©Arlene R. Taylor PhD
The word if has never been a favorite of mine. There seemed to be so much inconsistency about what it represented, if not downright negativity.
Many of us heard phrases in childhood such as: If you don’t stop crying right now I’ll give you something to cry about. I never handled that type of situation very well. I mean, what type of choice is that, especially if you have a frontal right brain lead as I do and tend to express all manner of emotion through tears? Why even the thought of the something usually prompted me to cry even harder, which would bring on the very consequences I was trying to avoid, the thought of which only increased my tears, and so on. Talk about double jeopardy!
Or how about this one: If you don’t stop laughing immediately you’re going to be in big trouble. Great! Another impossible choice! When one can usually identify something amusing in every situation without even trying to do so, being told to stop chuckling is like asking a vampire mosquito to stop singing (or vibrating, whichever it is) when it’s hungry for blood.
Recently, however, I caught a new perspective of the word if. It happened while I was watching the new Disney cartoon, Hercules. In this adaptation from Greek mythology, two little imps were plotting ruin against Hercules (who, I might add, was on a personal growth journey to research his family-of-origin and to discover who he really was).
At one point, the no-good pair were discussing the desired outcome of their diabolic machinations. Their conversational sequence went something like this: If we do this, and if such-and-such happens, and then if that happens, then Hercules will be history. They looked at each other for a moment and then cracked up. The first little imp said with feeling, If is good!
I laughed aloud. For the first time in my life I began to think of if in a new way. The more I thought about it, the harder I laughed. The more I laughed the better I liked the word and the new concept it could portray.
For example, if you are on a journey of personal and spiritual growth¾if is good. If you are identifying your innate giftedness and matching the bulk of your activities to that ease of functioning¾if is good. If you are moving from a position of barely surviving toward one of thriving by design¾if is good. And if you are role modeling a better way to live and having fun in the process¾if is more than good. It’s fantastic!
How is if in your life?
In mine—if is good.