I admittedly can get caught up and be a prisoner of the moment. Recent events that happen can have a tremendous impact on me and stand out as beautiful memories.
The problem with recent memories is that they tend to be somewhat of an illusion. We may see and look back on them with rose colored glasses and make things seem more meaningful than they were.
If the experience had some negative aspects, our raw emotions may alter how we initially see things. Our assessment of our experiences may be clouded by a wound that has yet to fully heal.
When reflecting upon my life, I find it best to let at least six months to one year pass before I truly pass judgment on my experience. After that time has passed I feel personally it is easier to determine whether I was a prisoner of the moment or it was an experience I will always look fondly back on.
After such time has passed, I begin to see things more objectively. My emotions tend to be more in-check and it is easier for me to understand the impact and appreciate or understand the impact of an experience, life lesson or intimate personal connection with someone else I made.
Perhaps I am going through a late quarter-life or an early mid-life crisis. I like to make lists and evaluate my life and the events that took place in my past that I enjoyed and help make me who I am today.
Some memories are frozen in time and I think about them constantly. Those memories have secured a spot on my top 10 greatest moments of my life so far.
Others I considered I feared happened too soon in the timeline of my life, yet they had an enormous impact on me. They were moments of sharing deep passion and connections with others.
I am a sucker for such experiences. I had many experiences that were new to me over the past year or so that I feel confident at this point I will never forget. However, many of those great and special memories were coupled with a haunting memory of heartbreak.
How can we truly assess recent life altering events and where they ultimately rank in our lives in such a relatively short span? The answer is simple: can we be objective with our thoughts and feelings and lend proper weight and balance to all experiences surrounding such events.
Assessing past life experiences I believe is an important tool for emotional and spiritual growth. Even though I choose to make lists, we all have different ways of looking back on our past and honoring the good times we experienced and completely letting go of the negative experiences that affected us so deeply.
Whether we choose to live a life of balance and moderation or whether we choose to live a life of extremities and intensities, we all must be willing to learn from our past.
Our past does not have to define us, but like all good books of history, our past is a good indicator of patterns we develop and can help us predict where we will be in the future. Our past can also give us a good deep look in to our souls and help us learn what we experienced in life that moved us so or something that inflicted pain upon us.
This is how we learn. This is how we grow. Taking inventory of the best events of your life and trying to find ways continue to be happy. I’ve learned we can never duplicate the past. Once something had happened, it is over and done with. The best we can hope for is that it will be a lasting memory of a good time that taught us a lesson about ourselves, who we are and what we desire out of life.
It can be tough to decipher the truly good from the truly bad, especially if someone else is involved in that memory and/or experience. If we are able to separate the person from the experience then perhaps it is a worthy experience worth looking fondly back on. However if the person who shared an amazing memory with you gives you thoughts and feelings of pain, we each then have to decide; is this going to be one of my great memories I will carry with me forever? Or do we block it out and act like if never happened?
I have a person who has caused me the greatest happiness and sadness in my life that could potentially occupy up to as many as four out of the ten greatest moments in my life. I choose to focus on the good times and remember her in a shining light; with the rose colored glasses.
That is the choice I made after much personal and inner deliberation. Her thoughts may be different but I have made my choice and I have no regrets.
The key question I have continued to ask myself throughout this process is, “Do I regret?” I do not, therefore I will hold the memories close to my heart for as long as my brain functions. They are memories I will never forget eve of I tired or wanted to.
Personal experiences and accomplishments were much easier to input on to my list. I accomplished something, I was proud of it, proud of the moment and relive it at times when I feel down. It gives me strength and the ability to motivate myself to push for more. It pushes me to never settle, never be complacent.
The best way to grow in my opinion is to live. Take inventory of our past events and hold on to what makes and made us happy. If we ever lose our way, that is the most assured way to find our way back to happiness.
Author: Adam Wilkinson