“No, stop right there. We aren’t even going there,” my husband stopped my youngest in midsentence.
“Well, why not?”
“Because that’s not real. You are living in the land of What Ifs. We need to live in the land of What Is.”
This is a regular conversation at our house. Our kids come up with all of these terrible things that could happen, and they create unneeded anxiety, worry, and questions that don’t need to be asked yet. Then, by bedtime they are so worked up about everything that could possibly go wrong, nothing consoles them. It’s a vicious cycle that we have gotten very tired of living in, so when one of our kids starts with the what ifs, we stop them and focus on what is.
As I was having this conversation for the umpteenth time with my oldest this morning, it dawned on me that I, too, spend much more time than I should in the land of What Ifs. I make a plan B, C, D, and E even before I give plan A a fighting chance. I’m already expecting the worst when I go to the doctor or when someone calls. I’m on the defense, ready to problem solve all the time, always anticipating, waiting, and thinking about the next what if.
While planning and problem solving are good, if I spend all my time thinking about what might happen, I’m going to miss what is happening. The blessings of the day, the special moments with my kids, the conversations and intentional smiles with strangers. All of these will be missed plus so much more.
Let’s live in the land of What Is this week and leave the Land of What Ifs behind us. What ifs leave us weary and anxious, while what is can fill us to the top. Stop the conversation in our heads midstream, and let’s live right now, right here, in the Land of What Is.