Counting Blessings, Acknowledging What-Ifs: My Journey Unfolded
I'm not usually the type to dwell on shoulda, coulda, woulda scenarios, but every now and then, I catch myself reflecting on the what-ifs—I guess it's only human? Life's journey has brought me quite a distance, and I consciously take moments to appreciate how wonderful it is.
While relishing positive memories is great, I've started to ponder the what-ifs, the paths I didn't take. It's not about dwelling on catastrophic possibilities but recognizing the serendipity of the choices I've made.
Looking back on the years, it seems like every step I took was destined, one leading effortlessly to the next. Not going there meant not meeting that person, taking a different route on a rainy day led to unexpected places.
Acknowledging the what-ifs that didn't materialize allows me to see the small miracles in each moment. It's not about encouraging tragic thinking, but rather appreciating the good fortune we often overlook.
To be more mindful of life's what-ifs, allow yourself some grace. If you catch yourself thinking
"I hate my job" remind yourself that not having it means struggling to pay bills and enjoy life?Maybe you were stuck thinking "The pandemic was horrible being isolated from everything fun", but what if you had gotten sick and had lost your physical health during that challenging time?
Even missing a bus takes on a new perspective when you consider the what-ifs: "What if there was an accident I just avoided?"
Contemplating these what-ifs can shift your perspective on life. While gratitude is often emphasized, I've taken it up a notch. Our brains release dopamine in response to novelty, and while we naturally gravitate toward new experiences, they can quickly become ordinary. It's not that we don't appreciate life; it's just how our brains work. As the initial excitement fades, we settle into a comfort zone that can foster entitlement.
I'm equally grateful for all the wonderful experiences I've had and the missed opportunities that might have unknowingly saved me. It's a delicate balance, appreciating the highs and acknowledging the potential blessings in the lows. This reflection is a constant reminder of the serenity prayer, which encapsulates profound wisdom and serves as a timeless reminder to us all:
"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference."
Embracing both the joys and the what-ifs that didn't materialize allows me to find serenity in the present moment. It's about recognizing the interconnectedness of my journey and appreciating the lessons hidden in the twists and turns of life. So, with gratitude in my heart, I continue navigating the path that unfolds, guided by the serenity to accept, courage to change, and wisdom to discern.