Forgetfulness : The Route to Happiness : Sometimes not remembering is the best thing to do
Yes… In recent years, this is what I have realized. The more you have the capacity for forgetting, the higher your chances to be happy. Kids/ students reading this, please do not get me wrong. Also, for those who owe money to family, friends, and the bank – you too might want to read this piece till the last syllable.
So yeah… as I was saying, in recent years I have realized how among the various routes to happiness – forgetfulness is the one on which very little has been documented, hardly any YouTube videos exist, and not sure how many “self-help” gurus have spoken about it. Before I get into the details, here are some examples of how forgetfulness made me happy (good chances, you too have had the same experience).
The forgotten money in the Jeans pocket
The forgotten love notes in the back of your drawer
Forgotten (not rotten) food in the fridge
That dress that you “forgot” that you had in your closet
The forgotten book you lent to your friend/ relative and at last to your surprise GOT IT BACK!!
You see, since childhood, we are trained to remember things. Remembering the facts and figures is an integral part of scoring good grades (at least in India). We are even told to remember how we were treated by others and take it as a lesson for our future interactions with them; mostly to avoid heartbreaks and disappointments. Remembering things, people, and events have such an integral part of our psyche that any change in someone’s appearance, behavior, or life goals carries the force to surprise us, amaze us, and many times arouse envy in us.
Conversations like “Remember what she was?… How did she do this?” To which my question is “why not?”. We are humans, not trees to be fixed to a place and look and grow in a particular manner alone.
If you think about it, most of our pain is usually the result of the things and events we “remember”, things “we can not forget at all”. And then we feed this memory every day and the pus of the infectious thought keeps building in. Someday it will be out… good chances most of the days we avoid it being out at any cost. And it is at this juncture that I understood how forgetfulness can be extremely helpful.
Do not get me wrong. In no manner am I saying to just let things go and not remember them at all. We need to be quite selective here and build a selective memory muscle. Before we even contemplate building our capacity to forget, we need to always remember to take away the lesson from that particular event. This is only to stay safe, to know what can be expected – at the same time keeping a tiny scope of change (for the better or the worse).
The lesser impressions we have in our psyche, the easier it is to grow. There is enough evidence of how our thoughts play a vital role in not just our mental health but also our physical well-being. This body of ours, which is no less than a temple, which we carry till our last breath, better not be home to stinky thoughts and memories. Forgetting is not easy. I say this from personal experience. The ongoing fight between remembering the pain and getting rid of it is a hard tussle. But forgetting surely is one of the best choices we have.
The more you forget painful memories, the more space you create for experiences you would love to have. And, instead of nagging yourself into forgetting things, rather nag and place yourself in things/ people/ experiences that you enjoy. Forgetfulness often is like that rabbit that moves out quietly when least bothered. And while it is good to have some support, some company, someone to motivate you – I would suggest we rather be our own support system and biggest motivator. I say this because no one knows your pain and thoughts as closely as you do. Then why burden others with the task of improving your life?
While I am no authority on anything, my experience is the only evidence I have to back up this theory of mine. 🙂
If it works out for anyone of you… a tiny corner of me will feel fulfilled.
Until my next post…
M.A English Language And Literature ( MG University, Kerala )
Final Semester MBA ( Marketing Management, NMIMS )
Digital Marketer With A Cyber Security Solutions Firm, Banglore.