Our memories are our own private box of treasures that we can take out and sift through any time we choose. For the most part, we can have them alone or in a crowd, start or stop them as we want, pick and choose the ones the moment calls for, and hide and forget the ones that trouble us. Sometimes they pop up unbidden, triggered by a word, a song or something we see or feel. They can bring joy or sorrow, remembrance of special moments or a piece of the puzzle of making sense of the past. There is a song that says they are the 'fabric of our lives'.
Memories provide understanding. They tell us about ourselves and the reasons and influences behind the choices and decisions we have made as we walk the path of our life. Looking back through memories can help us understand and unravel the confusion we sometimes have about how life has brought us and the people we have journeyed with to the places of our lives today. They help us learn to be compassionate with ourselves and others as we remember our immaturity, mistakes and achievements, and the obstacles and pitfall we have overcome in times gone past. They help us understand and make sense of things.
Understanding how our past influences our present facilitates change. Some feel that looking memories full in the face can be difficult. We do it together in therapy, client and therapist, to heal past wounds, to turn confusion into understanding and to clear the way for growth and change. Overcoming painful memories and owning and integrating those that strengthen identity, self acceptance and understanding can be powerful and liberating.
Revisiting events or circumstances of your past so that you can move forward unencumbered may be important for you at this stage of your life. Problems in relationships, self esteem and confidence issues, feelings of shame and guilt, anger management concerns and various other real life problems often have their solution in understanding the past and creating new in the present.
Please call my Charlotte, university area practice at 704-770-7743 to discuss concerns you are ready to unravel and move past...to a better future. I look forward to hearing from you.
M. Leslie Owens, MSW, LCSW