If I were my own best friend I would remind myself of…
the “amnesia” of time…
***Have you ever done something really hard? Or painful? Or it took a lot of effort and sacrifice? But you did it. You started on one side, worked through whatever it was, and eventually arrived victorious and maybe a little scarred on the other side.
That is part of what this post is about.
That event or experience you had to fight your way through tends to be pretty raw or painful immediately afterwards. There are “hot spots” where you still remember the acute pain and what you did to survive and thrive. But over time (days, years, decades) those acute spots and the memory of the whole experience seems to fade and reform… Amnesia!
I look back on some of the really tough life experiences I have had and they don’t seem so bad now. There might be a hint of angst, but mostly the whole thing feels condensed and a bit smoother. Kind of a like a rock in a river – over time it gets whittled away and the edges are smoothed down, until you are left with a really interesting amalgamation (I love that word by the way) of the key points. (A little off point…but have you ever picked up a river rock and really looked at all the different colors and patterns?? They’re beautiful!)
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this lately – I think this type of “amnesia” allows a couple of things to happen. First, it might explain why people make the same mistakes over and over again – they really do forget how painful it was the last time. Second, and on a more positive note, I think it allows for growth. If you always remember how hard something was (how really truly grueling and awful it felt at the time) you are probably not going to do anything like that ever again… but time smooths that out! And after a while you forget. And you’re willing to go back out and climb that mountain or complete that Ironman or return to graduate school or endure another pregnancy… because the pain has faded. And what’s left are the smoother, softer, kinder, gentler memories that really do make the trouble you went through worthwhile.
So with that being said, I simply need to remind myself that whatever I may be struggling through today, it will eventually fade. Even if I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel right now it is still there. And when I get to the other side it will be worth it. And eventually I will have another beautiful “rock” to look back on and remember fondly.