Memories are a funny thing. They can be our stepping stones to propel us into the future, empowering us and making us feel secure. They can also be crippling, as we try to sort out what went so wrong or how to put the pieces back together to what we once knew.
It’s infatuating in it’s darkness the way a perfect and blissful moment that will never happen again can be just as cold-bloodedly heart-wrenching to recall as a person’s darkest and lowest moments.
I struggle with memories. Not so much the horrible ones, although I do have the occasional nightmare. No, those are easier somehow to move on from. The worst things are the little things. The nicknames. The traditions. Talks sitting on the piano bench or a card for every holiday. Card games. Old pictures. Tension where a warm hug once was. The moment you forget they aren’t in your life anymore, at least not the way they once were, and you go to text them about something. The autopilot blissful moment your mind goes to before it remembers. My worst nightmares are the ones where I dream of my best memories and wake up to face all over again that those moments so dear to me will NEVER happen again. That is the fate of no closure, no explanation, no solution. Your brain can’t process why, so it autocorrects to how things should be.
The truth is memories, good, bad, or just different from the reality we now know, can’t be our guide. A life spent looking back to what we once knew will only stunt our future. Perfect memories can’t dictate a perfect future anymore than horrible memories dictate a horrible future. People change. Situations change. You can be absolutely sure of something and it can be gone the next minute and you may never understand why.
I’m learning that people are only reliable to a point and through this, God is teaching me to rely on him. We all have backgrounds… insecurities… triggers… that while we have the potential to overcome, these things also have the potential to overcome us. “Hurting people hurt people” isn’t a quote from thin air. It’s from situation after situation of someone who has experiences their own horrors who either wouldn’t or wasn’t given the support to work through those traumas in a healthy way, and now the cycle has continued. I’m learning empathy and forgiveness go a long way to my own healing and sound mind and I can’t have the latter without the former. I’m learning I need less me and more God. Less how I feel and more of His guidance. I’ve got miles to go before I sleep on that journey, but I’m learning, albeit slowly, to take that road less traveled by and try to understand. I have acted far less than a great person in my worst moments. I am a person who has hurt others from my own hurt. I am a person that God has brought to my knees to heal and redeem from bitterness and unforgiveness and the ways I acted because of it. It’s a process and a hard one and I am not there. To forgive is to give up what should have been and to move on to what is. To forgive is to accept. And that’s pretty unnatural for me lately. But I also know I need to learn to forgive as I’ve been forgiven and risk the vulnerability that comes with it. It is starting to sink in that the only true freedom comes from a heavenly perspective instead of my learned responses.
I don’t have any neatly-packaged answers. I have no quick fixes. I see a long journey of learning to trust and rely on God and a whole lot of blunders and wrestles along the way. If there were quick fixes, I guess we wouldn’t need God. I do trust Him tho. That I do know. And I know if there is anyone who should be leading and directing my life, it should be Him. So I’m just gonna start that journey into the great unknown and trust He will sustain me and truly works all things for good.