Reminiscing about the past can be a tricky exercise. You never quite know what thoughts and feelings can crop up in your mind at any moment. It doesn’t always have to be an unpleasant activity. Here is something to try the next time you have a few minutes to gaze into the past and drift through the memories:
Start at the first moment you can remember being alive…let’s say it’s 3 years old. Picture the year in your mind….think to yourself, are there any positive memories associated with that year? If there are, write it down. Then, proceed to the next year and the one after that, and so on. Each time you remember a positive thought, action, or feeling, jot it down. After a while the list begins to grow and the negative memories fall by the wayside. As we look back on our teen years, some may have been troublesome, but I’m sure we all can pull a chuckle or two out of the rabbit’s hat of adolescence. Once you get to the present, look over the list….you may be surprised just how many good times you had and perhaps forgot about. Take the list and put it in a safe place. Whenever you have one of those blue days, where nothing seems to go right, take out the sheet of paper, look over it, and you’ll be transported back to a warm moment or two when the world seemed just right.
It’s not a foolish exercise….it’s not living in the past. It’s remembering the good times, and allowing us to count a blessing or two. I am a big believer in positive reinforcements…God knows we need them more than ever these days! But the past doesn’t always have to stay in the past….it might help us in the present to be able to burst forth and catapult us into tomorrow, understanding that good times too, can lie ahead…the best days of our lives may not be over, and miracles sometimes come when we least expect them.
When you get together next time with friends or family, try the exercise with them….pass a sheet of paper to each person in the group and get them to write down some positive thoughts and experiences from the past. Then, take turns reading them aloud. Trust me, there will be much laughter, pats on the back, and maybe even some tears of joy. At the end of the evening, you may all even ask yourselves, why don’t we do this more often?
A penny for your thoughts,
Â© 2007 Jennifer Avalon