Originally posted on Facebook HERE
Every once in a while, a memory will pop into my head about something awful I did earlier in my life that isn’t pleasant at all. Some horrible thing that I’d just as soon never relive. Memories, good and bad, are all stored somewhere – and the ones that stir the most emotion just never seem to go away. And often, there’s no rhyme or reason to when a memory will show up. Like – out of the blue your subconscious will just decide to remind you what a jerk you’re capable of being. And if you follow that memory you’ll find many, many more where that came from. We all carry our own catalogues of ineptitude and failure. Because of my history with drugs and alcohol, I have some pretty awful things tucked back there. Nothing I think I’d ever want to share publicly. But there are also just weird little snippets back there, too – like when in the midst of an otherwise normal conversation I said something that I realized right away didn’t come out right and wasn’t received in the manner I meant it to be. And for whatever reason a few of them are also stuck in the “you’re such a moron” folder of my memory banks. We all have a folder like this. We all have done or said things we’re not proud of. And maybe that’s just a part of growing up, remembering how it felt when you said or did some awful thing for whatever reason – to get back at someone, in the heat of the moment, or just picking on somebody or being hostile to a person you didn’t particularly like. And perhaps those memories can keep us from making the same mistake again as we age. Maybe it helps to see that at any given time, we’re all capable of doing things we’ll look back on with regret some day. And that knowledge can help us see others with more compassion and empathy. I’m always curious when a memory will show up out of the blue that seemingly has no bearing on anything going on at the time. Like, why did that memory just show up? To remind me to be humble? To set me up for something that might happen soon? Or is it just a random thing – sometimes we need to remind ourselves how low we can go so we can focus on doing things better in the now. I can tell you that if you get obsessed with the “you’re such a moron” folder in your memory banks, it can really take you down. I was there many times earlier in my life. I really felt like I had very few redeeming qualities, I wasn’t happy, there were days in my life where I just laid in bed wondering if life was worth living at all. Those days are long behind me now. But for those of you who know me personally today – I would like to think that the idea of me being taken to a level that low – questioning my own existence – would probably come as a surprise. I never question whether life is worth living anymore. I worked very hard for many years to change my attitudes and beliefs. I no longer visit the “moron” files very often, but once in a while they’ll visit me. And remind me how far I’ve come. And how painful it was to be obsessed with them. Everyone we meet is on their own timeline. I could really be mean when I was focused on everything that wasn’t right in my life. But I was still the person I am today in spite of that – I just wasn’t ready to let my thoughts be ruled by possibilities instead of anger and fear at the time. Wherever you are on your journey, may your personal “moron” files be visited only to gain perspective and not to tear you down. We can use them to make positive changes in our lives. But they will never go away. We need them to stay humble.