Filter your Memories

Happened to view a discussion on TV regarding Memories.The program was ‘Discussion Arena’,an unique program where a topic is chosen and there are two teams,one speaking for and another against. There is usually a judge who hears both sides of the arguments and pronounces his verdict at the end of the discussions. This time the topic was whether ‘Great Memory is Bad or Good’.

There were interesting arguments for both the viewpoints. The person who spoke for ‘Great Memory is Good’ had this to say-‘Think about a guy who has come up in life and still remembers the people who helped him along the way. Don’t you think it is good’. Yes,it is definitely good and praiseworthy. No denying it.
The speaker for ‘Great Memory is Bad’ had this to say-‘Think about the person who remembers all the bad things which happened in his life. Don’t we advise such people-forget all the bad incidents as nightmares and carry on with your life’. Oh yes,she was also right.Hearing both sides left me wondering about what we remember the most in our lives. I have read about amnesia patients whose memories have been wiped out. For such people, it is as though they have lost a part of themselves. After all, life is a treasure trove of memories. I am not talking about remembering birthdays,anniversaries etc. That is another part of it.

The art of memorizing is something we learn as we grow up. Students learn to memorize formulas,equations,poetry,quotes,maths tables and what not. Students who remember clearly are the ones who have excelled at the art of memorizing. They tend to interrelate things which help them to recall one from the other.

We tend to remember what appeals more to us. We remember the taste of mother’s cooking even when we are miles away from home. An email/Facebook message from a long lost friend brings back lovely memories.

There were times when I had to travel by cab and the driver played some FM channels. Listening to old melodies brought back memories associated with the songs. There was a song from a movie from my college days. The song brought back evergreen memories.I could remember lot of details about the song-how we had analyzed the lyrics and how we friends had enjoyed the song together.

Recently met with some of my school friends. One of them was a treasure house of school days’ memories. She is now a housewife. I couldn’t help but marvel at her amazing memory about our school days. She remembered all the school teachers,their names,what subjects they taught,even what saree and blouse they wore. She could recall small anecdotes about all our friends. Really amazing,given that there were some classmates who couldn’t even recognize many friends. And what she told me later,was even more surprising. She mentioned that she has a bad memory these days and forgets things while doing house hold chores.

That set me thinking. Perhaps,the mind registers only those incidents which affected us more. Whatever appealed more to the five senses is registered more firmly in the mind. One reason could be that we replay the incidents again and again in our mind because it has affected us in some way or the other.

So,can we control what we remember?
Of course,yes.

Memories which evoke positive feelings in us can be  replayed multiple times in our mind so that it gets ingrained in our conscience.Try to relate one positive memory with another.For example,if you have received a gift from someone special,remember the gift as well as the affection of the person who gifted it.
However,if there are incidents which we want to forget,we must try to shut our mind to the negativity associated with it. Slowly,the incident fades away from memory and even if we are forced to recall such incidents later,the finer details are mostly forgotten.Instead,lessons learnt from the bad incidents should be remembered.This will help to channelize our energy in the right direction.
‘An idle mind is a devil’s workshop,fill your mind with good memories and related positive feelings,leaving no room for negative feelings associated with bad memories.
This helps to achieve peace of mind in the long run and results in better mental well being.
Happy Remembering!!


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