“If only I could do that”. This one is shoddier than your zit which has a unique way of popping up on thanksgiving or a wedding. We’ve all been through this “if only” phase and sadly it has never worked. It has always left the person drained emotionally and with a bitter mood for days. A friend of mine, who was dumped by her boyfriend never got another one because she thought it was her fault that he left her and regretted it to the point of obsession. Everyone other than her knew that the break-up was not her fault, and that some guys just want to play the field. Many of us think along these lines, “if only I ....., It wouldn’t have happened”. But it did.
We all know that the past cannot be changed. If it could be, it wouldn’t be called the past. Of course, we understand that regret, at times, is unbearable. But you can’t go back and change what has happened. Grieve but don’t well up in it. Regret, but not unproductively. The “if only” regret is unproductive and would not give you any output.