The elusive memory

The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves, they find their own order…the continuous thread of revelation.  Eudora Welty

Our lives move forward on a continuum. Events happen every day. Some events are memorable and some are not. I have always found it interesting the things we have stored away and can recall and the things we can’t. Our memories are selective. Our brains store information….probably everything we ever did but most of it cannot be recalled.

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I have been asked about my earliest memory. I have a memory but it is not really clear. I am standing in a crib in my mother and father’s room. That is all there is. There is no context…nothing more than that. I don’t know why I have that memory. It seems to have no significance but there it is.

Image result for memoryOf course we remember traumatic events or days of special happiness but we don’t always remember the specifics and our memories will usually not match those of others who were there.

It is also interesting how memories can be triggered by other senses. A certain smell can cause recall. I grew up in Virginia and my family had large privet hedges around the back yard. When I smell privet it brings back memories of that place.

Music can remind us of a particular time that we heard it. We also experience the feelings associated with those memories. This can be a good thing but in the case of persons who have had a trauma it can bring it all back full force. That is what happens to those with PTSD. The memory comes with all the feelings of fear and horror.

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How our brain keeps memories and which ones come to light is not fully known but more is learned each day.

 

 

 

Tell the truth??? or not??

Truth said in love can hurt before it heals. Unknown

Sometimes we know something that we feel needs to be told. It is something that we know will be a surprise (not always a good one). It is something that could be devastating. What do we decide to do?

This can be an awful decision. It is important to look carefully at why we would disclose. It is possible that we might never be forgiven. It is possible that any friendship will be gone. Do we want to tell for us or for them? Will the disclosure be worth the pain it could inflict? We absolutely have to look closely at ourselves and think about the outcome. Sometimes revealing something it not necessary in the long run. Some times the repercussions will be too painful and can be unnecessary.

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Taking the time to think everything through is most important. Hurting someone should not be done lightly. Think before you do!

Happy Valentine’s Day

There are stories about where Valentine’s day originated. Most versions have to do with a Valentius. All the stories agree that he was a hero who helped during the early Christian days in Rome whether by marrying young men against the orders of Claudius II or by helping Christians imprisoned by the Romans. February 14th may have been chosen by the Roman Catholic Church in order to coincide with a festival dedicated to one of the Roman gods. During its history the church did this for several holidays to make it easier for cultures to shift to Christianity.

None of this matters in the big scheme of things.

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Hope your Valentine’s Day has been filled with joy and love!

Watch out for the wall

I often think of Robert Frost’s poem about building a wall. He is thinking about what happens when we do this. We can wall things out and sometimes we have to do that to survive. Many victims of abuse can only manage by walling the abuse out. Some have even developed different personalities to not be present themselves. This is the extreme example.

Image result for Before I built a wall I'd ask to know What I was walling in or walling out,

However, we do need to be careful about walling those around us out. Usually what we need for healing begins outside of ourselves. We need others whether in the form of therapist or loving friends/family. We have to be careful not to wall out the help we need. If we are fragile it is so easy to stay inside our protective shield but this is only a temporary solution.

Try and find those who can help to pull you out from behind the wall and eventually tear it down altogether. In that place is healing.

We all are important

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For those of us who struggle with mental health issues it is easy to look down on ourselves. We have the idea that we are not as good as others. Unfortunately, for some, this is what we have been told.

This is so far from the truth. Some of the most famous and inspirational people suffered things that would be categorized as a mental health issue today. Below is a list of some of these people and an estimate of their problem.

11 Historical Geniuses and Their Possible Mental Disorders
  • ABRAHAM LINCOLN // DEPRESSION. …
  • LUDWIG VON BEETHOVEN // BIPOLAR DISORDER. …
  • EDVARD MUNCH // PANIC ATTACKS. …
  • MICHELANGELO // AUTISM. …
  • CHARLES DICKENS // DEPRESSION. …
  • CHARLES DARWIN // AGORAPHOBIA. …
  • WINSTON CHURCHILL // BIPOLAR DISORDER. …
  • VASLAV NIJINSKY // SCHIZOPHRENIA.

We may not consider ourselves to fit into this list but it is obvious that we all have something to offer to the world. Never put yourself down. Know that you have gifts that are needed. Ignore those who want to put labels on you and just keep going.

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Cancer aftermath

I have several friends who have had cancer and are in remission. When this happens people begin to see them as back to normal. Most people are unaware of how much courage is involved in continuing to move forward. There are periodic scans and you have to wait for results. It can be a time of nail biting and stress.

after cancer

Chemotherapy also can have devastating consequences. The medicines that make you well can also cause major problems with the well systems in your body. There are many things that can go wrong from failure of other organs to hair, skin, teeth problems. It is not an easy path.

Hopefully the future will bring us closer to our own immune system removing the cancer from our body without hurting anything else.

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Remember those who struggle with the aftermath of cancer treatment. They need our continuing compassion and support.

It’s a privilege

Helping someone you love is not a burden. It is an opportunity to show gratitude.   ? from the two popes ?

I wrote this quote down without putting the author but I think that’s where I got it.

It really made me think. In today’s society we have a large aging population. People are living longer. More are having to be cared for. How many of us would be willing to take on what we may see as a burden. If we were blessed enough to have loving parents we need to remember the time, energy and love put into raising us.

I know I didn’t do enough for my parents. I did help and care for my mother and my aunt but they were not unable to care for themselves most of the time. Sometimes I feel guilty for the things I didn’t do to make their lives easier. Like most of us I was involved with my job, my family and my own agenda.

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Those we love are not a burden and it should be a privilege to serve them and show our gratitude.

Don’t give up

Life is an amazing journey. I my lifetime I have married, raised children, sent them out of the nest, welcomed grandchildren and now great-grandchildren. I have worked several jobs, had a great career and ended doing the one thing that married my vocation with my greatest passion.

the amazing journey
the amazing journey

I have lived but I (God willing) have years in me left to pursue other goals. Those of you who have been reading my blog know that one of my goals is to share experiences, offer solace and kindness, information, and ideas that I have gained over the years.

I have also made strides in controlling my tendency to worry myself into anxiety. I continue to grow each day and owe much thanks to the others who deal with this issue and have offered support and suggestions for conquering it.

In the scheme of things it is probably that something fought with over a lifetime will not disappear entirely but learned skills do help in catching escalation to the “tipping point.”

The trick is to keep trying things and find what works for you. Each of us will have different things that help. Just keep trying. There is something out there that will be the thing that helps you turn the corner. Our mental health issues can, many time, be lessened or averted with the right tools.

Anonymous-quote-Inspirational-quote-Theres-always-hope-even-when-you-are-at-the-lowest-point-of-your-life.-Keep-believing

Never give up. Just keep on trying. Also don’t think you are alone. There are many of us and we truly understand.

Keep helping

Laziness has invaded my space. This week has had changes but has really been quieter than usual. I have to get back to all the things I was doing. I haven’t called to get back on the schedule for Community Conferencing or Mediation. Next week will be the get going time.

doing nothing

It can be easy to sit back and do nothing. Just be the person who meets people for lunch and is a dilettante. Really not my thing. If I don’t get back doing what I can to help I will end up being insipid.

If all of those who are retired stopped doing volunteer work it would definitely be missed. Ninety percent of the people at the mediation center are retired and I’m sure that can be said of many places where help is needed. We have to keep on helping.

 

Too far?

girl in grass holding her smartphone  ordering fast foodSometimes I feel bad about ordering so many things on-line. But the truth is that no only can I get exactly what I want but without spending time hunting for it in the store. I know this is hard on the local merchants but I’m afraid it is going to be the way things go.

As things change we have to find new ways to work with what is happening. I’m sure the industrial revolution made life difficult for the workers who had previously been doing those jobs.

Computers have taken over so much and now on-line shopping is the norm. Even to ordering you food and your meals. The worrysome part is will we never leave our homes? Will be become hermits who live and dies by ourselves. It is a possibility. So much interaction between people is now electronic. We don’t see people face to face.

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Some changes must be made. Mankind is communal and doesn’t function well all alone. Somehow we have to incorporate the changes into our lives but maintain ways to connect face to face.