I was listening to a speaker this week who talked about how stress, negative emotions, and bad memories can affect our physical health. A term he used was to “polish your memories.” We have a lifetime of memories filling our heads. It’s worth taking some time to think about what thoughts and memories get the majority of our awareness.
Are we remembering life with regret over poor decisions? Are we wallowing in self-pity because of painful experiences?
Or are we focusing our hearts and minds toward the good in our lives and pasts? Not to deny negative experiences, but what can we do to let them go and give them less power in our minds? Are we treasuring and taking out precious memories and polishing them, fondling them like precious gems that they are?
How can we polish and find peace for the poor experiences in a way that doesn’t bury them but puts them away? Life isn’t fair – I assume you’ve figured that out by now. I sure have. However, our minds can be fair in the judgment of experiences and balance of our thoughts and memories.
I have to ask myself, “How will my day be shaped?” Will I focus on what I can’t do or will I put energy into what I can and will do?
Life is also precious. We need to make memories and polish those that we treasure. Other memories should be pushed away like a stone being skipped across a lake leaving smaller and smaller rings until it sinks to the bottom.
I have some precious moments that I pull out to polish when I’m having a rough day. What’s interesting is that I sometimes have a dilemma – which life moment should I polish today? I inhale, exhale, and feel the problem that seemed so daunting to be shrinking.
I visited my daughter in Germany recently. I had an incredible time. We walked miles and I snapped a lot of pictures. Oh, and by the way, I broke my kneecap and had to take a nap every day for my head. Yes, ouch, but as I heal, I’m polishing the memories of Kendra’s company and care – right up to the point where she handed me off to wheelchair people at the airport. I look forward to my return sometime in the future. Maybe I’ll pack kneepads?
When my older daughter Kayla broke her kneecap last winter (yes, both of us in one year), what I recall was the time I was able to spend helping her while she healed. Lunch on Thursdays, playing with my grandson, and sometimes falling fast asleep on her couch for a nap.
When I have a bad head day, I breathe and pull out a few memories. Maybe I’ll return to tropical beaches where I’ve relaxed with friends. In my mind, I see the bright sun, feel the warm breeze, and remember dipping my toes in ocean water.
What memories do you like to polish?
This summer, while visiting Maine and Nova Scotia, I acquired a new token, adorned with a lighthouse. As we all know, lighthouses are stationary and exist to assist navigation and warn of dangerous waters.
The day started beautifully, as I took a boat tour of lighthouses. I sat quietly and enjoyed the sea air while I allowed my head to acclimate to the new day. I snapped pictures of lighthouses, and rested with my eyes closed in the sunshine between stops. I listened to the narrator telling stories about the history of each lighthouse, some of which are reportedly haunted.
Upon my return to town, my friends led me to a little shop with a small display of tokens like those I had acquired in Rhode Island – a hummingbird and compass. The acquisition of a new token is a serious decision, so I carefully looked over the selection. As soon as I saw a lighthouse, my decision was made.
Additionally, I learned that a portion of the proceeds for this specific token would be going to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which had personal meaning to me as someone I care about has Lymphoma.
The lighthouse represents stability and guidance. It symbolizes perseverance and for me, my faith in God. I find encouragement when I look to the Bible for stability and guidance. Its stories warn me of the repetitive nature of our broken world. Its verses provide a light to my path and hope for the future. Its wisdom encourages me to persevere, even when I’m discouraged, and strengthens my relationship with God. It helps me feel that there is order and purpose in my life, despite turbulent waters and unexpected tides.
“You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands.” (Psalms 119:73 NLT)
Sometimes it’s just that simple. . . and vague. . .