Remembering it All Wrong

I diligently worked away at the fourth revision of the manuscript I've spent the better part of the past six years writing. I was fine-tuning the second section, which also happens to be about the second chakra. Most of the chapter details my remembering of and longing for the creativity of my youth, which is fitting for second chakra aspects of inner child, creativity, and emotions.

Writing is immensely therapeutic. When writing something about yourself, like an important event, you have to dig deep to adequately capture the essence of the experience in words. You learn about your situation, your perception, and yourself as you choose the terms in which to convey your life on the page.

Then leave it. Come back to it after a week, a month, a year. See your circumstances through wiser eyes. You may have a deeper understanding or fresh perspective, and your account of the tale shifts. Come back to it after five years. It is as if you are reading someone else's words.

Are Memories Chaining You?

My second chakra chapter detailed memories of my youth and how I wrote inspired poetry and freely sketched my afternoons away. It recounted my pining for the creativity I remembered easily accessing as a child and lamented how I had lost touch with this creative self as an adult. It was, in part, this memory of childhood writing that helped fuel the undertaking of the manuscript. Then my parents came to visit.

Mom had cleaned out an old dresser in the basement and found an envelope with over a dozen handmade cards I had given her and Dad during my childhood years: Mother's and Father's Day cards, Christmas cards, and birthday cards. The cards were filled with poems and art. Finally, the opportunity to see what I had always remembered.

Oh, there were inspired poems alright. Every colorful rendition of Roses are red...and art. Oh, the art! Folded craft paper, decoupage of magazine ads, even a St. Patty's Day card constructed of leftover wallpaper. Aside from a couple more lengthy poems that looked like they were written in my later teenage years, the art looked a lot like what my kids, all kids, bring home from school.

I sat on the floor of the kitchen next to the recycling bin, pile of cards in hand. I thumbed through them one last time, laughing as I placed each card into the blue bucket. I had chained myself to a memory.

The only thing more misleading than holding onto the past is holding onto a false past.

The False Memory

In that one day, that one envelope, I freed myself of the past and opened up a present.

If it hadn't been for the false memory, I may never have written the manuscript. Never have tackled such an immense feat. Never have taken courses to hone my craft. Never have seen myself grow on the page. Never have put myself out there. Never have come to the Gaiam TV community.

There comes a time, however, to let go of what got us to where we are. To unbind ourselves from the past. To recognize who we are now, where we are now, and decide where we want to go. Turns out I was never much of a writer.

Freed of the burden of the false memory, in this moment I get to decide if I want to be one.

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