What if the person who cut you off on the freeway was rushing to pick up a sick child or relative? What if they were not? What if that person at work who always seems to stir up trouble or is never pleased with what anyone does is so lonely, that trouble is the only way they feel involved? What if that’s not true? What if the reason you lost your job is because being there made you miserable? What if you knew you needed to leave but just didn’t have the courage to do so? What if losing that job means you and your family are now in financial jeopardy? What if none of that is true? What if your last relationship, despite what you might think, was dragging you down? What if the nasty painful break-up was actually an opportunity to develop more faith? More trust? Or, what if it really was an unfair betrayal of your loyalty?
I have discovered that the “what-ifs” we ask can be a double-edge sword depending upon the intention behind the inquiry and the quality of the individual consciousness. There are some of our “what-ifs” can lead us to the horizon of new possibilities and a deeper understanding of who we are and how we move in the world.
By asking that simple question, “what if”, our hearts and minds can be opened to a broader outlook and greater opportunities. When we use our “what-ifs” in this most positive vein, they can lead us to the recognition of things we thought about but dared not ask. Or, things we knew but were afraid to face.
Then there are the negative “what-ifs”: What if things never get any better for me? What if this event or experience leads to my destruction? What if this is wrong? Bad? What if I never recover from this? These are the questions that limit our ability to see beyond the moment and leave us stuck in the pain or trauma of the unpleasant. It also means that we have not quite grasped the power and potential of “what if” as a function of our ability to create our reality in the most beneficial way.
What if we took full advantage of every opportunity to use all of our “what-ifs” as tools of reality creation? What if, the way we currently use our “what-ifs” is a secret tool of the deceptive intelligence to take us further away from the light into a place of darkness and despair? What if by entertaining our “what-ifs” we are unknowingly and arrogantly challenging the wisdom of the universe and creating a stream of energy that makes a lasting, limited impression on consciousness? What if every “what if” is simply another opportunity to gain deeper insight, more clarity and greater faith about the presence of good?
I have learned that asking “what if” in the face of what is may not be the most self-loving course of thought or action. I have personally experienced the sting, stench and pinch of every “what if” I have entertained. I have also learned that for every “what if” I have asked, every one that I could ask, another pops up from the recesses of my mind. Asking “what if” can be a vicious cycle that always leads back to what is.
This, I have discovered is the only thing that really matters. When used with the highest and most appropriate intention, every “what if” can become a divine opportunity for us to be more, express more and experience more of what God is. Just consider the one “what if” we already know the answer to, “What if God stopped loving us?” The mere thought has rendered me healed from the need to ask a negative “what if” about anything!
Iyanla Vanzant is the best-selling author of five books on self-empowerment, personal growth and spiritual healing. As the founder and executive director of the Inner Visions Spiritual Life Maintenance Network, she conducts workshops, seminars and lectures nationally. Drawing from her own experiences of family dysfunction, abuse, and poverty, Iyanla encourages us all to look at ourselves, laugh at ourselves and then take the necessary steps to heal ourselves. Her practical message is based on the principles of universal law, self-determination and the power of Spirit. You can learn more about her work at www.innervisionsworldwide.com.
Iyanla has recently appeared several times during Oprah’s Lifeclass webcast segments. You can view the classes here: http://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/oprahs-lifeclass.html
Iyanla has a new show, set to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Network, called “Iyanla, Fix My Life!”. To learn more about it and apply to be on Iyanla’s show and have her help you, please visit http://www.oprah.com/ownshow/index.html?team_type=HarpoStudios