A step into the yesteryears. A peep into the past. Rewinding of the clock. Flying back the leaves of the calendar. Intruding into the home of the spiders, the cobwebs. Digging through the dust of time. Opening the rusted locks. Creaking of the door hinges, as memories force their way out into the present.

They have the power to give rise to an emotional tsunami that can engulf the present and give birth to an outburst worse than a volcanic eruption. Or take one down the spiral of depression.

We all have memories. Good. Bad. Ugly. Pleasant. Not so pleasant. And we all cling to these memories as if they are some treasure. They always become a reference point for the present circumstances. Life appears to come to a stand-still with the slideshow of memories before the mind. As the blurred images come into focus, we either smile, or tears swell up in our eyes.

We replay the memories before our mind’s eye. The joy we experience is so soothing, so comforting. We feel so secure with these memories, since no one can steal them nor anything can alter them. The shades may fade with time, but rest all is constant.

We yearn for those good times gone by and behave like a child at times who has lost his toy. We truly regale in them. The sad memories trigger off a debate, on how a particular situation could have been averted and converted into a happy event to cherish. We start playing the blame game and may even indulge in self pity.

A trek down memory lane invariably ends in a sigh. Nostalgia engulfs the mind, rendering it sluggish.

By and large, we see that memories cast a spell on our present. They drain us emotionally, retard our pace of life momentarily and make us feel psychologically low.

On the contrary, memories can serve as a springboard to excel, to struggle, to compete in the marathon of life, to re-invent ourselves, to review our perspective towards life.

Memories are the lessons of life. Each incident that has occurred has a role to play in the wider perspective and to shape our tomorrows.

It is always advised by great philosophers to live in the present i.e. block memories from meddling with your present. Now if we consider life as a book, is it possible to separate the chapters or pages that we have read from the chapters yet to be read? I do not think so. Wherever we go, we carry the entire book along with us. We do not tear away the chapters already read, since the foundation of the plot of the story is laid from the first page and it unravels completely on the last page. We may occasionally go to the previous chapters to understand the plot completely.

The same is applicable to our life too. Each day is like a page of a book, bound strongly to the rest. We should not make any effort to erase memories from our minds. They are an integral part of each of us. We should revisit our past. Not to scratch old wounds. Or keep a count of happy and melancholic moments. But to determine and assess how we have grown since then, mentally, psychologically and spiritually. What have been the lessons learnt. To determine how strong we have emerged, how much we have matured.

We should be able to establish a comfort level with our memories so that whenever they come to the fore, we welcome them, respect them, because by trying to push them aside we expend more energy and generate negativity within us. It is these past events that have shaped our personality, modulated our thought patterns and reframed our perspective as we hold today. Indirectly, it is acceptance of what has happened as events that were destined to happen to shape our tomorrows.

Memories are the building blocks of our lives. Each block is cemented to the previous ones. Let us enjoy the Divine architecture of our lives..
Chandigarh based Deepak Chopra is Author of the books: The Secrets of Success, Mantras for Inner Peace and Guruji – 21 Shades of Divinity

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