Altered memories

Do you remember the first day of school? What about the first time you were kissed? Probably you have vivid memories of those days. But do you remember the first time you ate bread? You don’t, because it means nothing to you.

Everything that happens in your life does not get equal space in your mind. The way you feel about something can increase or decrease the impact it has on you. Your emotions attach to the event and they create more space in your mind for that specific event. It doesn’t matter if the emotion is good or bad, what matters is the intensity and the duration of the feeling.

The longer and more powerful you feel something, the closer it gets to becoming part of your core identity. If you are not aware that this is how things work, you might end up holding on to what is wrong for you. Learn to question your emotions, find the reason you are feeling them, and decide whether they are good or bad for you.

In this moment you are the sum of everything you choose to hold on to, and if you don’t like it, there is no one else to blame for it. This is not to minimize the obstacles you had to overcome or the severity of the situations you had to escape from. But, now that you were able to find a better place in life, there’s no reason to hold on to how the old place used to make you feel.

How much do you trust your memories? Can you even trust them at all? Most things that make up your memories happened a little differently than you remember them. The feelings you had at that time altered the truth, and then, your mind kept a snapshot of that.

With every time you access a certain memory, it gets modified and then repackaged. So, by now, what you remember might be quite different from what happened. If your recollection of the past is so unreliable, why do you spend so much time there? Why do you give it so much power over the present and the future?

The life you live today doesn’t have to be the same as the life you had before this day. Nobody is forcing you to keep doing things the same way. Once you acknowledge that there’s a pattern to the way you’ve been living, you need to decide if you want to change it.

There’s no blame in keeping things the same, as long as you are happy with that, and there is no blame in wanting to change things either. But just to be clear, you can’t have it both ways. What you did to get to this point has its merits, but it’s becoming clear that it can’t take you any further.

What’s left to do? Try something new and focus on being alive. Enjoy what is in front of you, and let your past be a dictionary that can clarify the future, but not make it a copy of what happened.