Ever thought your past dictates the state of your life just now? Why not rewrite your past to create your future. There are theories galore stating that what has happened in your past can have a huge impact on the way you are living your life just now. This has become part of the human psyche and it is an embedded belief in a lot of people. Well why not relax this belief and while we’re at it let’s change the past.
When you really break it down your past is a collection of memories you hold in your head.
Read that statement again ‘your past is a collection of memories you hold in your head’.
That might sound ridiculous but it’s true. What might sound even more ridiculous is that some theories state that you cannot prove your past existed, but we won’t go there just now that’s for another post.
Last week someone asked me what I had for dinner the previous night (who knows why he asked me, I didn’t even question that at the time), anyway I thought back to the previous night. In my mind I pictured myself and my family sitting down and eating together at the table, I pictured us talking about school, work and the usual chit chat. I then remembered tucking into pasta bolognaise. So I replied to the person asking that I’d had pasta bolognaise. I went about my business as usual and then remembered I had been working late the previous night, and I hadn’t sat down with my whole family it was just my wife I had sat down to dinner with, the kids had already had their dinner. And I didn’t have pasta bolognaise, I’d had rice and chicken. So what! You might say, but I’d effectively re-written a part of my past, albeit momentarily, and we do this everyday without realising it.
Our memories are not always accurate; in fact I’d say they are inaccurate most of the time. We are changing everyday, our mood changes, our perception of life changes from day to day, our interactions with people change from day to day, our belief system changes all the time, our knowledge and expectations change.
The psychologist Frederick Bartlett called this ‘Schemata’. ‘According to Bartlett, memories are organized within the historical and cultural frameworks of the individual, and the process of remembering involves the retrieval of information which has been unknowingly altered in order that it is compatible with pre-existing knowledge.’ Neurophilosophy.wordpress.com
I remember in my early twenties life was totally down and miserable, I felt sorry for myself, I thought people didn’t like me, I thought the world was against me. Now, when I was feeling like that I was still collecting memories along the way, bleak memories, depressive memories when in actual fact it was my perception of the world at the time but it wasn’t necessarily a true representation of life. However, I have collected the memories from that part of my life and carried it on into the future. I have since gone back and revisited those days and managed to change the overall feeling of the time. When I have gone back it is not specific memories, rather it is a cloud of feeling that I am changing. However it works with specific memories as well.
Don’t deny your past
What I am advocating is changing the feeling of your past, not deny the events that happened. By changing the feelings of the past you will be altering your current and future life. Use this as another tool to get yourself to feel positive about your world. If you don’t feel positive about your world just now and haven’t done for a long time it might take a long time to change that view. Why not make the changes now instead of waiting on the changes to come.
Think back to when you last felt angry with someone
Go back into the memory and start to change various aspects of it. Change the colours in the scene, change the way people are interacting with you, look at the person you are angry with and study them and try and gauge their feelings.
Freeze frame the scene.
Study the person again and mentally ask them questions, how are they feeling? Did something happen to them to make them feel this way? Ask yourself how you are feeling, was there something that made you feel this way.
Now replay the scene again and notice the changes in yourself and the way you feel about the situation, are you still as angry?
This is a simplified way of changing a memory, but it can be that easy sometimes. Over time if you do this long enough and practice it you will start to feel a shift, mentally and possibly physically, depending on how much you have been working on your memories.
Another tool for life changes?
I believe this method could be extremely useful in other areas of our lives such as during ill health. I believe that our memories and thoughts affect the cells in the body. If we are ill at any stage in our lives would it be possible to change the illness by remembering a time when we were well and projecting it into the future?