Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tangled Up With the Past

You never really know just how intertwined you are with the precedent, until the echo whispers to you. These echoes can take the form of one conduit or a combination. Echoes, such as a song, a photograph, or perhaps that scent that floats in the air of a distant memory. Sights, smells, sounds, trigger memories that can stop you dead in your tracks, drain the color from your skin, and cause you to loose your breath. And yet the same sensory system can trigger memories that instantly cause you to smile, give a sensation of warmth and comfort, and reminisce to a memory that causes you to reflect…

Face and Embrace

… Your memories and your experiences. Deal with “mistakes” and reflect on “attainment”. This is not in any way saying analyze your past. Instead it’s dealing with what is lost and taking a page of wisdom from what has come and gone. On the reverse end of the spectrum, it’s reflecting on your joyous moments and taking that joy and using it as fuel to attain further victory of bliss.

When to Let Go

In dealing you must stop trying to figure out specifically how you feel, stop scheduling the “I’ll never make that same mistake” in the future, stop deciding on a plan your mind is forcing you to make. Instead, learn and move on. Easier said than done, I recognize that more than I care to give merit to; but life is a series of events that lead you to a place where you are exactly suppose to be. It may not seem like that, and you may be fighting those facts. Truth is whatever happens, happens. We make choices, good and bad, that lead us to the today, to the right now. Living with regret in the tomorrows of our past is not a road map to the future; if anything, it’s a hindrance of preventing “living” the today and looking onward to the tomorrow. Keep in mind that your past cannot be fix or replace or redone – if you try to it will hold you back from the tomorrows yet to be.

Facing failures, letting go, saying goodbye, moving on … its like torture to the mind. Even if the memories are painful, you may still struggle with how to let them find their place in the past. Believe me; I fight the knowledge that there is no easy way of letting go of the past. Reaching forward requires effort and energy that we seem drained of most days. The key to remember is that you must place confidence in yourself that your own strength and courage, manifesting deep inside you, is what can stimulate the necessary mechanics to utter goodbye to the before and hello to what is yet to come. No longer can you be consumed with worry, fear, regret – anxiety and doubt must take their rightful place in the past. You will survive; you can overcome the memories that at times haunt you. Even better, you will face what is yet to come with more wisdom, a sense of pence, and a more grounded and centered positions in your thoughts, goals, and wants.

When to Welcome In

In reflecting, you must take it all in. As I sit out on the deck and type, I feel the winds of change. As one season ends, another begins; and each bring with it memories of the past that lighten the day. More lately than usual, I have been flooded with memories that seem to magically be equipped with a time machine, stimulating flashbacks of the past that are hard to deal with … but in that photographic memory box there is also glimpses into those moments that today instantly shine a smile on my face.
….. Like that Monday evening, after 18 hours of labor, I was able to hold my darling son for the first time and be shocked at how instantly and how much you could love someone.
…. Or the weekends my grand-grandmother and I worked diligently in her living room so that she could pass her talent of quilting on to me – I can still remember the smell of her house – it takes me to a place of comfort and familiarity.
….. Or to the only place I felt safe as a child, the only place of solidarity – my grandparents’ back yard – where we would frolic in the woods, put pennies on the train tracks, and drink ice tea sitting on a porch with two of the most influential people in my life.
… Or that weekend away one summer night in June, nestled in the arms of my first love, gazing at the stars, where I heard for the first time … I love you …
…. Or the feeling of sand beneath my toes as I ran to the beach in California to dive into the ocean for the first time … I felt alive, carefree … and at peace.

Now each one of those moments in my history has its downside … my great grandmother past away that very winter she was teaching me … my grandparents sold their home a few years back … motherhood also came with the words single parent … and my first love didn’t last. Yet I don’t associate the yin with the yang of the memories … it’s like each has its separate compartment in my brain and comes to surface when its time.

You remember the times that lighten your heart by having the knowledge those moments in your life are collected and stored to reflect upon. We can love what is ahead, but loving what has come before. In our cortex is the home of amygdale: the portion of the mind that is related to emotion. This is an important factor in acclimatize memories according to meaning, based on the intensity of the emotion. Same is with memories – we place them into categories, in order of importance, and they seem to surface when we need to feel them the most. When I feel trapped, I remember how it felt to be in that vast ocean – no space can confine me and it’s up to me to overrule the negative emotions and implement the constructive, life altering mind-sets. Reflecting on those, feeling the moments gone by, gives us hope and a light into the tomorrows yet to come. And with their coming, you can be assured, more memories will be created that one day can too bring a glimpse of the past to reminisce upon … and to give a smile to what is yet to come.

As Each Day Passes, More Memories are Made

We have friends of ours who live about an hour outside of St. Louis. I drive there often, spending time at their lake, on the beach, disconnecting from the pressures of reality and reconnecting with my soul. In my bedroom there I keep one of my prize possessions – my memory box. Inside you will find photographs, ticket stubs, champagne corks, Outkast's Atliens CD, keys to my first car, a ring my grandma gave me, my son’s hospital bracelet and so much more. Some times I am oblivious to the desperate need my mind has to reconnect. I ignore the warning signs and when that happens, the memories of the past take my breath away. I race to it, pull it out, and just hold “memories” … for when they are near, either in hand, or in mind, comfort sets in that they can never be taken away … only remembered, and built upon.

Cherish your memories – the good the bad and the in between – for they have made you into what you are today. They have given you more blessings than you notice more opportunism that you take. Besides, if you had turned left inside of right, would you be in a position of the vast that is still in store? You remember as a way to add to your life, and as a way to learn from it. These ways are avenues to creation that give you insight from your past that carries forward in lessons and memories yet to come … turn the page in this chapter, and begin the memoir to the next.

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