Memory is a tricky thing.
Our perceptions to a shared past differs with each person. And I suppose, as it should be. We are all individuals and our experience of the same event will differ from person to person because our personal beliefs and set of experiences before that event all play a part of how that event meant for you.
But what if that memory differs even for you as the years go by? Does our experience after that event also shape how we perceived that memory? If there is some guilt involved, would you conveniently change that memory and change how you re-tell that memory to others? Do you conveniently forget that that person you are recounting that memory to was also there? If you say it out loud does it make the new story true?
I think that is why journal writing can be very helpful. I think it helps to keep you honest with yourself. To later go back and read what you wrote and remind you what you were feeling at the time. Your views may have changed since then (whether it was 20 years ago or just yesterday) but it is important to know for yourself how you are then. It is no different than getting to know someone you’ve just met. We do it day in and day out with our jobs and the people we work with. We owe it to ourselves to also know who we are. Who we were and what will you become.
“Know Thyself” was inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. With Greece having produced the greatest philosophers of our time, it would behoove us to listen to that maxim.
Memory is a tricky thing. I have found that different family members have different recollections of the past or was changed in the retelling that I also questioned if I had really remembered it right or was it colored by my own set of morals. I now know that I have to stand back, listen to what everyone’s recollections are and make an assessment without judgement. I don’t know about you but that is a very difficult task for me. It is a practice of patience which most of you, if not all, know I don’t much have of it when I want to see results. That is a journey indeed and that practice of patience and objectivity of things remembered is a step closer to my true north. I hope that triggered a pondering for you too. I take this journey now but in reality, we are all taking a journey. To constantly improve, know one’s self and reach true enlightenment.
Wow, that sounded preachy but I hope you enjoyed reading this post. See you again soon.