Before I go into the subject of the heading … my last blog challenged you to come up with a list of things that humans have invented that have no potential for deliberate harm as well as good. Thanks for your participation. We all came up with such long  lists they are way too long to include herein. That’s a positive for sure.  From the wheel onward our human creativeness and search for a better and easier life has been  mostly successful. Lets keep up the good work.

Close calls..  and what comes after.

I have often wondered what causes people, after having suffered a trauma, or narrowly escaped death, or come through an accident unscathed, although traumatized, they tend to say, “It could have been worse!”  Or, “What if this or that had happened instead?”

Many years ago, we had an accident while pulling our holiday trailer on the interstate highway. The fact that no one was hurt and speeding traffic was far enough behind to slow down in enough time to avoid hitting us was amazing good luck… or what?  The trailer had jack knifed  into the ditch and was lying on its side, the tow bars were badly twisted and the car sat dangerously straddling two lanes in the line of oncoming traffic.  We calmed our terrified children, talked to a state trooper who happened to be nearby, assessed the situation, then Don managed to  align the car just right to pull the trailer back upright and onto its wheels; we were mobile again. It was then we saw the massive drop into a ravine behind a short guard rail at the edge of the road not 100 feet from the scene of the accident.  As if it wasn’t bad enough to have been traumatized by the screeching of breaks and smell of burning tires, and the horror of our vehicle out of control, with the children’s screaming, we could not help but acknowledge how it might have been if it had happened seconds later.  The feelings of relief that we had survived with only rattled nerves, a damaged tow bar and with minor damages to the trailer were overshadowed as we found ourselves asking ‘what ifs …’what if Don hadn’t taken over the steering from me and taken all the right actions, the car would have overturned…a few seconds later and we could have all been sailing down a canyon to our deaths… what if the traffic had been heavier and closer to us?

I’d learned long before that to never what if in that way. However, I had found myself momentarily agonizing about what could have happened. When I realized what I was doing and how pointless and disturbing it was, I used my Mind Mastery to put a stop to it and I reminded Don to do the same.

I’ve learned to be grateful for the mercy of a happy ending, or at least a less tragic or diabolical aftermath than might have been. There are enough real life tragedies and traumas to deal with; I don’t need to imagine them.

In reporting this event and others like that I’ve experienced, people have said that had fate decreed it would have been different. “It wasn’t your time, or “It wasn’t meant to be.”

I am not a fatalist; however I am willing to concede that there might be some things that destiny has in store for us. Although I have often thought that because there are so many factors working with or against us at any time in our lives, it is hard to discern what role destiny actually plays. I am in the business of helping people take charge of their lives and determine their own destiny. I also do my best to practice what I teach.  I have proven in more than 37 years of clinical practice and teaching people Mind Mastery for more than forty, that we have much more control for ourselves and our lives than most people realize. Accidents don’t just happen; they are caused by many means, including carelessness, poor judgment, absent-mindedness etc.   Fate, if there is such a thing is also subject to free will and self-determination.

So what is the human tendency to what if in that way all about? What’s the reason people look back and wonder, cringe and grieve about what didn’t happen?

I’ve given great deal of thought about this mental self-abuse; for it is just that. And before I share those thoughts, you need to know for your own good what happens when you imagine the worse, and for the sake of your health and well-being learn to control what you do in your head!

You see when you imagine the horrible scene that might have been you are hurting yourself almost as much as if it had actually happened.  Because the subconscious does not know the difference between a real and imagined experience, and because your body, which in many respects is like a mirror of your mind, reflects the mental stress you are putting yourself under, you end up with the same physical and emotional symptoms and toxic chemicals flooding your body as if you were actually experiencing the event.

If you lose sleep, find yourself tossing and turning and churning it all over in your mind; having nightmares, not just about what did happen but what could have happened, you are engaging in self-destructive behavior, and in that way delaying healing from the actual experience. In essence you are adding to the post traumatic stress s for yourself.

Please note: What  iffing as a form of worry.

Here we are discussing the past, however, people what if about the future too, and it’s just as self-destructive: That we will address another time. Right now, before reading on, take a minute or two to ask yourself what is the reason for engaging in such mental torment. What do you think it’s about?

These are some of the thoughts I’ve had on the subject; actually I probably have just as many questions as answers here.  How do they compare with your own thoughts?

Is it possible that we are attempting to confirm our good luck, to make our good fortune more profoundly felt? Is it that by focusing on what could have happened we take our focus off what did, minimizing it to some extent?  It may also help us more fully appreciate the fact that we have not only survived something difficult and life threatening we are reinforcing our connection with life; perhaps even affirming our sense of destiny.  By thinking of the worse things that could have happened people can realize with even more conviction that they have been spared the worst for a special purpose. This gives them a sense of their special-ness, their importance in the whole scheme of things.

I have heard it said that “Someone upstairs must be looking out for us.”

Some might say we were meant to live and learn from the experience, and I’ve heard it said that it is part of our Karma to go through such experiences. And many people believe everything happens for a reason.

When we get that close to death or serious injury we cannot help but realize how vulnerable we are at times, therefore appreciating life more; never taking it for granted because it could be taken away in a nano second, and  acknowledge how close we can come to disaster and still live on:  That we have been given a reprieve  – that we have been released from the reaching grasp of death, or incapacitating injury is for many a sign that they have been blessed by God or protected by a guardian angel.

There are many human traits that are not fully explainable; I think this might be one of them., although we all share one for sure: the power to control our thoughts and consequently a great deal of what happens within and to us:  Destiny, or whatever you want to call it, seems to be in conflict with free will; that’s something to think about, right? However, you must factor in that your ability to choose; to exercise free will is a constant. Therefore you can choose not to engage in destructive thought processes.

It is an interesting occupation to question things, the inexplicable especially; we are after all curious beings with the need to understand ourselves and the menaing of it all. It is indeed important to know the psychological reasons for what we do or don’t do. After all, all behavior is motivated.  That’s why the answers to those kinds of questions about what drives our behaviors help in many ways for us to do the necessary work of healing and to make positive changes within ourselves and our lives.

However, the bottom line here is this: There isn’t a reason good enough to dwell on what might have been, good or bad.

Right now, where you are in time and space is where you have the ability to choose what you think and feel and do.

TTFN and all the best, always, from Elaine Kissel