The Things That Stick: On Memories, Emotion, and Practice

After a conversation with M. Fenn last night, I realized that there are a few scenes/images in my life that have stuck with me in my life. When I am free writing, or certain topics come up, these are images and moments of my life that resonate, years later.

Standing in the ebb and flow
Standing in the ebb and flow

There’s a part of me that wants to dive right in, find out what it is about these moments, to drench myself in the memories and keep sinking myself in, hoping that it goes away and gets out of my system. There’s another part that wants to keep it up on the proverbial mantel and look at it every now and then. Then, there’s the in between part of me that says both are necessary and neither are. That to force it is unproductive, but so is not facing it.

What is the middle ground?

For me, in some situations, it’s allowing it to arise when it needs to but not to latch on to it. It’s learning that there are times and places where diving in is important and exactly what I need. And there are times it’s not helpful at all.

There are times when to simply sit with it, as it comes in and goes out, is enough to recognize the moment for what it is – a memory. The interesting thing is that I’m learning that even if memories are stirred up, I don’t have to carry an emotion attached them. That what was painful in the moment doesn’t have to carry that same energy and emotion to it. I can see it and let it be, without trying to change it.

It’s not ever easy, but I realize that it’s a choice.

Do you have strong memories or scenes from your life come back to you often? What do you do with them?


One thought on “The Things That Stick: On Memories, Emotion, and Practice

  1. When I have strong emotions and memories come to me, I try to allow myself to just let the memory be. When I find myself at a place of peace, I try to use my intuition to make judgements on the situation and usually those judgements give me peace, but only when I ask from a center of peace.

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