I wish I had the ability to edit my memories like a filmmaker has the ability to edit, cut, and throw out certain scenes of a movie. Recalling our memories, both positive memories and negative memories can freeze us into place, refusing to let ourselves experience our life in our current place. Difficult memories can throw us into the despair of guilt and questioning why has this happened to me. Even positive memories of the past where aspects of our life have changed can send us into questioning, “Where did it all go wrong? How did it change?”.
As a therapist, I was trained in Adlerian psychology, one of the techniques I often used with clients was recollection of memories, as a way to gauge the mindset and emotional frame of a client as they progressed through therapy. The basis is that the memories we are able to recall are an avenue of discovering how this person is functioning emotionally and psychologically. For the first time in my career in psychology, I personally question the effectiveness of this technique. The memories that are flooding my own mind right now are of times when my life appeared to be blissful. Those memories are not an account of my emotional state, but a painful memory of how some people change through time into something that does not match our memories of the past.
I want to banish those memories from my recollection. They haunt me like a ghost creeping through the recesses of not only my conscious states, but also my dreams. The memories send me into a despair of wishing to try to turn the clock back to a time in which the ghost of my memories was the person I see standing before me. The ghost that lives in my memories is dead, although the bodily form still exists. The essence of who they were, or at least who I thought they were in my memories has been banished from the living, leaving both my thoughts and soul haunted by a phantom that lives in human form, but the soul I thought I knew is now is just a memory of the past.