If you’re stuck wondering “What If?” today, may this post bring you release and help you grow on in Love.
The night Sweetie left us and the following day, the whole time, I kept thinking,
What if I brought him home on Tuesday, would he still be alive today? What if I left him at the petstore, would he still be alive now?
What if? What if? What if? It never ends.
These thoughts kept coming as surely as the tears have been flowing. But I’ve been through this before and I know doubting myself and allowing it all to spiral into a big self-hate party wouldn’t solve a thing. So in between doing the dishes and cleaning up baby’s tank and apparatus and wiping my tears, the thought that came to my mind is this:
Can you love yourself through the ‘What Ifs’?
How do we do that?
1. By shifting the main focus from the outcome, to the heart.
And these were the questions that were coming to me, during this time:
Q: What was your intention when you brought Sweetie home?
A: To help him get well
Q: Did you love him?
A: Yes I do
Q: How long did you want him to live?
And then, silence.
The questions and answers reminded me of the most important thing: I wanted the best for him and did my best for him. In the end, that’s all that matters. If I did something wrong, that wasn’t my intention at all.
And my heart knows it.
2. By actively practising Graciousness and Compassion.
When it comes to making mistakes, Awareness and Accountability is important. But most importantly, see a mistake for what it is–A Mistake.
Learn from it and grow on.
As my favourite quote by Maya Angelou goes, “I did then what I knew how. When I know better, I do better, that is all.”
I also love what my friend once said to me when I was filled with remorse over a decision I had made: “You were navigating the best way you knew how.” I know it holds truth for us all.
Can we be gracious and show compassion–to ourselves and others–for being human? For feeling fear? For making bad choices because of fear? Can we learn from our mistakes and allow ourselves to grow on? The truth is, we can…
…Because Love is a choice.
3. Loving yourself through the “What Ifs” means learning Self-Love.
For a start, think about all that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy about yourself–right now.
Keep your thoughts to the present moment. Not of what you were in the past. Not of your “potential” in the future. But of you, as you’re reading this. Our mind is like a muscle. Over the years, we’ve trained it to be our own best self-critic. So it may come as a surprise to you, that thinking good things about yourself doesn’t come naturally. The hope is in the trying. As you keep training yourself in this area, it gets better and easier.
4. Have FAITH
Tomorrow is another chance to try again. It’s not the end of the world yet, though it may feel that way. Have Faith that everything happens for a reason. Allow this Gift of Pain to serve a purpose. Learn from it and grow through it.
ps: Sweetie is my first rescue fish. He’s already lost his ability to float or swim by the time I saw him again for the second time on Sunday. (You can read about it here if you missed the previous post: Love… While You Can, When You Can) But I’m not the first person moved to bring home a sick fish to try and nurse him / her back to health. I got to know about ‘goldfish rescues’ in 2010. Knowing how much work and time it consumes, I thought these people were a little bit crazy.
But with Sweetie, I finally understood why they would do this.
LOVE is why…
Love makes it all worth it. Always.
The Love Culture – A Loving Way Of Being