The Art of Beautiful Living

The Power of “What If?”


Powerful Stuff

The power of what if…my primary orientation to “what if” has always been “what if I fail?” or “what if something bad happens?”  I would do anything to avoid either of those and so “what if” has tremendous power over the decisions I make and the risks I take.

When we got the idea of purchasing our 1846 Texas Family Homestead, my poor mind was full of “what if” scenarios.  What if somebody else wants it?  What if they can pay more for it? What if it burns down before we can get it?  Yeah, it was like that for a while around out house.  I didn’t want to push someone into the administrator’s role, because to start the process would take us one step closer to failure and disappointment.

It was like living in the book, The Monster at the End of This Book.  Something bad was going to happen.  Starting the process was terrifying because each step took us closer to my monster.  Each step presented me with more negative, powerful what ifs.

Facing Fears

It took us three and a half years to get through the legal part of the administering of an estate before we could buy the home.  That is three and a half years AFTER the countless ones of “what if he sells to someone else?” and “what if we are stationed really far away and can’t move on it when something finally happens?”  That was a great deal of time to build up some serious anxiety.  I didn’t want to tell anyone what we were doing.  I didn’t want competition.  I didn’t want to tempt fate.

Now that we have purchased the property, those fears have gone and I have been forced to reflect on them.  Jerry doesn’t understand where the fear of failure comes from.  I can’t begin to tell the times I have been reluctant to attempt something citing my long list of “what ifs”.  Without fail he asks me, “When has any of that ever happened?” And he is right, mostly.

While there have been failures, there have been relatively few of them and none of them have been fatal.  We have changed plans, altered course, shrugged and chalked it up to experience and moved forward.  Upon reflection, I see that clearly.

However, when I am living…when I am daily facing the mirad of things in before me, I balk and I waffle.  I don’t want to do that anymore.  I guess it ties back to my thoughts on the Art of Living Beautifully.  It has to be an intentional mindset.

More than anything, I think that is the gift that this house project has given to me.  I had to take deep breaths and DO whatever was in front of me.  No time to be afraid.  No time to wonder about what ifs.  If it was time to climb on the roof and lay shingles, we did it.  When it was time to lay flooring, or tile, or siding…we did it.  And there was no monster at the end of the book in sight, just a lot of dreams coming true.

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