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This is an excerpt from Gillian McMichael’s book Coming Home: A Guide to Being Your True Self
Our mind is beautiful, but it holds so much information we can sometimes feel overwhelmed with it all. We have 60–80,000 thoughts a day, the ones that drift in and out of our consciousness will determine our perceptions. Thoughts will disappear; some will be the same as the day before.
Some may linger and keep popping back into our consciousness, and others will be new, based upon the new experiences, situations or interactions we have. Our thoughts are stored, and over time they turn into memories. Not all thoughts are turned into a memory, but the thoughts that have feelings attached to them transition into something bigger, and that’s when they become a memory.
Once a thought becomes a memory, our mind can influence how we feel. It can take us back to past experiences good or bad, it can trick us into thinking that what we’re experiencing today is exactly what we experienced years ago. It can also determine how we react to situations based upon these memories today and in the future.
Our minds have the capacity to store information for more than a century. Automatically cataloguing, re-filling, and editing as needed. Although this is amazing, it can have its challenges, especially when trying to manage the stress, the worry and the over-thinking we find ourselves doing today. It will also stop us from living our truth.
On this journey, we need to make meaning of how we feel and what we say so that we move beyond the principles of being true to ourselves to truly live our truth.
Here are three tips to making meaning of your life through memories
Learn the difference between perception and reality
To do this, we need to learn the difference between perception and reality. By knowing the difference, we can shift our perceived reality into our actual reality. We all have perceptions about things in our lives and in our relationships. These perceptions tend to always be about ourselves and about the way we think others perceive us. These perceptions are how our opinions form, the way we see things and the way we experience things.
A perception can be regarded as an impression that resides in the memory of an experience we’ve had, and that experience is imprinted. These impressions remain; they form strong bonds within our ego. As we grow, they grow until we’re unable to know what’s real or what’s a perception. An impression of something we think we have experienced. Another way of describing a perception could also be a mindset; how you view yourself and the world. We take for granted these perceptions. We don’t question them; we just take them on board, and they become our reality.
Understand the mind is our software
Another way to describe it is that the mind is the software to our soul. That software has been programmed since the day we were conceived. When we start to cognitively remember, recognise and feel the experiences we’ve had, our mind chooses to store these in our software.
All this programming leaves an imprint that creates a pattern that influences our behaviour. These imprints will simply either have a positive or negative impact on you. The mind sorts these experiences into good, bad, funny, happy or sad moments and these shape who we are and how we live our lives. These are the stories that we tell ourselves, our families, friends and colleagues.
The stories we share with others will always have emotions attached to them. When we share these stories, our emotions are easily brought back to the surface. Depending on how many times we discuss or share that particular story the emotions and the story gather momentum. They become much larger than they were when first experienced. These stories are exaggerated, adding two and two together and making five – this is what our software does. It colludes, it interprets, it manifests in ways that don’t serve us well or in ways that are not always the truth. Instead, a perception is born, and the reality or separation of the truth in the situation is disregarded.
Free the software to your soul
Let me introduce you to the concept of the software of the soul in a different way. If you think about it software is everywhere, we have it in our computers, our smartphones, iPads etc., and for thousands of years, the soul has had its own software. Another way of describing this is our habits; the software is our habitual way of living. This software has been built up over the years and can keep us in a holding pattern – thinking, behaving and feeling – even if the software is not working for us, we will keep repeating the same patterns.
In our software, we have action, memory and desire. The choices we make are based upon our actions, memories and desires. We take an action; this creates a memory. The memory creates a desire, and the desire leads, in turn, to another action. This is what we can refer to as the software of the soul. We can release ourselves from that negative software and go beyond our action, memory and desire. We can unlock ourselves from the shackles that hold us in our habitual ways of being. We can free ourselves and create space for infinite possibilities and connect with our essential nature. Our true knowing.