Wondering can get you in trouble, if you spend time on what could have been or on what happened in the past. I know that I recently wrote about looking back at your past, but this is a bit different. I caught myself wondering if I had done _____, then maybe _____ would have happened differently. That took a quick spiral into negative feelings. I snapped out of it, and immediately wanted to warn everyone else against doing the same.
The only productive thing that we all can do with our time during hardships is to think ahead. Focus on what you can do moving forward to either fix what has happened, or to move on from it. Dwelling on the things that we cannot fix and the things that we will never know will only hurt us.
Wondering can be good, if what you are wondering about is how positively things could turn out in the future. Anything else could be detrimental to your mental and emotional health.
Here is what I do to keep myself from wondering.
First, I allow myself to completely feel what is happening in the moment. I always think of things in terms of the testimony or story that I will tell later, and I observe myself in those times, wanting to remember the thoughts and feelings that I experienced. Sometimes, I even journal about them.
Second, I take a quick mental inventory of what happened, and assess whether or not I can do anything about it. This is probably where you will want to also assess whether or not you could have done something about it, but I advise against it. Once it has happened, that’s it. It’s over, and it is time to move forward. Once you have determined whether or not you can do something about it, proceed accordingly.
Third, I move into the next moment and experience wiser than before.
I may have made these things sound oversimplified, but that is honestly all I do to bring myself back into a positive space. The first step takes some time, because you may want to cry it out, or spend a couple of days in bed. Eventually, though, you will feel up to moving on to the next step in this whole process.
Don’t try to be perfect. It is natural for you to wonder what could have been, but it is unproductive. We can’t go back in time and redo things in life. So, we may as well get used to accepting what is and moving forward willingly.
Tell me, have you struggled with wondering in the past?