Memory Does More Than Link You To Your Past - Grasshopper
It's a difficult concept to grasp but the past does not exist. The remnants of the past are just that – remnants. When we call the trail of the comet the comet itself, we have mislabeled the past as the present.
Memories trick us into believing the past exists. The past has died and is buried; our memory is the graveyard.
The key to making memories useful is not to attempt to make them current; that's futile. The key is to harness the power of a memory and use its energy to fuel the present.
You have a choice every time you encounter a memory. You can attempt CPR on it, but that's like attempting to resuscitate a mannequin, or you can tap into the energy of the memory.
If you have the capacity to remember, you have the ability to access this energy.
Memories are powerful. They can cause us to laugh or cry, or do both at the same time. Those are automatic responses to memories. It's after we have this initial reaction is where the choice point comes in.
We can choose to take a long walk around in the dead wood of the past or use it to fire up our present moments and blaze a trail forward.
Taking a walk down memory lane and coming forward with nothing but regret is missing the magic of a memory.
When you learn to extract the energy from a memory, you open up a whole new way to energize yourself.
Just remember that memories run on two tracks – the content track and the energy track. You can use your memories as a way of separating the wheat from the chaff.
This is nothing new. People have used this separation practice and have used this energy to create new ideas and ways of doing things for a long time.
You may not immediately recognize the name, Candice Lightner, but she is the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). She found a way to channel the energy from a very sad memory, the death of her 13 year old daughter by a drunk driver, and create an organization to acutely shine awareness on this devastating practice.
Your memories can bind you to the past or they can restart you after you have stalled.
Recognize the energy associated with a memory. It's not good energy or bad energy, it's just energy. You can use it to fuel the internal merry-go-round of going over the story again, or you can plug it into the present and create a new future that doesn't have you going around in circles.
I witnessed two very diverse people tap into this energy this past Friday and separate themselves from their seriousness. Commentators, Chris Matthews of MSNBC TV and Michael Savage, a syndicated radio host couldn't be more diametrically opposed on political philosophies. Matthews lines up on the left and Savage on the right.
On Friday night, both of them played a clip of an old song on their shows. Matthews played "I'm Sorry" by Brenda Lee and Savage played "You Send Me" by Sam Cooke. Both were making serious points on their programs but when the music started to play, they both softened.
The energy of the memory got them to put down their swords for just a moment and remember they can respond differently if they choose.
Using the energy of a memory is remembering to forget the content and plug into a source that gives you recourse.
All the best,
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