Drew learned from a well-known neurologist recently that memory is essentially undependable. For example, they were able to do a study where the day after 9/11 they asked hundreds of people to write down exactly where they were when they heard about the crash, along with other emotions and details about the day. One year later, the same people were asked the same questions about 9/11 and their experience. What happened? Only 10% were accurate!
I love that I heard this and thought, “oh yea, 90% didn’t accurately remember, but I sure do.” But then, as good of a friend as Life is, I could hear it laughing in the background- “When are you going to get it? As sure as you might be about a something that you experience, it may not have happened like that at all! You are not always the special 10%!”
It is so funny that I think like that so often! But the truth is that this could be a great thing that memories are not really what we remember them to be.
This understanding of memory and its unreliable nature is incredibly valuable to us.
If what we think has happen to us in the past in fact is more likely not to have happened that way or like we remember at all, then we are all given clean slates. Most of the junky thoughts about ourselves, our mistakes, our decisions, our affairs aren’t accurate! You are wrong! Let me repeat that – You are wrong!
In fact, the chances are that everything was actually tremendously better than you remember!
Wayne Dyer equates it to this – experiences in our life are like snake bites. They happen. The snake injects something into us and it circulates. The bite stings. Yet you get to decide if it was a poisonous snake or not! Sure the bite itself hurts (pain is a sign that you are alive!), but it doesn’t have to kill you. A bite from a snake alone will never kill you. Only the venom will. In this metaphor- it will be what you think about the bite afterward – it will be the meaning you associate with the event- that kills you, makes you sick, poisons your system.
This is wonderful news! The best news I have thought about in a while. But no knowledge and understanding is powerless unless it is used. So how can we use this?
We could start with a little memory, some small hurt from our past, but why not make it fun – why not look at something that was the hardest thing you had to deal with. Something that left you feeling powerless, hurt or “damaged”.
Now, as you think of the memories, “facts” of the events, look at each and see that it is not “truth”. Look at it as it really is – the way you have processed and chosen to remember it! I insist that 90% of what you are remembering is a lie.
Now what? Now that we realize the last vestige of the event- our memory- is wrong, what is left of it? Has it lost some weight? Are you able to look around the event for other things were going on then that you might not have noticed?
Since this happened in your past, you are coming at it from an excellent vantage point. You have survived! That alone proves that you are strong! What did this “bite” actually do for you? Did it make you prove your strength, perhaps to others, but most importantly to yourself? Did it jar you and knock you to the floor so you could get the pleasure and gratitude of feeling what it means to walk again? Did it turn you on to learn more about something in particular? Did it make you look deeper at yourself, a relationship, or the nature of Life?
This is the true power of Alchemy in Life. You have the ability to change the poison cursing through your veins into an IV of healthy fluid to propel you forward! You have the ability to choose how you remember something, how you process the pain.
What if there are absolutely no accidents at all in Life. What if everything is a gift placed exactly in the right spot for you. Gifts, even hidden in the grass in the shape of snakes – a thing that society has deemed as “bad”, “scary” or “threatening”. What if your snake bite is the best thing that happened to you, the most transformable event, the coolest story that you have!? What if we get out of our minds and see that we were just freaking out because we were bitten, but there is no lasting damage, no venom to deal with, except for the uproar and effect our mind had on it?
What if we could just pause and look at the bite, look at the story and say “cool, but you have no power, no threat, to me now”. And then turn to the only true thing in front of us, Life, and this present moment filled to the bring with all our abilities to act right now.