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.

10 Responses

  1. Sid,
    I have been suffering anxiety, height phobia and manly monophobia since was four or five years old and I have been taking therapy since I was 20.
    I remembered the event or events took place which made me so anxious and phobic:my mother used to lock our house outside and went away.It was not possible to open it inside because we had outside lock ..I remembered it and everything which disturbed me went away I feel relieved fully.
    You may be right.

  2. Sid, in response to your definitive answer, “”…There isn’t a way to erase memories,” I must clearly object to that claim. Although I am neither a trained psychologist, nor a psychology major – I chew through psychology textbooks, diagnostic and medical journals for fun. We can agree that amnesia is a very real condition. As such, for years, physicians and scientists alike have been investigating the plausibility of memory altercation.

    In 2007 researchers Brandeis University had a breakthrough. ” The research involved electrically stimulating neuronal synapses to strengthen them, a process known as long-term potentiation (LTP). This process has served as a model system for studying memory. CaMKII has been a leading candidate as a memory molecule because it is persistently activated after LTP induction and can enhance synaptic transmission, properties that are necessary for a memory molecule.”

    Now, with that taken into consideration. Let’s look at electroshock therapy that was used throughout federally funded mental health institutions between the 50s-70s. It was known that by inducing a seizure, the patient would have no memory for the procedure or hours leading up to the event. Thus, I would have to argue with you that there is plausibility for memory altercation, but not enough scientific study to prove it either way. Now, if only I could get enough money to go to a research focused school to prove my point. 🙂

    Best Regards.

  3. thanks! ill have to check that out.

  4. Hi Mason,

    Your color experience may be a form of “synesthesia”….check out the link below which describes this characteristic.


  5. When i am alone and end up playing what i feel, ill see colors if i dont “snap out of it.” These are not pictures, more like waves and strands that flow better than the sweetest screen saver.
    Although i end up thinking about things and play for what i feel from them, i dont see actual images. what could be the reason for this?

    i have noticed certain colors come out to certain feelings. ex. a virbrant blend of a few blues and a green to truly felt depressed feel
    or a white surrounded by purple on both sides to more of a … pure feel? i cant describe it with words very well.

  6. Hi Amith,

    There is no way to erase a memory but it is possible to change the way we view a memory…if we resist a memory it will continue to haunt us so healing occurs only when we accept it….one way to achieve this is by reminding yourself to “Let it Be” and if you continue to repeat this message over a period of time it will eventually be heard by the subconscious mind and the acceptance will happen.


  7. is it possible to erase the part of the memory what is stored in our brain….? if so please suggest me the ways how we can
    do and what equipments we need in details…

  8. Carol,

    There is good possibility you can recall the association of the road near your college.. it probably can’t be done consciously but instead may happen similar to remembering a name only after struggling to recall it do we remember the name when we finally give up.


  9. I can relate. There are certain places where I’ve been that pop up in pictorial memory. It’s strange, because there is nothing out of the ordinary to explain why it pops up. One place in particular comes back quite often. It’s just a road not too far from where I went to college.

  10. Thank you, this settled a very irritating questions neither my friend or I could answer.

    sorry about the fake email address, I don’t give it out to just anyone you know.

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