Dr. Brené Brown said once in an interview that she was terrified that her husband would cheat on her. There were no facts or even evidence to back that up, she just worried that it would happen. She began obsessing over it, until, she allowed herself to go there.
What if he does cheat? she thought.
"I will fall on the floor and want to crawl into a dark hole," is what she said.
And then she allowed herself to go one step further, asking, "and then what?"
"And then," she thought to herself, "I would eventually pick myself up off the floor and I would make the next decision."
Most conversations I have with others revolve around decision-making. Should I go here? Should I move there? Should I stay in this relationship? Should I? Should I not? And then when the decision is made, then it's, what if what if what if what if???
What happens then, is that you'll take that event in stride like all the other events that have been unfortunate or didn't go as planned. I don't believe there will ever be a single plan that I make that will go as planned. This is why I am a terrible planner, and I don't like making plans. They never pan out as one would think.
The freeing thing, in this whole "what if it doesn't work out" situation, is that something else will. There will always be a something else, a something new, a new opportunity.
When I was little, I was given $20 for my birthday. My dad took me to the bank. This suction tube opened up and he took out a container, he wrote something on a piece of paper that was in the container, and then put my $20 in the tube. I panicked.
"What are you doing???" I cried.
"Em, we're going to save this $20 for you, in the bank, so you can have more money when you get older," he said.
I cried and cried and said that I wanted that specific $20. With the wrinkles and all. I wanted that one.
He couldn't understand my logic, put my $20 in the tube and it suctioned my birthday gift away forever. Somebody else will get my $20 and I will have a number on a screen. And if I ask to take it out of the bank, they will give me somebody else's $20. It's not the same.
That was my earliest memory of money, and I think I've just tried my best to not let it run my life since then because it broke my heart. Who knows where that specific $20 bill is now?
But what happened when we left? It was over, I moved on, and found another $20 bill (which would also get sent into the suction tube, gone forever).
What happens when we fall apart? Or lose something? We fall apart too, and then, we move on. I discovered later in life that the losing part became more painful, like losing relationships or things that you love. People that you love. Those cut deep into the center of our souls, and it hurts for a very long time. It hurts bad, like, real bad.
It keeps hurting and hurting and hurting until it just doesn't one day. And you notice that the pain has lessened and that you know what? You're actually pretty damn proud of yourself for moving on.
Some things, I believe we never truly move on from, but we fold them into who we become. We are grateful for the god-awful thing they did to us, or what they put us through because now we're stronger.
And that's what I love about all of this-- you can't foresee events happening, you can't plan for the disaster ahead of time, you can't undo the past, you can't sit and stress and that'll make the events play out differently. It will all happen just as it's going to happen, and when we fall apart, we release our $20 one-of-a-kind bill to the wild, and we move on, that much stronger.