“What if I had done this instead?” “What if this had never happened to me?” “What if I had just listened the first time?”
It’s always easy to think back to situations that turned out poorly and question ourselves whether or not we could have changed the outcome if we only had done things differently. It’s also very easy to beat ourselves up over it, especially if the outcome was the result of our own actions. The “What If” questions and questions similar to them can potentially be toxic to our growth as individuals. I do believe it’s okay and healthy to reflect on the past situations. The problem that may arise is when individuals decide to dwell in it.
The “What If’s” can be defined as worrying about the past and the future. I recently realized that I have been catching myself worrying a lot about my past, and especially my future. I’ve also realized that worrying about anything in general doesn’t do anything more than put unnecessary stress into my life. A bible verse that I came across really spoke to me relating to this topic.
Matthew 6:34 – “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” NIV
The only thing we can control is ourselves in the present. We cannot change what has occurred in the past. All we can take from the past is the experiences that have happened, and learn how to become better individuals of God because of those events. We also cannot control our future. Only God knows what He has in store for us and learning to fully trust God’s plan will allow us to live the life that He intends for us to live. This doesn’t mean sitting around and hoping that God changes our lives. We still need to be proactive by living out our purpose as steadfast warriors of God’s kingdom.
Let go of the past and learn from it. Take the time to understand that God has been molding you for His purpose through your life experiences.
Live in the present and be optimistic! We can only control our actions and behaviors in the present. Accepting that everything else is in God’s control is the first step in being truly happy. Also, be optimistic! God is always by your side. I’ve seen people who are very negative on life, and their attitude and behavior matches it.
Surrender your future to God. He is your #1 fan in life and being willing to trust that He has hope and a plan for your future will allow you to experience true happiness in the fallen world that we live in.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”