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Snapshots

2 Oct

As we go through our lives, there are memories that stay with us. Sometimes they are etched in our minds forever because the event was so intense – the death of a loved one, the day our child was born, or when we met the love of our lives.  But often they aren’t anything extraordinary but regular days where something unexpected happened or we felt something deeply. We remember a day at the beach when we found a perfectly round pebble on the shore. Or the time we had lunch with friends and the waiter told a joke so funny we couldn’t stop laughing. Or we remember a long walk through a quiet forest and how fresh the air felt. Our minds capture these events like snapshots frozen in time. Perhaps someone says something and a memory comes forward, or we smell a familiar but long lost scent that takes us back, or we see something and suddenly we are transformed back in time to a special moment. Our lives race by so quickly and when we remember a time before now, we have the chance to reflect and see how far we’ve come.

Every one of our days is sacred. We can only live through them one time and then they are gone. But our memories last forever. They are stored close to our hearts reminding us of who we are, and where we’ve been. It’s impossible to remember everything and some people preserve their daily activities by keeping a journal or a diary. Others take lots of pictures and revisit them again and again. And some of us just rely on ourselves to remember special moments. Whatever we’re doing, memories take us back to times before, and help us understand the road we’ve been on. If we let them, our memories will teach us and show us how much we’ve grown.

When memories are painful we may want them to disappear. If they revisit us again and again and we can’t make them stop there may be unresolved issues from whatever happened. The memory may be a reminder that we still have work to do to move forward. If that’s the case, the only way to stop the pain is to face the memory head on and deal with it. Opening old wounds is never easy but sometimes it’s the only way to make them heal. If we can face the pain openly, see everything clearly, and let it wash over us, we can begin to let it go. We have to open the door to walk through it. And then on the other side we can start to move forward again and although the memory will still be there, working through it will help stop the pain attached to it.

Today if you remember a time gone by that brought you joy, take a moment to relive the memory. Enjoy the experience again and be happy. If you remember something that hurts, look at it, and take some time to work through the pain until you can begin to let it go. Your memories are blessings. Painful or joyful, they are proof that you are here. And being here is wonderful. It’s the greatest blessing of all.

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