Our memories are unreliable feedback

We don’t remember the truth. We remember our perception of reality. This then gets distorted over time by past emotions and external influences.

Why is this a problem? It’s a problem because by continuing on this path of wrong remembering, we damage relationships. With friends, family and partners by remembering things from a perspective that may not have even been your perspective at the time it happened in any case.

Something that happened weeks, months or years ago can be so distorted that we cause ourselves pain over it. Attaching guilt, shame, jealousy (all the shitty emotions) to these memories rather than just seeing them as they were.

Our memories can even be false. We don’t just distort our memories over time but we even make up memories. This is because when we are receiving information from the world around us, our brain will try to make sense of it by filling in the gaps. Even if the gaps are huge.

In interesting Ted Talk on the subject can be found here

By practising mindfulness, you learn to accept that the past is in the past and by educating yourself you learn that maybe what you remember about something isn’t exactly the way it happened. Next time you feel like you should have an attitude about something from the past, ask yourself if you really should feel that way or is it a distorted view that is clouding your judgement. Holding on to past hurt, hurts you. Do you really want to hurt you?

 

 

 

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