Lost in the Memories

Rembrance
Looking for hope.

Swamped by Memories

Have you ever had a week where your memories completely overwhelmed you? One of those weeks where you functioned on autopilot, only doing those things you needed to do since your brain is occupied elsewhere?

I did, recently. I’d been working on some issues from my past that seemed to be affecting my future, and I got stuck. For me being stuck means my creativity is affected, and I become hard on myself. My inner critic appears to go into hyperdrive, and I struggle to break free.

During this struggle to break free, I find myself looking for ways to help alleviate the emotional pain and discover the motivation to work again. It’s not easy to ensure that the memories no longer have power but that is the goal.

Some things that have worked are:

1. Don’t fight the memories. If the memories appear to be taking over, let them – if only for a few minutes. They won’t last, and fighting seems to give them more power. Memories with power are the last thing you want.

2. Write them out. Journaling is a good way to release all of the emotion that is attached to memories. Sometimes the very act of writing can change your brain to help you heal.

3. Find a place of non-judgement. Memories are something in our past that can have an effect on the future. There is nothing we can do to change them. Judgment, i.e. good vs. bad, can give power to memories and will affect your emotions. Accept the memory just as it is, and you can get past it.

4. Find a trusted person to share the memory. Finding that person is more difficult than it would seem because not every person is capable of handling the more difficult memories. And, not every person is someone to be trusted. At times, seeking a therapist may be the best option, and they have the training to help you process your past.

5. If you are a creative, set a goal and stick to it. During the middle of stuckness, setting a goal of a 15-minute free write or 500 words each day, regardless of the content will help keep your creative juices flowing. Sticking with the habit in spite of where your emotional life will help keep your inner critics at bay.

Freeing ourselves from old, painful memories is possible, though most likely difficult. A lot of things can get in the way of your creative life, and just life in general, but you can overcome to find healing. It takes time and patience, and often a bit of help.

Healing is just another step in finding your intentional life.

For other tips on living an intentional life, check out the rest of my posts.

Best Advice Ever – Don’t Quit

 

Though I am a day late with my post, I wanted to share this little poem that has the best advice I’ve ever seen:

Don’t Quit

by John Greenleaf Whittier

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

This poem is in the public domain.

 
Today, would have been my brother’s 52nd birthday and the message of this poem is exactly what I needed to hear. I hope you find some encouragement in the words.

Journeys Begin With a Single Step

 

It seems that I’ve spent my entire life wishing I was somewhere else, that I was on a journey to somewhere exotic and foreign. While I’ve traveled a bit and to incredible places, I’ve always come home to a seemingly ordinary life. I’ve read quotes recently that say something to the effect ‘create the life you don’t have to get away from’ and now I’m thinking:

Journeys aren’t all about going somewhere else.

However, journeys are about change.

“The journey of 1000 miles begin with one step.” Lao Tzu

Each of us is on a journey. Some are longer and some are shorter than others but they all have one thing in common: each one begins with that single step. The journey to a life you don’t have to get away from begins the same way.

I’ve also discovered that it is always something that starts that journey. A catalyst, if you will. Sometimes this beginning is simply the end of something else. Other times life leaves you no choice but to begin that journey again. When I am working with clients I sometimes call this ‘the full belly syndrome’.

I’m sure we’ve all been at a place when we’ve had enough. When life simply isn’t working and you need to find a different journey. It takes courage to change midstream, for us to overcome our fears for where the journey may take us. It takes courage to walk away from relationships that don’t work or a job that you hate. We want to know where things will go but life seldom gives us guarantees.

It’s all up to you.

You don’t have to know where you are going to take that first step. That step is the hardest one to take simply because it requires faith in yourself.

You always have a choice because nothing happens until you begin to move. It is much easier to keep moving than to start moving. It is not impossible.

Speed is irrelevant on your journey. Sometimes things move fast and sometimes things move slow but since it is your journey, it is generally timely. Besides, you can’t compare your journey to another person’s. You have no idea what has brought them to this place.

Every journey has a rest stop and that is okay. Sometimes we need to take a breather to gather the strength for the next leg of our journey. Rest can be a good thing.

Sometimes I feel as if I am always looking for the next big thing but I am beginning to realize that none of the side trips I take on my journey are wasted. Everything I do, see, or experience becomes part of my journey.

Beginning a new journey is exhilarating and, at times, downright scary.

Take a deep breath and make that first step.

I dare you!