I was recently meditating and as often happens, my mind wandered off to some secluded path. All of a sudden an idea popped into my head – which usually spells trouble – but I kept following it anyhow. Here is the result of that journey.
I began thinking about the coping mechanisms we have, and how we deal with the serious (and sometimes not-so-serious) problems we face. It is my belief that the mind forgets things – or perhaps it just locks them up – on purpose. In a way, this is like the mind saying to you “I will ease your pain by hiding the memory.”
This is true in my own life, during my battle with cancer. I can remember little bits and pieces of what I went through, but nothing that would overwhelm me. I remember the intense pain – more pain than I had ever dreamed possible – but now I cannot remember the intensity, just my thoughts as it happened.
This is true of the little things: the blunders and embarrassments we experience over the years. And that is the reason that I believe that life is becoming harder: we never forget anything anymore. How can we, when everything we do is recorded, tweeted, blogged, Skyped and chronicled for everyone in the world to see on-demand?
Gone are the days when you forget how bad your hair style was or how embarrassing it was to wear the latest fashion. Now, instead of looking back into your past and pulling up the good memories, you are bombarded with the mistakes you made – reminded on a daily basis of every negative thing you have ever done and every negative feeling you ever felt. Our memories now become legend, and legend imprisons us.
Perhaps my feelings stem from being agoraphobic. We don’t like attention. That is why writing this is not easy: people notice me now and that is both a discomfort and an exhilaration at the same time. So, what is the solution? I don’t think there is one – not as long as a camera is always in our faces.
I suppose that the only way to cope with this is the acceptance that this is the way of the world, and a sense of humor strong enough to give us courage to laugh at it. Here’s something for starters:
See what I mean? Should I laugh or should I cringe?