PAINFUL MEMORIES

Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it. ~Michel de Montaigne

We have all experienced painful memories…when looking deeper, we find the problem is largely felt as a defeat and humiliation of our personal self…it is the nature of our personal self to hope that its image and goals succeed…but we find life is not always an advocate of our hopes and dreams…life has many unavoidable disasters and tragedies…and their memories often cause continuing pain and despair.

We tend to replay the experience in our memory as if in some way it can be corrected and therefore offering us peace of mind…we wonder if events were only a little different the whole problem would never have occurred…we may also look for someone who could have been responsible…and question if their behavior was different the whole situation could been avoided…and if we decide it was our self who is the guilty one, we have added a significant complication to the problem.

As these painful feelings continue, there is naturally a desire to control and eliminate them…but the more we resist and try to escape from the memory, the more it comes to our awareness…as Carl Jung so aptly said, “What you RESIST, PERSISTS”…the subconscious mind is inclined to remind us of memories which have the most intense emotions…and when we resist a memory it only increases its emotional intensity …and so a vicious circle is created.

Paradoxically, if we can accept and allow the emotional memory to freely surface to awareness, we have eliminated the primary cause of its continuous reminder…as we passively accept the memory it significantly reduces its emotional intensity…and when this happens the memory fades into the background of the subconscious mind.

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