There is a lot of pain in forgetting. If we were able to readily remember all that we’ve ever felt, seen, heard, tasted, or experienced, we would probably feel a lot less pain because we’d have the power of knowing…
Knowledge is comforting, at times. Knowing who we are, what we’ve done, and what we’re capable of goes a long way in removing fear, worry, and pain.
Our perception of reality is everything. You and I could look at the same book and one of us sees red while the other swears it’s orange. Neither of us is right or wrong. Because my reality, my perception, makes it real for me. And the same goes for you.
And so, if you are someone who has forgotten parts of yourself or your life, then your perception of yourself or your life becomes changed. Warped. Skewed. Even broken or wrong…
Forgetting how talented you are, does not mean you lack talent…
Forgetting how beautiful you are, does not mean you lack beauty…
Forgetting how loved you are, does not mean you are without love…
You just think you it’s so, and then that belief can be so strong and so real that you make it so.
I think we can feel lonely when we forget how many people love us and need us and appreciate us.
We feel disappointed when we forget about hope and possibility and all the great things that have happened before.
We feel afraid when we forget how wildly capable we are and how resilient we are even when things don’t go to plan.
Emotional reactions to life and external circumstances are powerful, but what I’d say are worse are subconscious emotional reactions to our mind’s warped reality and thoughts that are constantly presented to us.
We fight and bicker and make a villain out of the people who we love because we are so focused on one thing, or one thing about them, that our emotions turn way up and cloud everything else. When in reality – not our warped version at that time – we love them and they love us and we know they’re a good person and there’s more to the situation than what we are zoomed in on.
I know that I become very jealous of other people and compare myself to them (one of the reasons why I quit social media). However, this comes back down to forgetting all the great things I’ve done myself.
I get jealous thinking about my brother going to Japan this year and my besties from school going backpacking across South East Asia. But I’ve been to some pretty great countries, too. I’ve been to another continent. And I’m still young (younger than my brother) and so I’ve got plenty of time to go wherever I so desire…
But I must remind myself of that in order to rid myself of the uncomfortable and unnecessary emotion of jealousy.
This is why it’s important to develop a habit or method of remembering. A way to keep yourself in check and not forget the important things.
Here are just a few things that I’ve used:
My journal is something I try to use regularly. Sometimes it’s just an account of my day and my feelings. Sometimes it’s a page(s) full of my ranting, jumbled up thoughts that I needed to get out. Other days I use prompts to learn more about myself. And some days I write as other people as an empathy exercise.
All of these provide one key thing for me: information.
If I want to know what I did on a certain day, it’s right there.
If I want to know what I was feeling that made me snap at my partner, I can find out.
If I want to reconnect with someone who I’ve been drifting from, I can read that journal page where I wrote as them and feel their feelings once more.
In short, I can remember things better because I have an emotional account and documentation of events from just after they’ve happened, which helps me to remember things that can help me with whatever I’m dealing with now.
This is something I tried after Lavendaire suggested it. It’s a box (or scrapbook or whatever) of things that make you feel good about yourself. Mine is mostly images of travel experiences, book releases, book reviews, my site, me and my partner, my family, and that kind of thing.
Achievements, experiences, things I like, and so on.
Keeping these things together means that when you feel low, because you’re forgetting who you are and what you’ve done, you have a box ready to dig through and remember.
Remembering your worth is perhaps the most important thing.
Lastly, there’s a book of lists. This can be any kind of list that you see fit, but writing lists brings me a lot of joy and it organises otherwise complex and scattered thoughts.
Lists you could make:
- Favourite things
- Greatest achievements
- Best holidays or travel experiences
- Best relationship moments
- Top to-travel-to destinations
- Must-do bucket list items
- Favourite foods or restaurants
- Favourite films or TV shows (rewatching these is always a good idea!)
- And so on…
So today, I just want you to think about what you might have forgotten about yourself and your life. If you’re feeling a “negative” emotion like sadness, jealousy, anger, or fear, then perhaps you need a reminder. Perhaps you’ve forgotten something that could make you feel good and you again.