Selective Memory

Blog 2142 – 08.27.2021

Selective Memory

We are all, I think, guilty at least sometimes of practicing selective memory techniques to deal not only with traumatic events in our lives, but the sometimes overwhelming volume of things that we are expected to remember. The Apostle Paul offered lots of advice, not always divine nor inspired in my opinion, but one piece I recall that to me indeed has merit. He wrote: “This one thing I do, forgetting the things that are passed I press on to the mark, to the high calling of Christ.”

Christ, again though one of Jesus of Nazareth’s titles is a word that means “The anointed.” Anointing was a ceremony that signified one was chosen for a purpose. Kings and priests were anointed and in another place Paul writes that we are all kings and priests, meant to rule and to represent as it were. But, we can do neither of those things effectively if we allow ourselves to be stuck in a memory loop.

Not just old people are snared by this particular malady of believing one’s best day or days are behind them. It is a myth “the good old days” and sometimes old times need to be forgotten before we can truly realize that the best is always yet to be and that the “nasty now and now” is but the reverberating echo of yesterday’s intentions. Want a better tomorrow design it in your head and heart today.

In the movie, What Dreams May Come, hell is people trapped reliving some portion of their lives over and over again, shut off completely from the possibility of a bigger and brighter future. Some religious people’s idea of heaven sounds like the same sort of deal to me. Even the best day lived over and over again would get pretty old and stale in short order and become a sort of hell itself.

Just as a house can become cluttered and unlivable by hanging on to everything so can a life. The Circle of Life song from Disney’s Lion King says “There is far too much to take in here, more to do than can ever be done.” I believe that is so and that we are meant to experience it all, every glorious bit of it, even if it takes a million lifetimes. The price of admission to a new adventure is forgetting the last one. The true adventure is discovering Who and Whose we are all over again in a new context.

If you have truly figured that out as some of us think we have, you (we) may be getting close to a curtain call, a brief but big cast party, and a whole new production. But we need not worry about memorizing new lines or getting into a new character, forget about it, all we need will come to us when we empty ourselves and move on. Start practicing now, ask yourself, “Do I really need to hold on to this, to remember this?” Let it go with a smile, remembering as ole Monty Hall used to say, “There are bigger deals ahead.”

Well, that was not exactly where I thought this piece was headed, but there it is and here we are on another new day and it is a Friday. Have not just a Good Friday but a Great Friday.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

The Times They Are A Changin’

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