Memories are highly unstable elements. They constantly change and morph, and look different according to who is doing the remembering. Some memories are driven by strong triggers, and others slip backwards into the shadows. Ideally, the good ones would remain in the light while those that cause pain fade away. That is not always the case, but with a little memory editing you can reshape the past to make a better storyline.
What Is To Be Gained From Memory Editing
It makes sense to practice memory editing. Dwelling on enterprises that didn’t work out, or undesirable incidents in your life causes distress. The accompanying negative thoughts can drag you onto a downward spiral. For example, when you think about a past relationship, it has to be more energising to turn your attention to all the good times, and to more or less erase the final decline. After all, you have already lived through the bad times once, so why relive them again and again. You know they happened, but sometimes it helps to blur the details.
The Act of Editing Memories
To use reshape the past successfully you need to start with a strong vision of the person you are now, and the person you aspire to be. If this picture is clear enough, it will form the structure for you to create your personal version of the past, one that makes sense as a storyline leading up to the point you are at now, and the trajectory you are on. You can use this to reinforce your ideas of self, now and in the future. In a way, you can simply regard it as a positive strategy for taking care of your well-being.
Fluidity And Revision
Memories are indefinite entities, so there is no need to feel guilty about consciously revising them at any time. They are subject to all sorts of influences, emotions, and even the, seemingly, most accurate ones are fuzzy around the edges. Therefore, when you edit, you are not altering the facts, just guiding them down a certain pathway that allows you to carry on with what you are shaping your life into, without negative baggage dragging you backwards.
Your version of the past will also modify of its own accord, since, inevitably, things in the environment trigger thoughts of previous incidents. However, it’s up to you how much airplay these remnants receive in your forefront of your mind. If they don’t fit your plan, you can adopt a policy of sweeping them aside as soon as possible.
The Filing Cabinet Of The Mind
That’s not to say you should ignore negative elements completely, but once you have acknowledged them, and learned what you have to learn, you can move on. No memory is ever completely forgotten, but it can be filed away in a dusty recess of your mind.
Your editing process is going on subconsciously anyway. The brain is constantly selecting and rejecting information that is necessary for your survival. There is no way to consciously dig deep into this mechanism, you can only skim the surface, since it happens as part of your automatic internal life support system, but you can aim to be more attentive to any conscious part of this, any part that pops to the surface, and reminds you of an old friend, or an old enemy. Once you have developed more awareness of this information you can become its master. You can decide what to do with it, whether to use it or lose it.
Dress, Voir, Malaysia
Sequined sneakers, PrettyFit, Singapore
All photos taken by Ju Underwood at Spices Hotel, Penang, Malaysia