The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”- Marcel Proust.
Memories can be a blessing or a curse to us, or sometimes even a torment.We all have memories of better times in the past than our current circumstances, that can serve as cruel reminders. However, what if we had no recollection of our past at all, but only awareness of the present? This would allow us to remove the usual blinders we have on and see our lives from a new perspective. Not only this, but we would experience a new(even heightened) level of gratitude for what we do have, rather than always compare things to what we had before. Not to mention, the problem many have of constant comparison to others.This doesn’t mean we should forget our past, because we can learn so much from it and use it as a guide.For a good number of months my memories of life before the stroke would torment me. I dared not linger in bed too long and let the negative thoughts traverse my mind. Because, I could remember what it was like not to have so many doctor appointments,be free of braces,run, walk normally, drive a car,live independently, and not have any type of rehabilitation. I surmised that those who had never experienced a “normal,” life had it better because they had nothing in which to compare their current circumstances to. Therefore, they were likely experiencing more gratitude and happiness than I was. However, as life often does, perhaps this was my lesson to learn. Regardless of my circumstance I had to learn to look for the roses among the thorns. Each negative thought needed to be taken into captivity, inspected for helpfulness, and thrown out. Because, if a thought that floats into your head isn’t helpful, it doesn’t deserve to be there. I cannot afford to entertain or accumulate these negative thoughts, and neither can you. They only serve to create sprawling toxic black trees in our brains, rather than healthy green ones. This certainly does not bring us life but only death. We need to practice mindfulness, so don’t hesitate to police your thoughts! Very often what we’re thinking will determine what we’re experiencing.