Can you believe how quickly the time passes? 2019, wow! I would like to use the number 100 to expand your perspective of time during this next year. I invite you to spend a few minutes with me using your most precious asset, your imagination. My family calls me the Queen of What If. I have lightning speed ability to come up with “what if” scenarios about anything they throw at me. Often, it is with the attempt to predict and control an unpleasant outcome. Let’s play What if, and expand how we see our life and possibly live it differently with more intention. Here is how you play, simply answer the question and then let your imagination take you, but you must slow down and feel. Bring your emotions into your thinking. Let’s begin.
What if I could only remember 100 memories? - Now, let your imagine go. Make a list of 100 memories. When you make a new memory tomorrow, do you want to hold on to it or let it go? If you want to hold on to it, you must delete from your list. What qualifies keeping or discarding a memory? Here is an example: If I have a memory of the day we picked up our dog as a puppy and the memory of the day we put him asleep, which one would I keep? Why? What do I feel about each memory? Would I keep them both? This allows me to feel the depth of a memory and value the life experience. Possibly even approach the day with the intent to create an amazing new memory. Make it a top 10.
What if I could only speak 100 words today? - What would I say? Who would I talk to? Would I yell instead of holding my tongue, would I say "I love you” more often? Would I use my smile and arms to express love instead of using my words? I would want the few words I do speak to land in a soft spot not in a combat zone. We have the ability to speak using nonverbal communication. What does yours say? Quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger (James 1:19) would become my new mantra.
What if I could only have 100 thoughts in an hour- Online the census is that we average 35-48 thoughts per minutes, up to 70,000 thoughts per day according to a study from UCLA. Goodness, no wonder empathy and connection are at an all-time low. If my brain is thinking, I am not in my heart connecting. If you only had 100, what would you put your focus on? Which thoughts would you block before they attached to your emotions and caused a reaction? What percentage would be positive or negative? I imagine I would begin to go about my day shaking those negative unwanted thoughts from my brain and out my right ear. Captivating those poisonous words (2 Corinthians 10:5) and leaving a trail like bread crumbs behind me for the vultures to eat.
What if I can only leave my house 100 more times? - Where would I go, who would I see? The planning of my day would be intentional not haphazard. I would plan my course and step with guidance (Proverbs 16:9).
My favorite, what if I was only given 100 cells of energy a day? - Would I use up that cell by thinking about the “has been, should haves, what if (future outcome)”, etc. or would I use it to create an amazing life surrounded by joy and positivity. Putting my focus on what is of value and what I want to be valuable in my life, has the ability to change my heart (Matthew 6:21).
Every day, every second is gone. In the past. Just data. Old and used up. Check the time now, how much time is gone never to be given to you again? Since you made it to these words, please do not waste the game we just played. Think about it. Let it marinate in your brain and do your day different. The point to this game, is that life is precious, but we so often take it for granted. By sitting in the emotions of my memories I remember the day we picked up our puppy and then the day we buried him, causing a very different stirring in me. I am thankful I do not have to choose which memory to keep, but I can sit in joy or sorrow. The choice is mine. Fifteen years with a Labrador is filled with joy that overflows along with stories involving a whole pizza, 3 bags of double stuffed Oreos, and of course the unforgettable bag of Habanero Doritos, still makes me hold my nose and laugh at the same time.
Plato wrote, "An unexamined life is not worth living." Sounds pretty extreme, but the nugget of truth is in the word unexamined. Examine your day, and live. Be grateful we do not have 100 as our limit, but we do have a limited number of seconds. I hereby crown you honorary queen or king of “What if”, go forth and change your life.
Author: Elizabeth Havens
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MT 3538