"Anything you remember
seems to be the way it was
because that is how
you are choosing to remember it."
-- Alan Cohen
When I was in grade school around 3rd or 4th grade, I remember playing a game that we called telephone where a number of us would sit on the ground in a circle and one person would whisper something about a sentence long to the person next to them and then they would repeat that exactly to the next and the next until the last person would say it aloud. Then we would compare with the person who started it to see if it matched. It never matched. It always got morphed somewhere along the line. It seemed like we always had about 8-10 people in the game, but what came out at the end was often so funny compared to what was started down the line.
Memories are like that I think in that we may often remember things so differently than even someone who lived through an event with us. It's called perspective and we each have a unique and totally individual perspective. We may agree from time to time, and maybe even more often, but the details will most likely not match.
As memories get further in the past, they may be modified even more to where we are only remembering bits and pieces, and even combining bits and pieces differently as we speak of a memory in different situations. We might call that a memory of convenience.
One thing that I have noticed with memories of people who have passed from this physical life is that I have a pronounced tendency to remember the best, or better things about them, than the things that I didn't like or were painful in some way. Again, that means I am remembering in bits and pieces and arranging them to suit me.
I think it is especially helpful to purposely rearrange details of the past to suit how we want our lives to be today. I don't think we need to go back and find the pain and try to understand it, but rather, to soften any pain felt today by rearranging and re-membering the way things were. It's not so much blocking it out as it is making peace with it. I know some people who carry hurts from the past with them like a badge of courage, but all that is doing is making today so much less than it could be.
One of the best ways to deal with the past is to treat it by practicing your unconditional love. (You are practicing, right?) So often I have used the analogy of the tug-o-war rope and that we are warring with ourselves carrying these hurtful thoughts into the present, so a great way to deal with it quickly is just to picture ourselves physically dropping that rope. Once the rope is dropped, we can cover the whole scene by bathing it in love--even picturing a warm-colored glow descending over everything we see.
We can do the same thing with memories that create fear in us today not just things that have caused hurt. In both cases, softening and re-membering the past is one of the best things that we can do to make today a better place, and a happier place.
"Never Underestimate Your Power To Change Yourself; Never Overestimate Your Power To Change Others." -- Wayne Dyer
Spread Some Joy Today--Practice your unconditional love. You can start with likable people so it is easy, then work up to people you hate. Of course, once you do this, you won't hate anyone ever again.