Our Brain Doesn’t Keep a Timepiece

The other day as I was driving home from the office, I noticed an old man sitting in his wheel chair in front of his home – the Senior Community not far from my house. I broke down into tears. I was sobbing, trying to stay focused on the road, and it took me a few minutes to compose myself and understand why I had that reaction. You see, I thought of my own grandfather 7 years ago, sitting in his wheelchair at his new home – the Senior Community not far from my home. I broke into tears then because this strong man was now reduced to a chair in a place where he didn’t have friends, his wife wasn’t by his side, and there seemed, at least from my perspective that he didn’t have much more of a future.

I wept so hard because the life I knew – the stable, changeless, life – was in fact unstable and changing. The rock I had come to depend on – my “dad” (since had left years earlier) – would soon leave me. Seeing the man in the wheelchair made those memories come flooding back. And now with a clear mind, I can reconcile why seeing this gentleman made such an impact on me. The brain knows no time. The brain doesn’t think, “That happened 7 years ago.” Memories are stored in our bodies such that when we have a painful emotional connection to something in our past, it actually feels like the present when we encounter certain incidences. Those times can seem to bring a flood of emotion out of nowhere for us.

The lesson for this article: Memory doesn’t keep track of time; when we have emotional pain, it can stay with us for quite awhile; our bodies always clue us in to what is going on emotionally, on the inside, and our job is to become aware of what are doing, so we can become of what we’re feeling and thinking; once we know what CAUSES our negative emotions, we can work to keep those at bay, but the ones that are deep-rooted, which now shapes who we are subconsciously (like, the tears seemingly coming out of no where from me – that is subconscious, and I had to really dig into myself to get to the reason for that), can be changed.

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