In programming, a conditional statement is one that defines a branch in the path of the program. The condition makes the branch in the path. The statement tells the program to go ahead in one direction only if very specific conditions are met. If the exact condition is not met, the program is to go ahead in another direction, or stop. If the code has an error, it might loop endlessly, like a lost child wandering endlessly in the woods.
Do you put conditions on your life? Here are some conditional statements that unconsciously lie under our acts and words:
I’ll be happy when I finally get promoted.
I’ll only accept a boyfriend who is successful.
I’ll take that vacation when I have more money in the bank.
I’ll call her when she shows me that she loves me.
Things will be better when I can buy my dream house.
I’ll start my career as an artist when the last kid is out of college.
I’ll enjoy my life more when I can retire.
I’ll be happy when my prince charming comes along.
This is what I like to call the eternal “happiness deferred” excuse to not live your life now. What are you deferring to a later date? Why not do it now instead?
Try listening to your internal dialog for a day. It’s a good idea to bring a little notebook around with you for an hour and record what you are saying to yourself. Witness it without judging it. Your internal dialog eventually reflects itself in the world you see around you.
Internal dialog is the “program” that is looping and stopped when you find yourself unhappy. You are unhappy because you are stuck in a self-imposed conditional statement. Notice and remove your conditional statements one-by-one. Usually, no matter the circumstances of your life, you can find a way to do one thing today to get beyond those silly conditions that we tend to place on our lives. You can create something today — now — even if you don’t have the ideal materials or that studio that you want. Make music, dance, create a poem, write a play, improvise a comedy routine.
No one can impose conditions on you. Your conditions are solely your prerogative. You can limit yourself or free yourself. Yes, it takes courage, but if you practice with small things first, it will get easier with practice. We all find ourselves in conditional loops from time to time. It’s takes just a small bit of attention to what we are telling ourselves to break that loop to get back into a creative life.
Copyright 2009 Aliyah Marr