Letters to Tom — “if Only”

Dear Tom:

People used to ask, “if only you had stayed in Arkansas what do you think would of happened?” Now they ask “ if only you had been able to diagnose your disease earlier…? My answer hasn’t changed even though the question has. I rely on your Sufi wisdom and say, “If only … leads me down a path upon which I become weaker and weaker with every step.”

One of life’s greatest obstacles can be regret. Instead of engaging in “if only,” we need to work hard at saying to ourselves, “Forget the past . Just keep moving forward.” This way of thinking provides a reservoir of resolution and flexibility, which allows us to overcome any disappointment about the past. It offers us the hope that we can redeem any situation.

When we take this path we take the opportunity to feel a strength that can adapt to any situation and yet remain rooted in, and moving toward, the purpose of our life.

Your Friend,


About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.

1 Comment +

  1. Webb,
    You’ve struck on something I continue to struggle with as, I would guess, do most people. I sometimes beat myself up for mistakes, doing something “stupid,” etc. This is an area about which a lot has been written by the mystics. Inayat Khan, for example, writes “Man is an imperfect being, a human being, a limited being. If he wants to find perfection in a limited being, he will always end by being disappointed …” And “All that we do right, all that we do wrong, everything is a lesson, everything is a study if we take it as such.” Thanks, Webb!

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