Actress Shirley Maclaine sat with Oprah a few Sundays ago on Super Soul Sunday to talk about aging, wisdom and life. I’m a big fan of Maclaine. I agree with Winfrey’s characterization of her as a “spiritual trailblazer.” Every statement she makes drips with profundity. I had to keep pressing pause on my DVR so I could soak it all in.
One of the things she said was memories, what we choose to remember, holds significance. Why do we, for example, remember our father scolding us, but forget a shopping trip with our mother? Maybe, there is a secret lesson in our memories.
Part of that is due to how we’re hardwired. This article says, for example, we’re more likely to remember things associated with strong emotions. But out of the emotional memories, could there be a deeper reason why we hold on to some and not others?
I think it’s worth asking.
Maybe there’s a reason why our minds won’t let go of a particular incident-your parents arguing, a friendship that ended bad, a job that you really enjoyed doing.
Maybe it’s worth revisiting the memory.
Is there something you need to learn, return, heal in order for your brain to let it go?
If we’re open to rediscovering why that memory stays in the first place, we might open the door to greater healing. We may be able to kiss that wound of sorrow or rebuild a burned bridge. We may be able to find out what still needs tending so we can heal what’s still hurt and vulnerable. When we uncover the mystery of forgotten memories, we may finally be able to forgive, grow and move forward.