A memory is not a reality
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Trips Down Memory Lane

Sometimes it's bumpy, sometimes it's smooth.

Trips Down Memory Lane
Sophia Winter

For anyone who needs a little extra inspiration in their life, I highly recommend listening to Oprah's SuperSoul podcast.

I'm someone who takes notes no matter what it is that I'm doing. I'm a list maker, a box-checker, a strike-through-after-I've-finished-the-task kind of person.

I mention this because, from that, I've written down pages upon pages of notes and to-do lists about all the good, juicy information that I get from books or podcasts like this one.

Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual teacher who happened to be the guest speaker on this particular episode of Orpah's SuperSoul podcast that I was listening to on a flight from New York to Charleston.

Immediately, the first quote I wrote down was this: "Memories are thoughts that arise; they are not happening right now, they are not your current reality."

That's some pretty heavy stuff for before 10 am at Laguardia airport.

Nonetheless, it got me thinking (like most things do as you might have noticed by now).

We've all lived through some amazing moments and hopefully, some of those moments are stored in your mind as a memory, and a good one at that!

The other side of this coin is that we've also all lived through some downright terrible, miserable, cringe-worthy, heartwrenching, couldn't-pay-me-to-go-back kind of moments as well.

For some maybe all of those feelings were encapsulated in a single time in your life called "middle school."

For others maybe it was a scary time with a child or maybe it was even what you went through to have your child.

Maybe it was a relationship that ended up teaching you a lot through a lot of tough times.

And I don't just mean a relationship with a significant other. For all intents and purposes, breakups happen way outside the scope of significant others.

If you've ever had a semi-permanent or permanent falling out with a parent, friend, co-worker or family member, then you know what it's like to break up with someone besides a boyfriend or girlfriend.

If you've ever stopped all communication or interaction with another person because of a specific situation then you know what it's like to grieve the loss of someone who is still living.

Hard times are inevitable and luckily, good times are too. The way I look at it, our emotional lives are not exempt from Newton's Third Law: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Meaning, if life takes you to a low place then you better hold on and expect that it'll take you to an equal and opposite high place.

The reason this quote by Tolle grabbed me is that for good portions of my life, I've either been the person or knows another person who seems to be living their life based on the repercussions of a past memory.

A memory is simply something remembered from the past so if it happened to you even last week, then I would consider it a memory.

We go through something emotionally challenging and then we begin to live each day from that place.

I'm not saying we should suppress our emotional responses to these memories, I'm not saying that at all.

I fully believe that in order to properly work through a tough time, we have to feel each and every emotion that comes up because by denying we feel that emotion, we only prolong the emotional healing process. But that requires staying in the moment and dealing with that moment so that it doesn't continue to haunt you and replay itself going forward.

However, what I am saying is this: since a memory is a thought that arises, we have to be able to get perspective on the moment to realize that the memory is not our reality since that moment isn't repeating itself over and over anywhere besides in our minds. Since it's not currently happening to us or outside of us, it's not our reality, which means we have the power and control to choose to let the thought rise and then retreat.

We don't have control over whether or not the moment that created the memory happens to us but we do have control over how we react and respond to the moment once it becomes a memory.

So, if you're in a place where you're plagued by a memory then I leave you with this (in the rephrased words of Barba Streisand): leave that memory all alone in the moonlight.

And in the loosely quoted words of Michael Jackson: just beat it because no one wants to be defeated... by a memory, that is.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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