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If only I…Maybe I could have or should have…Why didn’t I…

These are all just different versions of the same game. That game is the “If Only” game, the ways we torment ourselves for what we think we should have or could have done differently. They are the vocalizations of our regret for our actions or our inaction. We’ve all played this game and the result is always the same. There are no winners, only losers.

We cannot change the past. We can only learn from it.

Life is a series of decisions, choices we are forced to make only with the information available to us at the time. We are not¬†omniscient. We can’t always predict the outcome of our actions or the effect they will have on others or ourselves.

Perhaps if I just…I thought if I…Suppose I missed something…

The “If Only” game is a game of regret, full of uncertainty and pain. It keeps us tied to a time we cannot change and hampers us from moving onward. We must own our regret, accept our mistakes, apologize when necessary but we also must let go of what cannot be changed and what is no longer.

Playing the “If Only” game is not a game of chance. The outcome of playing this game is the same every time. It bogs us down in unhappiness and feeds our disappointment. The “If Only” game takes our hope and squishes it, destroys our dreams and ruins our relationships. Things don’t always turn how we want them to be but we can only change them now when we let go of what has passed.

Each new day is an opportunity to forgive ourselves for what we have done and what we have left undone. It is a chance to start fresh, to regroup and to step forward into a new beginning. What we do with each day is up to us. We can live a life filled with guilt and remorse, lamenting over what could have been or we can opt to make a fresh start, knowing that the “If Only” game is not a game worth playing at all.