Tips For Memory Work
Written by: Michelle Belanger
Many have approached me with various memories asking for verification, asking for proof. Each of you has asked me at one point or another, "Do you remember this also? Am I crazy? Am I right?" First and foremost, understand that you often remember what is pertinent to you right now in your life. A memory has less significance as fact than it does as a guidepost. It has come into your consciousness to teach you something. Before you ask yourself, "Is this accurate?" ask instead, "Why am I remembering this now?" Analyze the memory for what it has to tell you. If the information is something you can benefit from, the accuracy of the details is irrelevant.
Still, you will want to compare your memories to those of others to test the accuracy, and to learn if the people you remember from before are still with you now. Experiences with Family members from the past can tell you a lot of how you interact with those people today. Again, this is a lesson -- it offers you a standard of behavior which you can then choose to retain or to change. Always remember that the past cannot be undone, but the cycles of the past *can* be changed. Our core will always remain constant, but we can choose to act or not to act upon our impulses. We do not have to be bound by our shortcomings to make the same mistakes over and over again. If we had nothing left to learn or to alter, then we would no longer be incarnating in this place.
While the lesson inherent in a memory is more important than its accuracy, we still do not want to be deluding ourselves. Memories should be examined for what they can teach us first, but once that has been obtained, try to be certain that you are being honest with yourself about the memory. Detach the concerns of your ego, because these can color the memory and change the details depending on your expectations and desires. You will learn nothing from the lesson the memory has to offer if you intermingle its details with fantasy.
If another person has suggested this memory to you, do everything in your power to remain objective in order to know for certain that your are remembering something legitimate and not simply constructing a recollection from the other person's suggestion. Also, when you approach another to verify a memory of your own -- give as few details as possible, only offering one or two key points so that your words do not create a memory for them. This is a hazard of sharing memories with others -- it is easy to construct something at the suggestion of another, and often this is done unconsciously. But if we want verification, we must voice the memory to another we think might have been there. Exercise caution and chose your wording with care.
When doing memory work, do not get distracted with exact details, for memory by its very nature is inexact. Even our memories from early childhood are hazy and the details we remember are spotty and uncertain. Instead, of losing yourself in details, look instead at the memory as a whole. What does the memory feel like? What impressions does it inspire? When the generalities are determined, the specifics often follow on their own, and even if this doesn't happen, the generality was probably the important part anyhow.
The two things that will hinder you most in any memory work are expectation and ego. With expectation, you build up a notion of how the memory should be, and this will often prevent you from seeing the real details when they prevent themselves to you. With ego, your hopes and fears about yourself can interfere with the accurate recollection of events. If you have an elevated opinion of yourself, for example, you may look back to a certain event and automatically assume that you held some grand position of leadership. This can prevent you from understanding what your real role was, and again, the lesson of the memory will be lost on you.
Do not underestimate your ability to alter the content of memories based on your ego and expectations. This is a very easy thing to do, and we often do it unconsciously. We are also perfectly capable of completely constructing memories which do not exist at all, and in many cases, these will be utterly indistinguishable from other memories which are legitimate. Your ability to discern between the two comes down solely to your ability to be honest with yourself. You will believe the lie because you *want* to believe it. If you can step aside from what you want and be strictly honest with yourself no matter how disturbing the truth may be, then you will recognize what is true.
Finally, never rush the process of remembering. There are things that we are not ready to remember yet. These things are kept from us for a reason: we do not have the emotional maturity or mental fortitude to deal with the content of those memories yet. The past has not been a bed of roses. Rather, it has mostly been a road fraught with thorns. We have done things that we regret, we have lost people whom we loved. Be patient with your memories and with yourself, and accept that some things must come in their time. Otherwise the scars you may inflict on yourself will not be easily healed, and you may topple all the work you have done previously by sending yourself over an edge that you cannot easily climb back up from.