Every fear, every anxiety can be traced to these two words. The fear of possibility. And while they can be the words of dreams (what if I get the job, win the lottery, etc.) they are just as intrinsically tied to nightmares.
- What if I fail?
- What if I embarrass myself? others embarrass me?
- What if no one likes me?
- What if I'm hurt? my kids are hurt? my family is hurt?
- What if I die? someone close to me dies?
Even the more outlandish and childhood nightmares can be started with these two words.
- What if monsters are real?
- What if there are monsters under the bed? in my closet?
- What if there is something in the dark?
- What if I'm abandoned?
And the heart of probably the most existential fear of all: what if I'm wrong?
In this season of fears and nightmares, remember these two words. They have the power that you give them. And remember that each question has at least two opposing answers. For "what if it does" can be just as probable as "what if it does not." A myriad of open possibilities.