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Two words that I hear people say a lot are “If only….” and most probably do not even realize they say it. It usually comes with regret and sometimes even feelings of guilt. And those two words are spoken after something has happened and we can not change what has happened.
If only I had not left then
If only I had been there in time then
If only I had not gotten mad then
If only I had paid more attention then
If only I had worn the red dress then
If only I had not eaten all that cake then
If only I had not gone out with so and so then
If only I had not said such and such, then
If only he had seen the doctor sooner, then
Notice how each one has an action or non action in it and than after the action or non action comes the “then” word where they explain how things would have been different if they had done or not done specific things. This is called “hindsight” and in one instance it is good because it makes us see the consequences of things we do or fail to do so that we can change them in the future.
We just have to be careful to get the lesson and not carry whatever it was around like a burden. I have heard people say “If only I had gotten there sooner” when a tragedy happened and I believe as a person of faith that sometimes we are not meant to be there. I believe God knows what our hearts can and can not withstand. I hear people say that about not being there when someone died and live with regret the rest of their lives. We do our best and that is all we can do.
To me, the most important thing is that we learn what we can change and what we can not. And we also learn not to use it or allow it to be used on us in abuse. Abusers will say “If only you had cooked dinner on time, I would not have hit you.” That is just an excuse and not a reason to be hit. So, if you are in a situation where the other person uses “if only” with you a lot as a reason for yelling at you, hitting you, mistreating you….then get out for that is trying to blame you for being abused.
Use the “if only” as a lesson to do all you can do in life. All we need to do is be authentic and take responsibility for what we do. We can not force anyone else to do anything but we can make changes within ourselves. Do not use it as a way to be a victim. Take accountability for what you do. If you find yourself saying that over and over…”if only….then” about things that happen in your life, you are carrying it around like a guilt necklace and that will turn you into someone acting like a victim.
Every action is a choice and every choice brings consequences and as long as we are willing to take the consequences, then we are being in charge of what we do. And when it comes to abuse, N E V E R let someone use the “If only you had done this or that, I would not have hurt you” or “If you had not done this or that, I would not have hurt you” on you for that is how abusers turn you into being at fault and make themselves the poor victim. Leave and leave as quietly and quickly as you can.
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