Putting Bad Memories Behind You
I want to explain to you how to put bad memories behind you. There are a few reasons why it is a good idea to put your bad memories behind you. For instance, you can focus on moving forwards if you can put those bad memories behind you. Think about it this way, if you were driving a car (if you’re a child, don’t drive a car that’s a bad idea) the point is if you were driving a car and you were looking at the bits that had happened behind you instead of looking at where you wanted to go in front of you, there would be a problem – you would crash and it’s kind of the same in life!
In life, it is really important that our focus is on where it is we want to go and not where it is that we’ve come from so when we have had bad memories from the past that we keep them in the past instead of putting them in our future because it can cause some problems for us. Least of all, the fact that when you keep returning to old bad memories and I’m not saying that you’re doing this on purpose, you know, this is something that feels like it just happens for you but we’re going to get that under control, okay. But when you keep putting the bad memories from the past in front of you then your future kind of gets shaped by what happened in the past and that’s not okay. It can make it feel as if you’re expectations of the future are based on the bad stuff that happened in the past.
Due to the way in which your brain works; your brain has like a little radar built into it so that it will be scanning the world around you to find more of the stuff that you’re already thinking about it and if what you’re thinking about is bad memories from the past it’s going to be scanning to find more of that in the moment of now and into your future. This is not good for us. A big part of the reason why we want to stop thinking about stuff from the past that was negative is that we don’t want it affecting what happens now and into the future. We don’t want to have those same expectations about the future because when we do it makes it feel like the world is a very small place when it’s not as huge. There are tons of different options and possibilities that life can offer you but if all you’re thinking about is the world looks like this, my life looks like, this people act like this around me because of what happened before then that’s all you end up seeing as you move forward.
What are we going to do about it!
We’re going to change it, that’s what, we’re going to do about it. We’re going to use a kind of code that you have in your head this is naturally built into everybody’s brains and I’m going to tell you how to hack the code. All of your memories from the past and stuff that you’re thinking of experiencing in the future; when you think about them in your head you have a particular code attach to them. The code links to your senses. Your five senses are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling and each of those individual five senses has a code that is attached to it. For example, with seeing things there are different ways in which you can see things. You can see things as if they are in black and white like an old movie or you can see them as if they are in colour, like real life. You might see an image in your mind of something that happened in the past as being right up in your face and you’re imagining it right there all over again or you could see it is something that’s happening off in the distance. There are different ways in which we can see things that we’ve experienced before when we think about them in the moment of now.
Let me say that again: It’s kind of important when you recall memories from the past. You can see them in different kinds of ways and when you imagine them in different kinds of ways it can change the way you feel about them. It’s the same with sounds. When you recall a memory from the past there’s probably going to be some sounds attached to it, not always, but very often. The sounds could have been of other people’s voices. They may have sounded rude or aggressive. If you change the way that sounds, it will change the way you feel about it. If you turn down the volume so that you don’t hear them so much or turn up the pitch so that they become squeaky and sound ridiculous then it will change the way you feel about that old memory that would be part of your hearing code. With your feeling code, there are probably particular feelings that you get in your body when you recall that old memory. It’s like a compression on your head in which your brain is getting squashed, maybe, it’s like flutters in your chest or returning in your stomach. There are all sorts of different feelings that we might experience in our bodies as a result of recalling an old memory from the past.
What we’re going to start to do is change the way those feelings work. If you notice that in your tummy you get like a turning around and around sensation. Notice what happens if you spin it in the other direction or if you keep it still or if you, I don’t know, explode it or something whatever else you might want to do so you can start to take control over your physical sensations in your body. Just by thinking about them in a runaway that would be some of your codings for feelings obviously we’ve got smells and tastes kind of depends on what the memory was as to whether or not those are going to be important. If your bad memory is related to some kind of communication or encounter with others the chances are the smells and tastes on all that important.
If your bad memory was about throwing up maybe they would be but here’s what you’re going to do you are going to write down all of the code that you can think of about how you saw that thing. Once you’ve got a list down and I will give you some suggestions as well as to what might be on your list then what you’re going to do next is change it because here’s the thing that bad memory from the past is not happening anymore. The only place it now exists is in your head and that means that you have got the power to make it work differently. Therefore, if you saw it in black and white change it to colour. If you saw it in colour change it to black and white. You’re just going to do the opposite if it was far away moved it near to you. If it was near move it further away.
When you do these things some things might make you feel worse because you know we’re just testing stuff out here. I don’t know what the right code is going be for you so you need to be open to being playful and testing out different ways of doing things but the most important thing is that you figure out what works for you and it might not be the same code for a different memory. The next memory you might need to work it in a slightly different way.
Here is a list of questions to answer for each memory in order to change it:
Is it black and white or colour?
Is it near or far away in the distance?
is it bright or dim?
Does it have a picture frame around that memory as you remember it now?
Is it a movie or a photograph?
Is it flat?
What does it sound like? is the volume high, low or soft, can we change that?
Is the pitch high, low or normal, can we change that?
What about where the sound is coming from?
What about if the sound goes off in a different direction, what does that do to the sound?
Well that if we slow it right down or speed it up or put pauses in what difference can that make for you with those feelings can we move it to a different place in your body? What happens if you move it up to your shoulder, down your arm to the tip of your finger and flick it away, can we do that with it?
Could we change the colour of the feeling looking for the feeling had a colour what colour would it be? What happens if you change the colour of the feeling does it make you feel differently about that old bad memory?
When you start to change your old memories from the past they stop getting in the way of what you’re doing next in the future. They lose their power and that’s the most important thing. The other important thing that can happen is that you can begin to take some learning from those old bad memories so instead of them just kind of sitting there like a rotten old apple or just fermenting and going mouldy; you can look at them in a different way. You might then realise there is something useful for you to take out of what happened.
Once you have changed how the memory works for you, you’ve changed that coding. You’ve gotten rid of the bad feelings associated with it.
The next really important thing is you wonder what did it teach me? What can I take from that because that’s when it starts to serve you in a positive way instead. If you can take good meanings from bad situations then that really prepares you for some of the good stuff that’s going to come up next in your life. It sends out a signal to the rest of the world that you are one of those people who can be mature in your thinking and who can turn bad stuff around and make them into good things.
Do keep practising with changing that coding and when you have changed the coding begin to change the meaning that the old event has by giving it something better that serves you for your future so that it starts to have that silver lining effect on you and do that consistently with bad stuff that happens as quickly as possible after it happening so that it doesn’t take up time in your life causing you to experience long periods of negativity.
By Gemma Bailey