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Reframing our memories and moving on

Sandra Marshall is currently one of the trainees on our recovery support worker training – Understanding and Working with Addictive Behaviours – and she is also a Master Practitioner in NLP who runs her own coaching business (the-key). Here she looks at the topic of memories and how we can reframe negative memories in order to move on in our lives.

We all have memories of our past and we also have ‘memories’ (or at least emotionally-charged images in our minds) not yet made for things that we are imagining and dreaming about in the future (particularly at the moment, during lockdown, perhaps).

Some of our memories are great to re-live and enjoy time and time again and others are not so good for us. Those negative memories often inhibit us and stop us from moving on to new and exciting things in the future.

We all store our memories in different ways. Take a moment to think about how you store yours.

Do you keep them in a filing cabinet? Do you keep them on a list? Do you keep them in suitcases with your good memories in one suitcase and then the memories you’d rather forget in another and hidden in a dusty corner of your mind?

Of course all of our memories are stored in our minds in some way, so, however you store them, they are all important and can either enrich your life or hold you back.

From the time we are conceived we start to make our memories although we can probably only remember memories from our early childhood if there was a very strong emotion connected with it. Perhaps something fabulous was happening for you or perhaps you only remember the first time you were angry, sad, fearful or guilty about something.

Our negative memories are often described as the heavy ‘baggage’ we carry around with us on a daily basis, sometimes without even knowing it. They weigh us down. How would it feel if you could empty that baggage into the bin and start with a fresh and open mind to move onto more wonderful opportunities in your life?

The famous Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung said that there are four key elements in any experience of an event;

  1. The actual event
  2. The perception of the event (the memory that it creates)
  3. The emotions attached to the event – most people stop after this step
  4. The learning gained from the event/experience

Can you remember the earliest memory of when you felt guilty? Perhaps you pinched some of your brother or sister’s sweets or a toy?  Now, when you remember the event, you probably still feel a little bit guilty. Now you’ve remembered that event as an adult, what would you say to the ‘smaller’ you in that memory to release that guilty emotion now?

This process is about reframing your memories and a great technique you can use is called Memory Resolution.

For further information, please just contact me, Sandy Marshall, via the-key: www.the-key.org.uk.

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