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Old Memories: What to Do?

It is commonly advocated that one should get rid of old memories and not live in the past. This is fine but how does it happen or how to do so is a big question.

Practically it is impossible to get rid of old memories without losing consciousness. As long as the conscious mind is working normally, the memories whether good or bad, stay with us for as long as we live and keep showing up from time to time. However some memories do fade away with time. Certain memories of good times and pleasant happenings bring a soothing effect when recalled but some have certain degree of bitterness attached to them that hurts. Practically, there is none in the world who has never been happy in his/her life for a while at least and similarly there is none on God’s earth who has never been unhappy, disappointed or hurt. The problems arise when one clings to the bitterness brought in by disappointment, injustice or betrayal etc. Factually, it is not the memories that hurt, it is the bitterness attached to them that one hangs on to and don’t let go. If that bitterness persists, it does the damage.

Human being by nature expects others to forgive him/her but doesn’t want to extend forgiveness to others – his ego doesn’t let him do so. He wants mercy for himself but doesn’t want to be as merciful and as tolerant towards others. He wants to avenge the hurt caused to him but cannot always do so for various reasons. His vengeful instinct doesn’t let him sit in peace and that is what keeps refreshing the hurt. As written earlier, memories cannot be washed away while bitterness attached to those can be – not easy though, but can be done by forgiving those who caused it. This is what getting rid of old (bad) memories means. If this can be done, memories of the past would gradually fade away and become harmless opening the door for peace of mind and happiness.