Elephantine memories

One of my husband’s pet peeves is that he cannot put a name to a familiar face and he says this problem has accentuated with his age( he is in the earlier half-decade of 50).

My problem is that I tend to hold on to memories far more ( I think) than a lot of other people. My husband often reminds me that I need to let go of the past and perhaps memories ‘ wrongs” others might have done me in the past. I was haunted, until recently by memories of the “terror” or should I say ‘terrorist” at my previous work place and the extreme steps I take to avoid her.


On my recent holiday, I went to visit an old uncle and aunt of my husband’s, both in their late 80’s, who are bed-ridden and can’t remember most things except things that haven’t changed much. They can remember my father, mother and sister in law, who haven’t changed much in years but they can’t place my husband, me or our children and so many of the current generation. Me, it is understandable, my appearance changing, as it is, from day-to-day.


Isn’t it funny that we humans, find it difficult to let go of old hurts and memories that hurt and tend to hang on to them ( sometimes for dear life) but at other times, even a simple thing like a name is difficult to remember.

Don’t you sometimes wish you could remember what you learnt in school or the names of people or things you read or saw somewhere more than the memories of hurts and sad thoughts ?


Do we tend to hold on to memories to avoid forgiving the persons who hurt us in the past, for forgiveness is  a large part of letting go ?

I had hard times in my college during my under graduate studies( mentioned in previous posts). I was ragged and still carry harsh memories of my time there. I even avoid my college reunions to avoid seeing my classmates. I am actually not sure if I want to let go of this elephantine memory. Is it actually possible that I want to hang on to this hurt for as long as I live ? No, actually I would like to move forward. I would like to go back to my alma mater ( sometime).


What do you think my steps should be to achieve my goal of forgiving those who hurt me ?

  1. I would say one way is to go and confront the people who hurt me.
  2. If Banani has hurt me a lot in the past, one way I can forgive her is to keep saying ” I forgive Banani” several times a day. ( This is going to be difficult). You realize what I am doing here- I am trying to write down my feelings, so can see it every time I read this post.
  3. Instead of the negative thoughts that I harbour, I can practice putting one today thought in its stead. For example, I need to get back home as soon as work is over and sit with my daughter so the two of us can tackle some high school physics together. Isn’t that so much better than ruminating over the past ? So exchanging a good thought, a today thought can possibly help erase past thoughts. Do you agree ?
  4. As in reading a book, I can move on to the next chapter of my life. ( after I accept the past and embrace it of course)
  5. I need to do my Masters’ degree and soon- so I can get a job or even start an MPH program when I return home. Planning and working on this bucket list item can possibly help move the gramophone record of my life from my past, so I can listen to new songs and see the world through rose-tinted glasses- once again.

To be able to recall items is good but to learn to let go of memories is a cultivated art. ( I think)