Memories. There is something special about them. Although we live in the same world, we all have our own experiences turning them into unique memories. For some of us going down memory lane can be an amusing ride, for others quite the opposite. What happens is that memories and emotions go hand in hand. Every time we experience something, from a new ice cream flavor to a birth of a child, an emotion is engraved into our mind and our body. There is now an emotion - pleasant or unpleasant depending on the experience - attached to a memory. How is this influencing our lives and the way we perspective the world?
Put in simple terms, let us say there are good and bad memories. There are the good ones, warming up our hearts, making us cozy and feel like smiling. It can be the first time you learned how to ride a bike, your first love, a fun trip with your friends, a book you enjoyed, a successful meeting with clients, your kids ’first words. And there are also bad memories. Causing you discomfort, making you wriggle inside. Perhaps a breakup, the loss of a loved one, a conflict with your boss, a failed deadline at work.
Despite good or bad, where do all these memories end up? I call it our “memory box”, a place where we keep our most meaningful life stories. What we do with the box and with its content, it is up to us to decide. You may be thinking - I will hold on to the good memories and forget about the bad ones. I’d ask you to pause for a second and ask yourself: Where is the value of keeping both memories, the good and the bad? What do they mean to you? Is there something to learn from them?
They are not just memories, are they? You have emotions bonding you to those memories. You have put them in your memory box. Does that mean they are stored for good? Or are they telling you something? Will they go away if you just ignore them? Probably not as they are part of who you are.
Perhaps not all of them are worth your attention and energy, the same way you do not have to dig them all up. What could help is looking at your memory box is if it is your toolbox. Inside there are memories, emotions, experiences you can make use of, not only to apply to your daily life but also to guide you through your own journey into the person you want to be.
It is up to you to decide how to best use your memory box. At times, it can become a bit overwhelming to look inside. Though avoiding its existence may weight in your physical and mental wellbeing. So, are you taking a peek or looking away?