The brain is fascinating. Apparently, memory can be damaged such that you may not remember your identity or what you did 5 minutes ago BUT you will remember Spanish (if you learned it last year before the brain injury) and how to ride a bike (again if you learned it before injury).
Such brain damaged people live perpetually in the ‘now’. They have no ability to make long term memories or develop their identity so every 5 minutes or so (depending on the severity of the injury) they forget what just happened to them and who they are. They are constantly living just in the present moment.
Interesting recent research shows that these people by their own estimatation and of those around them (family, friends) are uniformly happy. They are not bogged down by their past which they don’t remember, nor do they remember what to worry about for the future.
Perhaps this begs the question, is losing our memories, even delibrately by way of choosing to forget, the way to be happy?
Obviously being shackled by our past is not helpful, so forgetting it is good….but better than forgetting your past is learning from your past, having the memories to shape, mold and develop you.
Obviously worrying about your future is destructive, being unaware of what to worry about might be good….but better would be to anticipate it, plan for it, look with faithful eyes forward.
Strangely enough (smile), I am experiencing one of the happiest times in my life. I believe it is because I have (finally!)embraced growth. My joy comes from viewing my past failures/difficulties with gratitude for the richness of understanding they brought to me and excitement over my future as I stretch myself daily.
Previously, my aim was always to be comfortable….for years I chose the path of least resistance…fortunately (or in hindsight, unfortunately) my life lent itself well to such comfort-seeking. As long as I was content to settle, the actors and situations in my life allowed it….I sought happiness and pleasure and ultimately this led to me feeling lost.
What changed for me? Becoming honest….and that promoted a desire to change. I have found having growth as a goal is far (far!) superior to having pleasure and happiness as beacons.
How wonderful to have the past to grow from and the future to grow towards…