Have you ever tried to put one of your angry, sad, scary, embarrassing, shameful, rejected or stressful memories ‘out of your mind’ only to have it resurface days, weeks or even years later with all of its pain and anguish? For some people, it’s not all that hard to do at first, all you have to do is distract yourself and focus on something else every time the memory comes to mind. Eventually, after a hundred or so times your brain figures out that you don’t want to think about that memory and it prevents it from coming into your conscious mind.
While this may work in the short run it doesn’t work in the long run. The concept of putting a memory ‘out of your mind’ is a little silly if you think about it. Are you taking it out of your mind and putting it in your big toe? Obviously, it is only shifted from one part of your brain to another. It is only shifted to a place where you are no longer consciously aware of it. These suppressed memories continue to affect you emotionally, just without your knowledge.
Any memory that causes you to hurt in the present whenever you think of it isn’t in the past at all – in fact, it is truly in the present. Merely thinking about it changes your present heart rate, your present blood pressure, your present thought processes, your present mood, etc.. Hence, the only true way to put the past in the past is to allow the memory to heal to the point that it no longer hurts, no matter how vividly you relive it or how you think about it.
Thankfully there are now powerful treatments available that will help you to truly put your past in the past, that can help your painful, stressful and even traumatic memories to fully heal. So with the right help, you don’t have to carry any painful memory around for the rest of your life. Imagine how it will feel to finally have free access to your whole brain because there won’t be any place in your memory where you are afraid to go.