Friday, October 24, 2008

Strategic Amnesia

So which painful memory would you delete if you could? An old love, a stupid mistake, a thoughtless remark that ruined a friendship? Perhaps all of the above? We'd love to hear from you.


At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the concept -

I'd prefer a bottle of white out rather than an eraser. Just an edit here and there. I don't want to completely forget, b/c it's a lesson learned. Namaste.


At 1:54 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Well said. I think I'd have to completely agree with that, now that you put it that way.

At 9:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish i could forget every time my husband pushes me away. It leaves me empty, longing, and broken. I have to go to my thankless job and try to hold my head up and wish I could come home to warmth. I wish sometimes I could forget the suffering of loved ones, and wish I could forget how unfair and unjust the world can be.

I wish I could forget the nights of tears, of watching my child grow into adulthood facing life with such horrible disabilities that he has never had a date, does not have the stamina to hold a full-time job, and is caught in a system between public aid and not being able to survive because his 35+ prescriptions a month and all his hospitalizations could never be afforded otherwise.

And then I take a deep breath and see the dishes need to be done, I visit my father-in-law who is in the last stages of cancer and I rub his feet and soothe him, and bring food to my mother-in-law who is exhausted. I was surprised by the offer of a job for today, and was grateful I could go buy some groceries after work.

Why should life hold such sadness? If I loved less it wouldn't hurt so much, but could never wish for that. But when the wounds from a friend or a spouse cut deep, forgetting helps forgiving, forgetting helps start anew each day, forgetting helps me focus on the tasks at hand. Or maybe it is the tasks at hand that help me forget.

Peace, even for a moment, is golden. I try to file my memories under my blessings, and search for those like a heat-seeking missile. It is not a process of delusion(unconstructive option), merely an adjustment of focus. It is the best I can do, and I offer my thoughts humbly in case anyone has insight to add, or has sorrows too weighty to carry.

I have ceased to run from my pain; I embrace it, feel it, acknowledge it. I cannot be sad forever, and find power in the truth of my growing strength. Some people spend their whole lives running away from their pain and I will run no longer. I am now whole, and learning to brave the pain of my life only increases my hunger for every good thing my world has to offer.

Those good things are the simplest things on earth, but they are real. Today I spoke with loved ones on the phone, dug in the earth, made homemade chicken soup, and read a good book. I filled a school with armloads of flowers to surprise my friends when they come to work, and did the wash for my family. Doing things for others fills me when nothing else will do, and then when I need it the most, those kindnesses seem to find their way back to me and I find myself hugged in a store, given money anonymously, or am trusted with a secret by a child. In the eyes of the world I am poor, but a bank vice-president once saw the truth and told me I am the richest person she has ever known. And so I am.


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