For the last little while, Facebook has been showing flashbacks from the past. The member can choose to delete the flashback or put it up on the Facebook page. I think the Facebook people were convinced that people would love to see some of the things they posted in the past – one, two, or three years previously.
In theory, it was a great idea.
In practice, not so much so.
A few weeks ago, one of these flashbacks appeared on my page. It was a photo of a little kitten that I had rescued. I’d found him, starving and freezing on the sidewalk in front of the house, a tiny scrap of shivering fur. The vet told me he was probably only five weeks old, and didn’t think he would survive. However, she gave me some special food and instructions on how to care for him and I carried him home, determined to prove her wrong.
I took the picture three weeks later, and posted it on my page. Sitting in a patch of sunlight, he was looking directly at the camera as if to say, “Hello world. I’m here.”
He died that night.
All the pain I’d felt two years previously surfaced again as I looked at the Facebook flashback. How I missed the little fellow – his indomitable spirit, his adventurous soul, his great loving heart.
And it occurred to me that looking back was not always a good thing. We all have many things we’d like to leave in the past – old hurts, betrayals and painful baggage. Even old memories of those people and things we love, but no longer have with us.
Perhaps that’s why we are encouraged to walk with our face toward the future, to run the race set before us without looking back.
Living in past pain means that we never experience the joy of present love and the anticipation of future blessings.
So, I’ve turned off my Facebook flashbacks.
I’d rather choose when and how I remember things.
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