Aching Memories

About Memories #2

2bad-memories

Why do details of the really good memories we want to savor appear blurry, but bad, sad, aching memories show up in hi-def and vibrant color? The loss, the insult, the injury—though unbidden—display themselves in dazzling detail.

Could it have something to do with how often we rehearse them? (Cringe!)

I zeroed in on a powerful truth last year: I can control what I think about. I used to think I was a victim of my thoughts, that I must entertain them whenever they present themselves. Now I know they are under my control—I can pick and choose. And I must. It’s like changing the channel on the television—the program is still being aired but I don’t have to watch it.

I found several tactics effective for thought replacement therapy:

  • I stop and give thanks for half a dozen things—any things, random things. I simply divert my mind to consider my blessings.
  • I pray a blessing on the offender. Yes, really. It deflates the power of my bad memory and works a change in me. (And who knows what it does in their life.)
  • I consider the blessings that came my way in spite of, in the midst of, or following my great sorrow.

These are channel changers. So are listening to worship music, meditating on a favorite verse, changing my physical position.

Another aspect of my thought replacement therapy for memories is to decide to ignore, stuff or deal. Hint: though often a preference, stuffing is not an option. The key word here is decide. Face the memory and realize that ignoring it invites a future visit. Dealing with it may not stop those visits, but a healthier you will respond to the knock and a stronger you will not invite the memory in.

It’s simplistic, I know, and traumatic memories may need the perspective of a counselor. But for those recurring memories that stir bitterness in your heart, I recommend thought replacement therapy for a happier, freer you.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carol L. Brix
    Jan 10, 2019 @ 19:12:19

    Thank you, Barbara, for the reminder. Yes, I used to carry my hurts around in my head, heart, and stomach. Really, my stomach, I was hurting myself by holding on to bad “stuff”. I finally realized that I was hurting only myself, not anyone else who hurt me. I agree with how you do replacement therapy, it works. Lately, I’ve been remembering old hymns out of the hymn books we used to use. I’ve been singing them, and finding the words even healing. It’s interesting how I used to sing them over and over again, and really not grasp the words, now the words go to my heart. God Bless.

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  2. Maude Carolan Pych
    Jan 11, 2019 @ 09:32:53

    Such an excellent & needed message, Barbara. I will use some of your tips! God bless you.

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