Treasure the Good So You Can Handle the Bad
On many occasions you focus on the mistakes you make in life, and yet, you easily forget the good things you do. Life is full of good times that you forget when you look back and only focus on the bad.
The truth is that recalling important moments or details that have marked your life is not an easy task. Our memory works selectively, choosing the memories you want to keep and which ones you’d rather forget.
The memories of our life
Memories are the images, words, smells, sensations and emotions you hold in your life backpack. You can take a heavy load, or on the contrary, you can take a light one. The problem is not walking with a large load; the problem is allowing yourself to feel its weight.
You feel a great weight on your shoulders when you bring forth heavy loads of guilt, sadness and failures with your memories. You can feel like you’re carrying a much lighter load by simply choosing to feel good wearing the backpack. The problem is not living with a backpack of memories; the problem is always choosing the heaviest weight.
You must bear in mind that your memory and your mind are wonderful, but sometimes treacherous, as well. Your mind can play tricks and recover distorted memories or recall them as worse than they really were. Be aware that your emotional state influences the information that you recover in your mind. If you’re in a negative state, you recall negative memories.
“If I search among my memories for those whose taste is lasting, if I write the balance sheet of the moments that truly counted, I surely find those that no fortune could have bought me. You cannot buy the friendship of a companion bound to you forever by ordeals endured together.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery–
Life is about choosing the good memories so you can handle the bad ones
Knowing that your memory doesn’t always work perfectly, the best you can do is take it into account when you find yourself recalling scenes, and repeating them over and over again even though they do nothing but harm us. Think about your memory and make a more objective analysis about your memories.
It’s also essential to remember that everything doesn’t always go the way you would like it in life, but those mistakes are part of your learning process. You are what you are, and you are where you are due to what you have learned.
All those questions you ask yourself: “What if I hadn’t done that…?” “What if I had said that…?” “What if I hadn’t gone there…?” Those were possibilities, and now they’re paths you didn’t end up taking for some reason. Considering alternative solutions and scenarios, and blaming ourselves for not having taken those decisions damages our present.
Think about the road you have ahead of you and what memories you want to add to the backpack of your life. The journey doesn’t end until our lives do, and our memories are just a part of the ride. Keep moving forward; there are still many, many memories to add to your biography.
“Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.”
–Corrie Ten Boom-
The biography of your life
You’re only a draft; a half-finished sketch that you shape along the way with the experiences, thoughts and emotions you associate with them. Don’t allow your biography to be written with malice or hate. Building our life is no easy task. It requires hundreds of thousands of attempts, successes and failures, but life isn’t a test where you’re expected to pick the right answer. No one is born knowing how to live fully.
A good way of sorting our biography is by expressing it. Writing, painting, singing, playing or even building it, are some of the best ways to express who you are. Artistic expression is one of the best forms.
Taking advantage of the good in life so you have the ability to assume the bad means accepting ourselves and embracing what we have experienced. And that’s the greatest gift that you can give yourself: to get to the end of the road and still be yourself.