The Tyranny of Memories: An Unsolved Puzzle

Photo by Ken Treloar on Unsplash

Edit: I may have a partial solution to this problem, which I’ll write about soon.

I hope in the last post that you didn’t think that I have it all together now, because I don’t. Today I’m going to share with you something that I don’t have a solution for, just a partial answer. I post what I’ve found here in the hopes that perhaps we can find an answer together.

One of my chief difficulties lately has been dealing with the memories of past events–embarrassing things I have done and said from my childhood up until now. The embarrassment is just as acute as when I first did or said whatever it was. I can’t get it to go away easily. I kick myself around for a while. In Charismatic fashion, I’ve tried ‘binding’ the thought and ‘casting it down’, which doesn’t work.

Something that has helped me this week is this little phrase. I don’t know where it came from, because I can’t find an attribution:

I have sensations, but I am not those sensations.

I have feelings, but I am not those feelings.

I have thoughts, but I am not thoughts.

This has helped me let go of the thoughts a little easier: I have thoughts, but I am an observer of those thoughts, and those thoughts do not dictate who I am or how I live. They’re just noise, and I can be an impartial observer and just let those thoughts go, because they are not me.

This has helped me a little. I think that ultimately I am going to have to come to peace with myself and my past, and I don’t know how that will go. I am slowly learning to look inward and accept myself, but in the meantime, I press on and do whatever helps me get through the day. Sometimes getting through the day is the best you can do, and there’s no shame in that.