One of my favorite clients, in all the years I’ve worked as a psychologist, was a woman with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Let’s call her, Evelyn. Every few years she would present with a brand new obsessive thought.
They ran the gamut from,
“I’m getting headaches; my God, what if I have a brain tumor?!”
“I saw a story on TV about a woman who intentionally drowned her baby daughter as she was bathing her; my God, what if I turn out to be that kind of mother?!”
“I heard on the radio, on the way to your office, that an old lady was killed in San Mateo in a hit-and-run accident; my God, what if I’m the person who did it while I was glancing away to turn on the air-conditioning, and I didn’t even notice?!
Knowing her as I did, I would give a great big belly laugh at each of these self-accusations and say,
“Evelyn, I have a very simple cure for you; every time you start a thought or sentence with the words, ‘what if…?’ stop it in its tracks and briefly examine your long line of dead ‘what if’s…?’ every one of which has proved to be totally unfounded.
You’ll quickly realize two things: firstly, that you’re the world’s most unsuccessful criminal; and, secondly, that you’re the world’s most pathetic prophet. None of your ‘what if’s…?’ has every come true.”
Her brow would relax and she’d break into a smile. I’d conclude each session by saying
“’What if…?’ is not your friend. Take it out of your Contacts Book; unfriend it on your Facebook page.”
But, for now, let’s leave Evelyn to her new-found serenity and examine another scenario. What if, sometimes, “what if…?” is a good thing?
What if the most explosive force in the world is not a nuclear bomb – the splitting of the nucleus in the heart of the atom? What if the most explosive force in the world is Love – the energy of creation that resides, fractally, in each atom of the heart?
What if fission and fusion are simply movements in the dance of life; the male and female energies of Source; the yin and yang of joining and parting as the dance steps dictate?
What if the perihelion and aphelion are just points in the elliptical game of hide-and-go-seek that is being played by humans-as-the-planets and God-as-the-sun?
What if Love is all there is and we could remove the illusions of separate identity that sequester us from God, from each other and from nature?
What if we could see the cosmos as an embryo marinating in the amniotic fluid of compassion in the divine womb as it prepares to be birthed into this drama called, “Incarnation”?
Tír na nÓg
Fr. Seán ÓLaoire, PhD
2nd: Live-Stream Podcast
3rd: Extended Homily, Q&A