How does remembering your past help you today? Think of re-membering as bringing scattered parts together. It’s like gathering the parts of a jigsaw puzzle and assembling them together where they belong.
God wants you to see the whole picture of who you are.
I’m fascinated by my past. I’m not thinking of historical facts. I mean my psychological and emotional journey.
Do memories define who I am? Are memories real? Relevant? How did I get to where I am today?
How you first experience something has long-lasting implications. Your journey is, in many ways, a series of first-time experiences. To put the pieces of your life together, you must revisit your first-time experiences to create follow-on experiences.
Your relationship with your childhood memories can tell you a lot about yourself. Here are some questions you can use to explore your emotional health:
- How do you feel about your childhood?
- Do you feel like you are still a child?
- Do you feel like you are stuck in your childhood?
- Does childhood seem like it happened eons ago?
- Do you feel extremely distant from childhood, almost like it was another lifetime?
- Does childhood feel real to you or more like a fantasy?
- Does childhood seem unimportant or highly relevant to you?
- Do you remember a lot or a little?
- How much was childhood the same or different every day?
- What positive memories come to mind?
- What negative memories come to mind?
Did you skim through these questions or did you pause on each one and give a real, in-depth answer? Are you willing to embrace your childhood or do you think you’d be happier if you never thought about it again?
Even if you considered only one of the questions, you’ve got a taste of what it’s like to move toward emotional health. You dipped your tow in the water. If you considered more than one, you might be swimming in a pool of emotional memories.
Like I said, memories are fascinating. They aren’t part of who you are. Yet, in another way, they are part of you. You’re not five years old anymore. But you might feel five years old sometimes.
Here are a few more questions for you to consider: In what ways do you feel the same, today, as you did when you were a young child? In what ways are you the same? In what ways are you different?
Life has a way of leading you away from being in touch with who you are. The pressures, demands, and trauma open a chasm between your performance and who you are. It’s possible to become so familiar with present-day performance that you forget what it’s like to enjoy life on your own terms.
Here are two more questions that should help you “pull yourself together.” What day would you most like to relive? Now, what new day do you imagine you would like to live in the near future?
In answering all these questions, look for two things. First, look for any infections: emotional wounds that haven’t fully healed. Second, look for peak experiences: emotional highs that give you energy.
If you’d like more practice at developing follow-on experiences, then you should try a book from my Journal Your Way series.