, form, or fashion –God is there with me and knows what will become of my life. I know he’s with me every time I see a penny or when I feel the nice breeze blow between buildings.

If the opposite of my fears (hence “what iffing”) is my faith –then I think my mantra is “Have faith. All is unfolding as it should.”

I’m hoping this mantra will stand up to even the worse of “what if” battles. If God is with me (and Jimmy Choo, too) –who can knock me off my feet?