What I Learned This Week: Memories Don’t Have To Hurt

One of the coolest things I have learned through my Life Patterns Certification classes is the realization that we don’t have to keep any of our old memories, especially the painful ones.  They do us absolutely no good, and as a matter of fact, many of them keep us in destructive cycles from which we wish we could be free.  Habits and repeated cycles are kept in place by unresolved emotions, and those emotions are trapped in memories we have.

As long as the memory and the emotion remain, whenever we feel a similar emotion, we will time travel back to that event and respond as if we were still that age in that situation. We overreact in the present and don’t know why. We cannot seem to be able to figure out how to problem solve our current issues and we don’t know why.  It is all because of a memory, and here’s the kicker – the memory may not even be completely accurate!

Did you know that eye witnesses to events are only 25% accurate in what they remember?  So we cannot trust what we remember as if it is the gospel truth. In addition, we only remember things from the vantage point of however old we were when the event happened, and if it happened when we were young, then our understanding may not be accurate.  Even if it happened to us as adults, we still may not have completely understood what happened and why, ascribing meanings that don’t apply.

I had an elementary school incident that I carried with me for decades that in my memory was a moment of horrible persecution by another girl during one of my first dodgeball games.  She yelled, “Get the girl in the overalls!”  But when I invited Jesus back into the memory with me, he walked me over to the side view of the event and let me see that what I had perceived in reality was not a personal attack on me – it was just how you play the game. You pick someone you think won’t be able to catch or avoid the ball and try to get them out.  He showed me that my 12 year old self had read the event wrong, but I had carried extreme fear and hatred for this girl for decades because of how I viewed what happened to me.  Once I saw the event for what it was and could resolve my lifelong question of why she had picked me out and had been so mean to me, the memory and the associated emotion went away.

So why keep a memory, especially when it may not have been accurate?  And even if it was accurate, you know the event happened – why keep the painful emotions connected with the memory and the memory itself alive? What purpose do they serve, except if you are trapped in unforgiveness and anger and want to keep the memory so you can retain that anger? (You can read about that in my upcoming course on Forgiveness.)

People might say, “I have to keep the memory as it is because it is really what happened to me.  It is the truth.”   But this is my response to them.  What if you had an accident that caused you to have surgery, and it left a big scar as well as pain from nerve damage.  The doctor comes up to you and tells you, “We can remove the scar and get rid of the pain, so you won’t have any reminders of the surgery.”

Would you say, “No, I have to keep the scar and the pain because the surgery really did happen, and I need to keep them as proof”?  No, you would let the doctor remove the scar and eliminate the pain.  It is the exact same way with painful memories. We are not pretending the event never happened, but we are removing the effects of the event so they no longer control you in the present or the future.

I have learned first hand how changing unhealthy and damaging memories can set you free from them.  Once I learned the secret to doing it, I have been systematically resolving all of the events from my past.  I cannot change what historically happened, but I can stop the memories from hurting me in the present and causing me to overreact or act uncontrollably.  The most important and powerful result has been how it has changed my underlying feelings toward people in my life – the underlying hurt and resentment that has separated me from them is slowly dissolving away.

I have also been doing this for my clients as well.  We are resolving past painful issues that were never resolved so they can be removed from the mix when we are dealing with problems in the present.  We can’t move forward when we are stuck in the past. It is like a string tied to our ankle and a post – it keeps up going in endless circles, and we don’t understand we have the power to cut the string and be free!

  • So if you want to be free from these damaging memories and the unresolved emotions, contact me.
  • If you are making bad decisions over and over again, if you seem to pick the same men and get into unhealthy relationships, we can find the memory that is driving your decisions.
  • If you overreact in every day situations, that is also connected to a prior event to which you are connected by that string.

I can teach you how to cut this string – and every other string that binds you.  You can be free!

So make a healthy decision.  Decide to cut off all the hindrances that keep you from experiencing peace and contentment and from living righteously.  Resolve those emotions by changing those memories.

Your sister in Christ,

Penny