Memories Are Made Of This

“Our lives are determined less by the past events in our lives then by the way we remember them. ” ~ Mooji

First of all, I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year and blessings for a year of health, happiness and prosperity. Second, now that the holidays are past, it’s time to jump back into our intention to use writing as a tool to create our authentic lives, and what better time than the beginning of a brand new year. In essence, the page is blank and we can write anything on it that we want!

Before we can create our authentic life, we have to acknowledge the lives we have lived thus far, and that includes the good, the bad and the ugly. Oddly enough, how we decide which parts of our lives are good, bad or ugly depends less on what actually transpired as it does on how we remember and process them. Let me give you an example:

Two children grow up in the same single parent home. Their mom worked very hard to give them the best life that she could. She worked at whatever jobs she could get so that her children could have their needs met. There was always a roof over their heads, food on the table and clothes on their backs. The mom tried to find ways to provide happy times for the kids even though there wasn’t much money for extras. Vacations were “staycations” with picnics in the park and trips to the library to rent movies and books, or listen to story time. Christmas sometimes came with homemade decorations and gifts, and clothes were often hand-me-downs. Now, one child remembered this childhood as one of adventure and thinking outside the box. The child never felt deprived or different from others because whatever they had came with love. The other child, however, only remembered the embarrassment of wearing someone else’s clothes, eating soup made from bones from the butcher to stretch a dollar, and homemade presents instead of the latest toys that other kids had. As a result, the first child grew up to believe that you did what you could, with what you had, and it was okay as long as there was love. The other child’s focus growing up was to never have to live that way again and to make sure that their children had a “normal” life. Two kids, same upbringing, but totally different memories of their childhoods.

An interesting experiment would be to ask different members of your family, especially siblings and cousins,  how they remember growing up together. Ask your parents, aunts, uncles, and close family friends to share stories about how they remember you as a child including the home where you grew up, the school you went to and anything else they can remember. Then compare it to what you remember. Similar? Different? Wondering what kid they’re talking about because it certainly can’t be  you? Ask yourself if the way you remember it has had a positive or negative affect on  your current life, and how does it help or hinder your intention to create a truly authentic life?

I cannot stress enough the importance of journaling these questions and answers, and, also, if you kept journals as a kid, to see if you can find them and re-read what you wrote about how you experienced those events as they happened.

What I want you to take away from all of this is not regret for a life not lived as you wished you had, but the clues to where you are now and why, and the insights to go forward with clarity and excitement for the year ahead. Make new memories that will always be remembered with joy, love, and happiness, and that you will love to share with your children, grandchildren and generations to follow.

Peace and blessings!

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4 thoughts on “Memories Are Made Of This

  1. Appreciating your encouragement to do this, Barb, “What I want you to take away from all of this is not regret for a life not lived as you wished you had, but the clues to where you are now and why, and the insights to go forward with clarity and excitement for the year ahead. “

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  2. Happy New Year Barb! Yes, I have seen first hand how siblings hold different views of growing up in the same family through my work as a therapist. It is all in our interpretation that memories are held. Thanks for your insightful post.

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  3. Happy new year, Barb! One Christmas, My sister and I bought all of our aunts and uncles journals to record their memories of childhood. We asked them to bring their journals to the next Christmas gathering to share what they had written. It was so interesting to hear the stories from different perspectives. Some of my aunts and uncles were surprised at what others had written. I think it was a healing and insightful experience for all.

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