I was taking a trip down memory lane recently as memories of all shapes, sizes, colors, times and events were playing around my psyche. 

Memories are funny things. Sometimes memories are vivid and accurate. Sometimes, our mind and hearts play a few tricks in how our memories compare to reality. Sometimes we rearrange memories to fit our current needs.  

My brother and I were talking a while back. We were reminiscing about our childhood and the people and places that we crossed paths with over the years. We were discussing something fairly innocuous as I had a memory of their kitchen in their current house. 

I asked him what they did with the island that was in the kitchen. He informed me there was never an island in that kitchen. I started laughing and let him know that I have full, vivid memories of making coffee and standing around that island talking. 

He commented that was quite a trick my mind was playing on my brain. The “memory” I had of that is still in my head; the reality is it didn’t exist. We then started testing each other’s memories about various things. He’s older than I, and I admit his memories are usually more detail specific than mine. 

My memories a lot of time are tied up in images, broad brush strokes and feelings. So, we did a test. Fortunately, for many events and things we shared, our memories were fairly compatible. He added pieces that I either didn’t know, or had forgotten. And, ironically, I was able to add pieces for my brother.

This was a good lesson to think about memories and find out, if possible, how close the memory is to reality. It’s also a helpful lesson to think about as we absorb the present and how we take the events in present time and place them into our memory rolodex. 

I think humans do like to remember and think about the positive spin on memories rather than dwell on the negative. I have a hunch that’s a healthy piece of our DNA. Some people do dwell on the slights and never put themselves in a position to forgive or put things in proper perspective. The power of fear, anger and always feeling a victim is strong. 

It’s also a way to absolve oneself of responsibility. When some who are expert at tapping into, and using, someone because of their overdeveloped sense of angst and negativity, it’s a short trip to being used as an extra in someone else’s play, or victim to a con. We see the intoxicating power of anger as it plays out on the news every day.  

After the stroll down memory lane, and checking some memories with my brother and a couple of friends, I think I’m becoming more mindful of how I choose to take present events and integrate them into my thinking and my actions. I want my memories to be as accurate as possible, even if at times they are less than charming. 

“Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.”

-Willa Cather

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