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If only - what?

Updated on September 6, 2012

The idea of writing this came when I watched a movie staring Jennifer Love Hewitt, called "If Only", and I began thinking of the various uses of those two words, If Only. We might use them as an expression of remorse and say If Only I had not done something, whether driving while intoxicated or committed one crime or another, or we might use them as a means of regretting something we did or perhaps something we did not do or say.

We may not even have to express those words and yet still do things as if we had, as for example the person who spends more than he or she can on lottery tickets with the thought in the back of their mind, If only I can win the jackpot without really thinking If Only as conscious thought. I have my own thoughts of If Only but I wonder how many I share with others, or they share with me?

For example, If only I had had more confidence at various times in my life including perhaps even now? I know it would have changed my life very much for the better.

I can also think If only I had kept the job I had working at a hospital, a job I pretty much enjoyed by left so that I could go to school for a job I found I really couldn't do well because of the lack of confidence I mentioned before.

I can think about If only I had told someone I loved them rather than being afraid of telling them and hearing that they did not feel the same.

If only I had learned how to play a musical instrument, how to be better at sports I was never good at, or even if only I had never started smoking.

Perhaps there are some who can identify with one or more of these thoughts or have some If Only thoughts of their own, but the reason for writing this, for my own sake and perhaps for the sake of others, is to point out that we can change those thoughts of If Only from negative thoughts to positive ones. I can stop thinking If only I hadn't left that job and start thinking of where to go from here. I can not tell the girl I loved that I do love her since she passed on long ago but I can make it a point to remember the great moments and not the Moments I could think If Only about, and perhaps even think I can instead should I meet the right person in the future.

I doubt that there were many great moments in history which began with the thought If Only but a great many that began with the thoughts of If I can or perhaps simply I can.

We need to make a great effort to never say If Only unless we add positive words to that and say If only I can, and then go out and try to do whatever it is we wonder about even if we decide that we can not and need to try something different.

I remember a saying from my youth, "If only I was born rich instead of good looking", and I never said that, but once we stop thinking If Only, we can start working toward a goal and start thinking We Can!


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