If Only

Many of us have had periods of life that we have simply spun our wheels and drifted through life.  Some of us have never been able to do anything else.  Many a person, me included has looked at their life and said ‘if only…’

‘If only I hadn’t…’

‘If only I had that new ….’

‘If only I had been born into a different family’

‘If only I had different parents’

‘If only I had lived in another time’

Or we looked at other people and compared our lives to theirs and  said

‘If only I had their …’

‘If only I could be like …’

I agree with Mercedes Lackey who said “If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.” To many lives and to much potential has been wasted with the excuse “If only”.   Many things in my own life have gone past and I have found myself saying the same thing.  And for many people the same could be said.   We allow our lives to be governed by the things we wish we had, instead of pursuing life and allowing it to be full of what could be. Someone once said “If we spend our time with regrets over yesterday, and worries over what might happen tomorrow, we have no today in which to live.” If all we focus on is what we don’t have we are powerless to change our situation.  We end up with the same problem as ‘happiness is…’  “I’ll be happy when I get …”  The remark could be filled in hundreds of ways.  But in the end we are never able to achieve happiness because we are spending our time chasing something external and happiness is achieved internally.

The same can be said about the phrase ‘If only..’  We are chasing externals looking to be like someone else instead of being ourselves, or spending our time focusing on the past and regretting instead of looking to our future.  Victoria Holt once said “Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.” Our lives are determined by our focus.  And only we can change our focus.   To spend our time looking at what we don’t have or what could have been means that we will completely miss the potential future we have in store for us.  Alexander Graham Bell said it best when he said “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” Only we can determine how far we will go, and how far we will go is determined by what we focus on.  We each have infinite and wonderful potential to achieve.  God created each one of us and He doesn’t make junk.  Our choice is whether we live our potential our waste away chasing all our “If only’s”

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