When the "If Only" thoughts Take Over

I found myself drifting away with my thoughts, dreaming of hammocks and camping and kayaking with my love. Spending the days running barefoot, laughter rising to the skies, cuddling with puppies and raising baby goats. I wanted to get my hands in the soft dirt of a garden, spend slow mornings savoring coffee with the rising of the sun, and engage in deep soul connections with friends as we gather on the porch late into the night. And writing. My desire to write always at the forefront of my mind, filling the cracks and spaces with words, the dream of writing full time seeming as close as a trip to the moon. 

I realized I was overwhelmed. I'd been forgetting to participate in my favorite things, pushing them aside for the mundane. My soul had walked away from living slow, living in the moment. I was desperately craving quiet, slowness, nature, and all things beautiful. Being present was no longer present, like the sun slipped behind the clouds. I breathed in deep. Exhaled slowly. Sat still. I started slowing my mind, finding myself again, and what I found was a soul all filled up with "if onlys".


If only I had this, my life would feel less stressful.

If only this happened, then I'd be able to calm down and rest.

If only this person would say what I want them to say, life would be better.

If only I could get my act together, then I'd feel more loved.

If only I was a better friend, then I wouldn't feel lonely.

If only I could eat better, exercise more, be healthier, then I'd look how I want to. 

If only I could heal my brokenness, then life would be perfect. 

If only I had more freedom in my schedule, then I'd be happier. 

If only I had the right clothes, the right personality, then I'd be more confident. 

If only I had their life, things would be easier. 

If only I could control something, anything, then I'd be okay. 


If only. I hadn't noticed these little foxes creeping back into my life at such a rapid rate. Yet there they all were. I didn't like it. So I took a deep breath. Breathing in Jesus. I reminded myself that Jesus is enough. That surrender will take me farther than control ever will. I reminded myself that I don't have to control things for them to turn out okay, that things turn out better when I let go.

I breathed in love. I breathed in calm. I breathed in rest. I planned a few life giving, slow paced, nature filled things into my evening and weekend. I chose to let go. I chose to trust that all the things will be okay, sending the if onlys off to never-never land. I want to dream about my future, but not from a place of overwhelm and dissatisfaction, not from a place that causes me to forget to stay present. 

I speak to myself, to my soul, that life is for today. That the things that fill our hearts are for today. That I can let go of clinging to outcomes and expectations and external things and choose a full, contentment-filled life today, in this moment. It's so good. Also, hammocks: they're amazing.