A Guide to Memories

A Guide to Memories: 4-Step Guide to Cherishing Memories and Using them to Move Forward!

By Micaela C.

Recently I’ve fallen again into a sadness and uncertainty spiral. Man, not knowing where you are standing in life is hard. Still, even when I might feel as lost as ever (though sitting comfortably in my bed scrolling through Twitter), I know for sure that my memories can help me get through anything.

A picture with my dad at the zoo when I was like four, some polaroids with friends at an 80’s-themed party, a leaf I stole from my trip to San Francisco over the summer. Small fights with friends, a messy and bad breakup, failed tests and bad news. Miles and miles of chats with my best friend, hour-long conversations with my family on New Year’s Eve. Feeling alone and trapped in my room, a dark and quiet night, losing people I love forever. All those memories seem blurry but yet so clear. Now this may sound weird, my memory is far from perfect -I can’t even remember what I did a few days ago, imagine remembering in detail that first trip to the zoo. On top of that, some of the memories I hold on to aren’t even that pretty. So why bother thinking about the past, when it may only make things worse?

I’ve created a small, 4-step guide to cherishing memories and using them, as ugly as they may seem, to move forward and help us get up from those black holes we sometimes get into.

  1. Divide good memories and bad memories, make the division clear and distinct between feel-good nostalgic memories and crying-hours-on-end ones. If you have pictures, books, written stuff about any of those memories use them and physically separate them. Want to try and remove bad memories? Go to step 2, if not, skip it.

  2. Grab your bad memories. Play them in your head only once. Repeat to yourself “A bad memory was a bad moment, which i kept to make me the person I am today. I have grown and used this bad times, so now I let them go” as many times as necessary to let go of the bad emotions these memories brought you. It is hard to forget them, but we can make them feel easier on ourselves.

  3. Grab your good memories. Relieve those fun, happy times in your mind until your senses become one with it, and drives you into those moments. Maybe at that time, you felt infinite, pure, whole, and thought you could never feel that happy ever again, but if you think harder, you have, many times. Remember that even though such good feelings and memories do pass, they linger within us with a warm and fuzzy feeling in our chests. Remember that those times will come again, and over and over we will repeat “I might never feel as good as I do now”. We will.

  4. Now learn from the memories, use them to push your mind and soul forward: to get away from bad times, to learn in new ways how to grow, and to get closer to new good memories.

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