Loving Yourself Through The “What Ifs”

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?
A: …Forever

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.

This post is dedicated to my love at first sight: Sweetie

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



Love… While You Can, When You Can.

Have you ever wondered “What If?” and allowed Fear to come in between you and Love–in the present?

The better question we can ask is this instead, “What would Love do now?”

My biggest lesson for this week is to Love… While you can, when you can.

Last Tuesday, was the first time I saw Sweetie. He was the only one of his kind…

…swimming in a blue tub, mixed up with two black moors, much bigger in size.

He paddled frantically to hide when he saw me, docking himself next to a black moor. I only had a top view of Sweetie. Since he wouldn’t budge from his hide-out, that was that. We left him at the shop that day.

But I was feeling a tug of war.

To bring him home?
To leave him there?

…but I kept thinking “What If?”

“What if I go all the way back, but don’t feel like bringing him home?”
“What if no one keeps an eye on him while I’m at work in July?”

“What if we move by end of the year and there’ll be logistical issues?”
“What if I leave for NZ next year and there’s no one to care for him?”

If I knew then what I know now.

That I’d only have 2 days and 2 nights with him, plus 30 minutes…

…I would’ve brought him home sooner.

By the time I went to see him for the second time on Sunday, his tub was overcrowded with black moors–freshly stocked. Poor sweetie, a tiny thing surrounded by giants, was left there to fend for himself.

My friend Pam had came along for this unplanned trip to the petstore so we both got to look at his face for the first time in the viewing tank that day. It was love at first sight! But we were both also aware that he sank right to the bottom of the tank when scooped up for us to see. His blood-streaked fins indicated that he was severely stressed and not feeling well.

I knew though, this time, I couldn’t just walk away and leave him there.

I was aware I would be bringing home a sick goldfish to care for.

After all the pain and grief and heartache from the loss of Pumpkin, Ponyo, Peaches, Patches, Pebbles, I had some reservations. Why risk getting hurt again? But loving Sweetie felt like the natural thing to do…

I’m glad I chose Love over Fear.

The last 2 days and 2 nights filled Pam’s heart and mine with so much awe, gratitude and wonderment for this tiny and handsome goldfish.

It’s true what they say…

“Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”

Bringing home Sweetie was a great decision I wish I made sooner.

But more than that, I guess the biggest lesson of all for me…

…and for us all,

Is to always, always, always,


While we can.

When we can.

He refused to eat on his first day home… my heart sank. If there’s anything a goldfish loves doing, it’s eating. And when they don’t… it means goodbye.

Have you seen a face cuter than his? He’s got such a cartoon face it’s surreal. Heart-meltingly adorable…

In the petstore, he’s already lost his ability to float or swim. So when I brought him back home, it was no different. But he kept wiggling his tail and hands (front fins) and propelled himself all over the tank.

*Most adorable picture of Sweetie by his god-mother, Pam. It was love at first sight when we saw his face.

“We love you lots, Sweetie. And we’re sad you have to go. Someday we’ll be together again. Thank you for coming into our lives–you’re a gift from heaven above, and we’re glad to have met you, before you went back home. 




The Love Culture – A Loving Way Of Being