The quotation above seems humorous to me. In my mind I picture someone trying to outrun something, probably something bad, from their past.
Maybe it’s something embarrassing a person would like to forget. Or maybe it’s a really wrong answer they gave when the high school teacher asked them a question. And maybe it’s a time they had a super crush on a member of the opposite sex and made the mistake of telling the wrong people about it.
Sometimes it's hard to live down incidents that happened to our younger self. Or maybe even our not-so-younger self. We’ll probably never get old enough not to make unwise decisions or not to say the wrong thing. But dwelling with regret over our past will produce nothing positive.
On the other hand, it might not hurt to look back at good memories. “People who focus on good things in their past are happier,” says Ryan Howell, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at San Francisco State University.
Surely we could pull up good memories as well as bad ones. This might prove to be a fun exercise, especially since Dr. Howell thinks we’d be happier doing so. How about remembering when we achieved a worthwhile goal we’d set. And the elation we had on our wedding day. We could think on the achievements of our children, or our nephews and nieces.
We could pull out our photo albums and spend time looking at vacation pictures. Have you noticed that your photo collection is probably of happy people in happy moments? We don’t snap pictures of bad things to cherish forever. But look at those pictures taken at family reunions and birthdays—everybody’s happy. Looking at most of our photos will more than likely give us a good feeling.
Maybe we could make it our purpose to focus on good things that surround us daily that we can add to our memory bank—our family at home, our church family, our friends, God’s creation. Even in the worst of situations, if we focus well, we’ll find something good to be grateful for. And, yes, don’t even think about looking back at the regretful things.
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Thanks for reading my blog! My next novel in the West Virginia Mountains Series is titled Promise Me. Look for it this spring.