Spring Cleaning the Memories

The wing tips were bent down toward the earth, the birds adjusted slightly right to left and back again.  There was no flapping as the geese came in for a landing.  I was distracted by the beauty and precision of their descent as I drove past the pond on my way back to the office.  As they came down, they were silhouetted against the mid-morning sky which made it easier to see how controlled they were in their flight downward to the water.

Seconds fled as we passed each other, me heading to more work and the geese stopping to explore a pond.  I laughed, delighted with the opportunity to be in the perfect position to see the outline of their feathers and shifting of their wings.  It was one of the highlights of my week.  It was a remembering moment, a time, a place, a space, an experience, and a feeling worth committing to memory.
Spring fly-over 2018
Memories feed or destroy our spirits, and the choice is largely our own.  We can file good and bad memories in our brains and we have the ability to push play over and over again if we choose.  Last week I was thinking on a couple of bad memories that were over fifteen years old.  Those bad memories popped up in my dreams one night and I woke up feeling off kilter, out of control, uncertain, afraid.  I felt all the scary things until I sat down, wrote out the parts of the crazy dream I remembered and asked myself what it meant.

Why was I being reminded of that bad stuff?  What had I learned from it?  Was there anything I still needed to learn?  Pen to paper I wrote down everything that came to mind in answer to the question - what might this dream mean?  I realized the dream was a series of bad memories replaying but the ending was different.  The bad memory was a point in time, in the past.  It had power to define the future.  I could focus on the failure and inevitably fail again in a similar situation.  Or I could focus on what I had learned from the failure and choose not to repeat the same mistakes.  So simple and so very complicated.  My choice.

We can't choose a different past, but we can choose our response to memories good and bad.  How we choose will define our future. Store the good memories to fuel your spirit and recall them intentionally.  Don't fight the bad memories.  Invite them to visit, be brave.  Ask the bad memories some questions, learn what you need to learn, and then send them packing again.  Don't let them move in. They are just memories, they are not the reality today unless you choose to live among them.   It's time to do a little spring cleaning in the memory department.  Keep the good and take steps to evict the bad.  

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