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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Forgetting" a Memory Can Be Difficult

"Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it."

~Michel de Montaigne

When we "try to forget" something, we tend to cement it into our memory. Our brain must first identify what we are trying to forget. It first must think about it, picture it fully before giving the instruction to "forget it." The process of thinking about it helps to keep it active, and it seldom disappears. When we are trying to forget a memory, we usually want to get rid of the negative emotions attached to that memory. Releasing the emotional charge from a memory can most easily be done by changing our perceptions of it.

This week: Identify a memory about which you'd like to change your perceptions. Think about how you'd like to think about it differently. Think about what you've learned from it, especially the positive things you've learned from it. "I survived." "They didn't do it on purpose; they didn't know any better." What gift could this memory bring you?

Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a psychologist, life coach and trainer at Inner Resource Center, LLC in Maryville, Tennessee. She specializes in helping her clients unhook from the emotional baggage of their memories. For more information, see her website at http://www.innerresourcecenter.com/ .

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