“If only”

in life •  5 months ago

“If only” may be two of the most dangerous words in the English language.

I spent much of my 30s burdened by “if only.” If only I could pay off my debts, then I’d be happy. If only the twins were a little older and less challenging, then I could relax. If only I didn’t have to travel so much, then I’d feel more rooted.

Such pining for things to be different than they are leads to nothing but constant frustration, resentment and potentially depression.

I don’t remember when or why (I’m sure a good book or a dear friend strongly influenced me), but at some point in my late 30’s it dawned on me that “if I can’t be happy now in my present circumstances, then I can’t be happy ever.” This was at the same time both a terrifying and freeing revelation. Terrifying because if happiness wasn’t situation-dependent, then it’s all up to me. And freeing because...since happiness wasn’t situation-dependent, its all up to me.

“Pursuit of happiness” is a trick that ensures its opposite. If we can’t be happy now, we can’t be happy ever. Happiness happens when we stop pursuing. When we accept what is, and that it’s okay.

Perhaps we fear acceptance of the here and now because we fear settling for mediocrity? If we are content with the now, then things will never change or improve, right?

Wrong. The only constant is change. Things will change even if we want them to remain the same. Contentedness with the present doen’t influence its persistence. In fact, once we drop resistance to what it, change accelerates if anything. Our resistance interrupts flow. Acceptance releases it. And the real key to happiness is to be okay with that too.

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If only...I can go back in time and wake up the morning og July 2nd 2016

Ifs and buts are only excuses. Totally agree on the pursuit of hapiness part. Reminds of a really good movie of Will Smith, "The Pursuit of Happyness".

I don’t believe that things just happen, and that they happen for a reason. You live and learn daily, if not you will keep making the same mistakes and not evolve. Fighting against the current is a sure fire way to drown. Nice post👍

Differences will say that life is worth living, if only you smile...

·

Differences will
Say that life is worth living,
If only you smile...

                 - artizm


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You were not the only one haunted by that “If only” but only a few can pass that landmark and be happy with "the now" whatever it may bring. It was never supposed that one man/woman should reach a certain life situation in which to live for the entire life. I guess change is part of nature and our human nature and by being satisfied with what "now" has to offer we create the future that will also satisfy us and make us happy. After all, it all happens "now" and this the only moment that we have.

'if only' - a truly dangerous phrase that is still a part of my vocabulary. It is also dangerous in the sense that it is somewhat addictive and takes a lot of mental fortitude to power through it.

You employ if handiest with past tenses to introduce what you consider is a quite good reason for doing something, although you fully grasp it may not be a very good one
By the way thank you for sharing this

Those words most times are used mainly when people desire to make a wise but often time it does not work. So for anything to actually happen then it must go beyond if only words.

I say that a lot tho.. I tend to be happy more when my account balance is high and loose it as soon as I goes down... I hope to learn how to enjoy and appreciate my current situation without bringing in the "If" statement.. Thanks for this

As my friend always put it, "Money will always be a problem if you think that it is."

Your writings are fantastic, I really enjoy it. But
@sean-king
It's been four days and you didn't post, good luck for your next post/blog.

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