The current situation in the world gives rise to many “if onlies” in our minds
Along with our sense of entitlement, we have many specific ideas and expectations about what will make us feel happy. “If only I had the right partner I’d be happy.” “If only I had a better job, or more money, I’d no longer be anxious.” “If only I had a better body I’d be content.” The one thing all of our “if onlies” have in common is an underlying unwillingness to actually be with the present-moment circumstances of our life. Instead, we choose to live in endorphin-producing fantasies about the future. From one point of view this is understandable, in that it’s certainly more comfortable to hold onto our expectations of a different and better reality than it is to be with what is. Yet, where does this leave us? It leaves us living a life that is neither real nor satisfying. But remember, the path to genuine happiness entails first recognizing what blocks it. We have to clearly acknowledge our many “if onlies,” our subtle demands that life be different from what it is.
Ezra Bayda, Beyond Happiness, The Zen Way to True Contentment.