For those following along this is chapter 5 in my book. To read from the beginning go back to “Revisiting Perspective.”
Memories: The driving force behind everything you do, how you look at things, how you react, how or why you avoid anything, why you put yourself through the pain or the emotional wreckage you believe is real. Memories are considerably like personalities. For in fact they can make your personality what it is. Because of your conscious and subconscious mind remembering past experiences becomes almost like a bitter game. After a while I’m beginning to sound like a broken record with all of this talk of personality, experience, dreams, etc. But everything is interconnected and everything holds its own purpose.
We all sit back and reflect on our lives. We all sit back and think of the good and bad times that seemingly make up our lives. We hold on to things in so many ways because despite sometimes needing change or even wanting it, things that are comfortable or familiar feel better in this moment, even if the moment is already in the past.
I’ve been through a lot and nothing all at the same time, but my memories make me who I am. They are a part within me that can either be building me up or be used against me. Sometimes memories of the familiar make us sink into things we should be avoiding because right now it’s easy. Sometimes they push us forward because we need it. Memories can affect us. Make us sink into old habits, make us better and worse emotionally, make us make change, make us thrive, give us purpose.
I have a saying, “to know where you’re going you have to know where you’ve been.” In a lot of ways it works and in a lot of ways it doesn’t. When it comes down to it, living in the past and the past alone does not a future make. It allows you to let life pass you by. It allows you go through the motions rather than dream or really live a life. We must move forward as time only goes in one direction. We can however look back and see how far we’ve come and the progress we’ve made.
Most of the time have to learn from our mistakes by remembering what we’ve previously done that did not yield the results that we wanted. But a memory is a very harsh thing to use against yourself. I read once, that when you remember an event or something that happened in your life you aren’t remembering the actual event. You’re remembering the last time you remembered the event. For example, the first time a significant other says I love you. Something memorable in your life – I’d hope for good reasons. You remember this a day later, a week later, a month later. On that day you remember the event. A week later you remember your first instance of that event. A month later you remember the event from the perspective of a month later. And so on. This may not be 100% true, but it does make a lot of sense. As our feelings change about those around us or even ourselves and the decisions we’ve made become memories of the events that shape us everything changes.
I’ve been blessed and cursed with a memory that allows me to remember my first day of Kindergarten. Some people think wow seriously?! I wish I had your memory. But honestly sometimes remembering everything makes it really hard to move forward. I think it was Dumbledore who said, “it does not due to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” In the same sense it does not do to dwell in the past and forget to live. We must learn from our mistakes and we must allow ourselves to feel and move forward based on knowing where we’ve come from, where we’ve been recently and where we might be now. For the over thinkers and the dreamers out there remember that the fairytale came out of someone’s memory. It may not happen in reality but creating your own version of a fairytale exists in your mind. Everyone goes through some kind of suffering but dwelling on the hurt doesn’t fix the problem. Everyone learns in general but not everyone does so easily. Sometimes we need to remember we’re all human and we don’t need to use our memories against ourselves or anyone else.
So the next time you’re thinking back on an event that you believe is innocent or you believe changed your life, maybe the answers in which you seek lie within the perspective of the occurrence of the memory itself. Or maybe it was just a really good moment.