Re-Remembering Your Childhood
“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood”
– Tony Robbins
If you’re like me, you’ve had some pretty yucky experiences growing up.
For awhile, I thought most of my childhood was bad. I used to remember all the stupid things my parents did.
I thought about growing up with little money and having discounted meal tickets at school and food stamps at the grocery store. I replayed various scenarios at school that were embarassing and fearful for me.
Today I know that kind of thinking doesn’t help me one bit.
One of the main principles of You Can Choose is: Focus on what you want.
The attention and energy you give to things, helps you receive them. We frequently emphasize the benefits of knowing and thinking about what you want.
Many of us, instead, think about what we don’t want. We complain, criticize, and bemoan where we are or what we have.
Well, guess what? Focusing on what you want applies to your past as well.
Every time I complained about my parents or wined about the financial situation of my youth, I was focusing on what I didn’t want.
What I can and do today, is think about more of the good times growing up. Sure the bad times happened, but do I really need to focus on them?
Instead, I can remember the fun times with my parents and brothers and sisters. I can remember being in the school play and remember the fun times I had with my friends. I can remember anything I want to. I can choose.
As I focus on the good times, I’m reminded about more good times. It’s funny how that works. It’s like the saying ‘birds of a feather flock together.’ As soon as I start on a roll of happy memories, more come into focus, sometimes they’re funny memories I haven’t thought of for decades!
Since my memory is not always perfect, I can even exaggerate a memory here and there. Maybe I wasn’t the prom king, but I was a good dancer!
I like to think of this as re-remembering. I choose events from my memory I like, and focus more on them. What were the funny details or hilarious comments a friend made.
I do this now, not just with my childhood memories, but for recent events in my life too.
Everything, and I mean everything has a silver lining. It may be difficult and at times even impossible to see from our current perspective, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. One of the challenges we have each day is to look for that silver lining as thin as it might be.
When you find it, re-remember the parts you like. Re-remember the good parts and ignore the others. Doing so will help you reframe your past and your future.