Saturday, May 22, 2010

Playing the "What If" game...

Here's my horroscope for today:

Libra - 5/22/10 (from "You are on edge today because it feels as if a storm is on the horizon, yet you are unable to see it. Preparation is complicated by your inability to tell where the trouble is coming from and when it will arrive. Instead of spending your time fearfully battening down the hatches, raise your sails and get ready for an amazing adventure. If you are ready, you could be pleasantly surprised by an unusual friend who offers you a helping hand."

Hi! My name is Stephanie. I have "worst case scenario" brain. (Or WCSB for short ;)

I know... sounds silly, doesn't it? But really it's a talent to take any situation and immediately come up with the worst possible out come.

Sometimes it comes in handy, like keeping the cell phone charged and extra water & a protein bar with me in case I get stranded in the desert eleventy-billion miles from civilization. (I guess that would be Mars, huh?)

Other times it's just a fruitless game of "what if" that induces anxiety more than it produces any sort of results. It's also the reason I can't watch most natural disaster movies - I had to leave the theater during "Dante's Peak" and "Deep Impact"... what's worse is that "I Am Legend" kept me up for 2 nights... not because it was such a bad movie, but because it gave my WCSB more fuel for the what ifs.

And the WCSB isn't limited to big things that are wildly out of my control. No, I'm an equal opportunity WCSB. Little things like starting a new project, making plans with friends, picking a color to paint the walls... they can sometimes send me into a "What If" tailspin that, if I'm not careful, can easily end up in Why Bother-ville.

Luckily, as my awesome hubby got to know me, he didn't run screaming for the hills... which is one of the first indications that maybe, just maaaybbeee my WCSB wasn't a good indicator of reality. (Ya think?!) Instead he played the What If game right along with me... only every time I actually had the courage to voice a WCS, he'd have the audacity to counter it a BCS (or Best Case Scenario).

The nerve!

Even worse, he's just as good at that game as me!

Me: Well... what if we go careening out of control down a raging river of death?!

Him: What if we don't?

Me: What if we plan this and no one shows?

Him: What if everyone we love shows up? (Note: ok, that one could also be a no-win situation, but that's just me. ;)

Me: What if I do this and I fall on my face?

Him: What if you do it and do better than you expect?

Me: What if I need this later on and can't afford to buy a new one?

Him: What if you don't need it? Or what if you can afford to buy an even better one?

See what I mean?! Annoying, isn't it?! Cutting off a perfectly good tizzy in it's prime!

Thing is, he's starting to make a little sense. Granted there have been times when my over planning has come in handy, and there are times when the worst case does actually happen, but not when I'm expecting it. For the most part though, 99.99999% of my What If's have never come to pass. I've wasted so much time and energy _fearfully_ battening down the hatches, that I missed raising the sails, and honestly, I'm pooped!

So why am I sharing yet another vision into my crazy land?

Because I have a feeling I'm not alone in this.

In fact, I know I'm not, especially after reading this blog from Charlotte Hilton. It's heart wrenching and uplifting at the same time, it also touches on her deep struggles with eating disorders, abuse, and body acceptance issues.

It also touched me deeply - not because I've had to deal with any of these issues, something I feel blessed and grateful for, but for this reason she sums up so eloquently: "It had never occurred to me before to consider that my self-flagellating belief served a vital purpose in my life. It saved me from failing. From not living up to my potential. See, if I'm broken then I have no potential so anything good I do is just gravy."

How many of us have hidden behind our broken-ness (be it real, self inflicted or self perceived) to keep from doing something? To keep from failing?

It's time to start playing my hubby's version of the What If game - What if you couldn't fail? What If you ARE an awesome person? What if you really /are/ that smart/funny/talented.

I've been hearing so much these past weeks about how America has an obesity 'apocalypse' , and how young adults are failing the health/fitness requirements for joining the military. On a smaller, more personal scale, I read daily of people's struggles with just getting started, fearful they won't be able to stick to a healthy eating and movement plan. Fearful that they can't change their ways.

What if America can become the fittest nation in the world? What if it turns into the "American Paradox" rather than the "French Paradox".

What if you CAN make good choices consistently? What if you CAN stop with just one cookie, piece of cake, small serving of chips or fries? What if you CAN take small steps that add up to big, wonderful, healthy changes in your life? What if you DO inspire someone else to make changes and you CAN stay consistent with your new behaviors?

Heck, while we're at it, what if all the changes that we, as a population, make in our lifestyles make organic veggies and free range, grass fed, happy critters the become cheapest thing at the grocery stores, and chips, cakes and candies are $12.99 a pound?

I know, crazy talk... but it could happen.

Have you been playing the WCSB What If game? What's your worst what if? Are you ready to stop battening down the hatches and raise your sails for an amazing adventure?

What if that WCS is holding you back from something wonderful that you _deserve_?! Are you ready to accept that you're worth it?

I am.

"There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around me. I am meant to shine, as children do.
I was born to make manifest the glory of God that is within me. It's not just in me; it's in everyone."

"Dear God, Please make me
who You would have me be
That I might do as You would
have me do. May I be a blessing
on others That I might feel
Your blessing on me. Amen"

~Marianne Williamson