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What if? Even if?

What if I never experience being loved again? What if I never cross paths with another person that thinks I’m special? What if I never experience being in a relationship again? So many possibilities about being alone, not being hugged by someone who cant imagine life without me, never being proposed to again, never being found attractive again, never being loved unconditionally again. I could go on and on and on. Not speaking for every girl, but this girl has a ton of fears about love and relationships. I have tons of uncertainties, insecurities, and doubts. It would be silly and ultimately a lie to say I don’t wonder if I’m going to get the chance to be someone’s wife, someone’s mom, someone’s love again. Even when those feelings get so real that I find myself crying or being overwhelmed by my fears, I have to stop myself. I try to stop and challenge myself in that moment. I pause and ask, “if I change my what if to even if, how does that affect my perspective?” EVEN IF I never experience love again, I have some of the absolute best memories of what being loved well looks and feels like. EVEN IF I never cross paths with another person that thinks I’m special, I can tell myself everyday that I am, and that’s good enough. EVEN IF I never experience being in a relationship again, I can say I’ve had some of the best times shared with a significant other and now I can experience some of the best times with friends, family, and even myself. A “what if” mentality often pushes us towards the worst possible scenario. “What if” comes from a place of fear. It is derived from being afraid that the worst of the worst is the only possible outcome. It can sometimes lead to us getting mentally stuck in a very hopeless place. “Even if” directs the mind to think of a positive outcome. It’s more hopeful. “What if” equates to fear, “even if” equates to faith. Even if I experience the worst, I’ll still be okay. Even if it’s hard right now, it’s going to get better. Even if I can’t even find the confidence to be strong enough right now, I can work on getting it to grow over time. 

I understand that sometimes our brains almost default to the “what if” mentality, but I challenge you to catch yourself and try to replace your “what if” with “even if” and see if your perspective shifts. Work on making that a habit. When you’re worried about getting that job, reaching that goal, getting over that heartbreak, you can find that positive lining in what can seem like an overwhelming situation. Even if I don’t get this job, I’m still a talented and bright young woman and someone will want to take a chance on me. Even if I can’t run a mile in under 10 minutes today, if I try at it everyday I will eventually get there. Even if this breakup hurts right now, everyday it’ll hurt a little less and a little less until I’m completely healed. Don’t let your “what if” mindset allow you to get stuck. Push past it and challenge yourself to say “even if”. Don’t forget to be gentle and gracious with yourself. Changing a mindset doesn’t happen over night, but as long as you work at it, it’ll become second nature. Creating a habit takes time. Even if you get it wrong or you allow that “what if” to take over, pause for a moment and shift your focus. See what I did there ;). Faith over fear is the greatest mentality you can condition yourself to have.

Jahara Stevenson