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Let’s see if you find this scenario strange too? Do you find yourself call ing the roll in an effort to get one of your kids or grandkids names out of your mouth? Or… sometimes, does even the dog’s name creep into your list of names your calling out looking straight at your child or your precious grandchild. Yep, I knew you are guilty as charged as well!
So here’s the question: Why is it that we can’t remember our child’s name at a given second; however, a gloom and doom memory can forever be etched into our mind and we can recount vivid details of that memory? Or can we?
It is these memories that keep therapists in business or make us go on an impulsive shopping trip (my therapy) and we buy things we don’t even pretend to need! Your inner Eeyore will and can convince you of anything! And… I do mean anything!
So, two things to remember regarding memories —
(1) Be careful of memories that hinder you!
(2) A gloomy inner voice Eeyore can rob you in seconds of your peace, joy, and hope!
Now, having conveyed that, let me explain a bit in more detail. After much research, we now a lot about memories. In fact, some of the memories that we may have are not even factually based memories that actually happened like we think it did. In other words, some of those gloom and doom memories are shaped hugely by what happened before or even after the event took place and our actual memory of the actual event is distorted to match emotions of what happened prior. Interesting huh?
So, how do we move past these scenarios? Advice…
(1) Don’t take it personally — meaning you may never know the motives of the other person; however, the real motive may not match what you perceive to be the motive. Our lives are difficult enough without always assuming the worst. So, on the spectrum of the worst and the best, try to create the best memory of the event instead of the worst!
(2) Don’t generalize, internalize, or exaggerate to the point where the truth is hard to find — meaning just because one discrepant event does turn out perfect doesn’t mean that everything turns our that way but if you generalize and Eeyore wins then you will say something like, “This always happens to me… I just can’t get it right!”
(3) Be a spin doctor — meaning we all have painful memories of mistakes that we’ve made, mistakes that someone we love has made in reference to us; take the memory as painful as it might be and determine what you learned from it — how did it help you to grow? The first memory is very painful but it’s that second memory that heals! It’s always our choice!
(4) Keep this; toss that — meaning if you are reminded of a painful memory, what positives can you keep from the experience? Keep the positives and toss everything else! Keep the good stuff and push past the pain! (I’m repeating this for myself…) Keep the good stuff and push past the pain! If you figure out how to do this before I do, please share some pointers!
(5) Don’t Be an Elephant — meaning we all have people who have done awful things to us — our friends, our co-workers… heck even our spouse! Do we conjure up each and every mistake? Now, honestly, yes, we must be wise and set boundaries for ourself so that the same mistake is not repeated five times let’s say; however, don’t continue to try to retrieve a memory that evoked such pain and riddles the same anger in you once again (GUILTY AS CHARGED). Most importantly, these are those memories that keep us from healing in a specific scenario. These are the memories that keep us from inner joy, peace, and hope on a daily basis!
So, in a nutshell, managing our memories better in terms of what they can have control over, can help us experience joy, hope, and peace on a daily basis no matter what comes our way! So, in our list of twelve different ways to experience joy, hope, and peace daily, this is number one: MANAGE THOSE MEMORIES and don’t let them manage you!
Food for Thought:
(1) How do you feel about the thought that memories can be somewhat subjective based on what you read?
(2) Out of the five pieces of advice given above, which one do your struggle with the most?
(3) Are you “being an elephant” about something?
(4) What precautions are you willing to take to protect yourself from being torn apart once again or hurt by distorted thoughts, perceptions, or conclusions when you haven’t managed your memories very well?
Also, if you keep forgetting your kid’s names or your grandkid’s names, just put name tags on them every morning!