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Faulted fabrics and ‘what ifs’

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

Your legs begin to shake. Your breath manifests itself as short, fast-paced puffs. Your eyes widen, fixed on a single, nonexistent, faraway point. Your heart begins to pound, a fight against your chest. Your ears have lost all function. Your brain is flooding with thoughts. You’re being pushed around, overwhelmed, but you can’t seem to find your balance.

You’re zoning out again. Just daydreaming, right? You blame it on your attention span. “It’s just overthinking!” you’ll say, more to convince yourself than anything else.

You’re wrong, and you know it. It’s not that simple. It never is.

You see, our brains are wired to avoid any kind of discomfort. Naturally, when they sense inconveniences, issues in the fabric, they switch to problem-solving mode. A lot of times, we can deal with these inconveniences. We can bring out the needle and the thread, and despite trembling fingers, we can sew the problem up, fix it. However, sometimes, we are presented with such an intricately faulted fabric that the needle seems microscopic and the thread looks invisible. Our brains move to autopilot.

What if the thread doesn’t go through the needle? What if the fabric gets ruined? What if my finger gets pricked? What if, what if, what if!

We think about the worst-case scenarios and we make plans. Then backup plans. Then backup plans for the backup plans.

Yes, plans are important! But when these plans prepare for worst-case scenarios almost as ridiculous as outdated 2013 Tumblr fanfictions, they serve no use at all.

Think about it. Think about the last time you fell into this rabbit hole. Remind me, what were your potential worst-case scenarios? And… what really ended up happening?

I’m almost certain the actual event would have been a severely diluted version of one of your made-up scenarios.

What was the point of all that thinking? All that anxiety, for what? Nothing. Nothing but mental burden and unnecessary stress. Nothing but worry for an unpredictable tomorrow.

When you find yourself in situations like these, it’s best to snap right out of it.

I understand - it’s an addictive daydream. You go through scenario after scenario, and the only way you find relief is by thinking and thinking and thinking of solutions. Solutions that were never needed in the first place. Solutions for problems created wholly by your mind. The problems it conjured were never real.

Take a deep breath. Count down from ten. Close your eyes. What do you feel? What do you hear around you?

Think about now. What’s going on around you? How can you be present in the moment? What would make this very second the best it could be?

There’s no point forging “what ifs”. Approach your problem with a clear head. Think of what is in your control, and what you can feasibly do to fix your obstacle. Is it the time and place to work on the solution right now? Yes? Great! Go ahead and work on it. No? Focus on the present and work on your solution when the time is right.

Always stay in the present, because that’s all you can change. Not the forgotten yesterdays’ or the unforeseeable tommorows’ but only the present.

You’ll figure it out. You always have. Have faith in yourself.

Put down the needle once and for all.

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