What if all your problems are just memories?
When I first heard that question I’ll admit I was stumped. Thankfully I kept an open mind and I’m glad to tell you the question now makes sense, and it can become a powerful method for re-training ourselves to stay present and detached from past behavior patterns that can cause a lot of damage in all areas of our lives.
Think of a problem that you used to believe you had (notice how we purposely phrase the question in the past tense). If you are having a hard time accepting that the problem is behind you, include every moment that has passed as part of the past.
Okay now, we just have to think of the past as anything that is not happening right now and we can see what choices are available to us with clear eyes.
Because this is a big change in our thinking, it requires conscious effort to make it a familiar response. If we’re no longer tied to the mistakes of our past then we’re free to make decisions based on reason and we’ll always be centered enough to respond, rather than react. This approach teaches us to remember how we used to behave in a certain way so that we can finally let go of behaving that way out of habit.
It may sound bizarre, but it works. And, it’s enlightening. So many of the things we used to believe about ourselves don’t have to hold true anymore; not if we don’t want them to. So that voice in your head that used to say, “I always pick the wrong stock,” or “I’m always late for important stuff,” doesn’t need to be true right now. That can be the old story.
That was then, this is now; that’s the root of this new way of thinking that challenges us to take responsibility by seeing that we actually create our problems by expecting them. If we believe that we have a problem then we focus on whatever validates that belief.
HOW IT WORKS
If you had access to lots of resources, if mentors were available to you, if your young life was filled with love, coaching, support, encouragement, and success in overcoming obstacles, then your background – through your memories – is considered enriched. That means you had a good foundation on which to build your self-esteem. You had a head start in most situations and you experienced very little self-doubt compared to most other people.
If you consciously select the elements today to enrich your background tomorrow, then over a short time you’ll have upgraded your own background. Too many people carry their background around with them as if it’s a burden that is keeping them from living the rest of their life.
Your background is an extremely important part of who you are, but it isn’t cast in concrete. You can get over it. Or, as a popular T-shirt states: It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. Every day you have new experiences which, tomorrow, will be part of your background.
You can even break patterns that have gone on for generations. In the movie Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, his mentor told him: “You have to conquer the demons inside you. Otherwise you will pass them on to your children.” The demons are your fearful memories; you have to face them and defeat your fears. All courage and strength must be developed by facing our fearful memories and then transcending them by creating a stronger memory.
While looking at the possible disadvantages of your background, also try to identify the corresponding advantages in order to turn a potentially destructive experience into a strength of character. One currently strong woman was adopted into an extremely abusive family. It was not a situation that any child should be reared in, yet she survived and came away with a determination to raise her own children with love and kindness. She also devotes most of her time to helping other families break the cycle of abuse. She is very effective because she’s been there. Strength instead of weakness.
What were the advantages and disadvantages you were given: genetic pluses and minuses, emotional support and guidance, mentors, counselors, role models, learned attitudes, educational opportunities, connections and contacts, and exposure to different attitudes and cultures.
Memories serve us in other ways.
For instance, a lot of people insist, “My memory is terrible,” or “I can’t remember anything.” In most of the cases, their memory is fine. The power to remember is certainly there. They just need to take the time to learn ways to ‘register’ the events more clearly, so they can ‘recall’ them more successfully, later. Here are 7 proven methods to enhance your memory:
- Positive expectation. Believe that you have a good memory. If you believe you have a poor memory and you can’t remember anything, your mind will do everything to prove you right.
- Interest and importance: Recall of a particular event or detail depends on the interest we take and the importance we assign to that detail or event, at the time when it is taking place.
- Pay attention: If you want to recall something, pay close attention to it at the time. The problem may not be a memory, the problem may be one of attention.
- Memory is an active process. The more active attention you pay, the more details you observe, the more you think, reason, and comprehend, the more associations you make of what you know with what you are trying to learn, the more you will retain and be able to recall, later on.
- A relaxed mind helps memory: Learn with a relaxed mind. Recall the learned material with a relaxed mind. Let’s take as an example a situation where you misplace your car keys. If you get too agitated with yourself in
trying to recall something, as is the case in this example, you are in for frustration. But, if you relax your mind, and calmly go through the events backward, you are more likely to remember where you left them.
- Reduce anxiety. While mild anxiety can increase interest and attention, high anxiety can impair attention and concentration, and therefore, limit
the recall of learned material.
- Use your favorite sensory channel. Some remember better what they see, ‘visual memory’, and some remember better what they hear, ‘auditory memory’. If you are someone who remembers better what you hear, then listen to a book on tape, rather than reading it.
I hope these tips were useful to you.