Somebody said to me recently that the heart can’t remember things because it’s not a part of our brain. I’m afraid I have to disagree. As actions occur both positively and negatively, we tend to remember those. When people provide us with love, we remember their kindness and generosity. We remember how they made us feel. And we remember the feeling of being loved and protected no matter what circumstance was there. The same principle applies to being mistreated. When a person experiences mistreatment, those memories are just as severe as if they’re loved. It’s a matter of what the heart remembers.
I’ve often heard that our memories are not always valid because we may remember things in a context that they were not truly real. It’s more likely that we remember fragments rather than an incredibly accurate assessment of what happened. I have no memory of when I was a baby, but I remember constantly feeling loved growing up. The furthest memory I have is when I was about two, and I had gone on a trip to California with my parents and friends who had a daughter my age. Jen, I was close until they moved away. I do remember the turtle that I rode in Disney. But other than that, there are fragments where I can’t recall anything else that occurred that day or during the next few years. The following memories that I can recall are in kindergarten. I remember Mrs. Campbell, who had a heart of gold. And then I got to first grade and had to deal with Mrs. Kratz, who had a heart of ice.
My heart was filled with anger and frustration with Mrs. Kratz for years. It didn’t dawn on me that she was going through her hell because when you’re a child, you don’t see the world in the eyes of an adult; you know that person as a child. When you’re that young, you rarely have the wisdom and maturity to understand the complex issues that adults face. All I knew was my heart was stomped upon by her more times than I cared to remember. I remember going home crying a lot because of how she made me feel. She was one of the only teachers that made me wet my pants. As I became an adult, I realized that adults have issues that we don’t learn how it translates to younger generations. As adults, we don’t always understand what children experience.
Kids today are more challenging than those there when I was growing up. They’ve had to deal with issues that I’d never had to face until I was an adult. I didn’t have to worry about social media until years later, when I got heartbroken. Bullying was something that I dealt with, I’m sure many of you dealt with that issue, but it wasn’t to the same level that it is now. Kids weren’t committing suicide at the rate they are today. What we all tend to forget is that the heart remembers human behavior.
In today’s world, we deal with all kinds of discriminatory issues. It’s easy to live in judgment. It makes us sometimes feel like we’re the cool kids. After all, it’s simple to bash somebody for what they believe or what they think, but it’s harder to admit that there might be something good about what’s different about another person. If you want a dose of humble pie, I suggest stepping out of your comfort zone and seeing the world through somebody else’s lenses. Do some volunteer work at a local nonprofit or a homeless shelter. Talk to a stranger you may meet and find out what goes on and what they enjoy. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger than other people you know. They have nothing to gain by listening. Or at least, in theory, that’s an excellent way to look at it. Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had were with strangers, where I learned to appreciate more based on things they told me than I did from the people I associated with throughout the week. Talk about irony.
The point I’m making you simple. The way we treat each other can have lasting effects throughout our lifetime. Our hearts remember issues over our lives. How others treat us and what we remember can significantly impact our decisions. I remember the people who have betrayed me and made me feel used. Sometimes those same people still pop up on my feed, and they pretend to be my friend, thinking I don’t know the difference. You know it took me a long time to understand that part of why my heart gets hurt is because I care. But there’s a difference between caring about people and learning when not to be a doormat for them. Yeah, the things that happen in our lives impact our hearts and souls. Yes, we remember the behaviors that we experience, but we also recognize how those actions and decisions helped mold us into the people we are.
Please know it won’t last forever if you’re dealing with heartache right now. Some days will be easier than others, and there will be times where you won’t feel like you have much going for you. Those are the times that you may need to seek help. Pride is something that gets in the way of all of us at times. But there is no shame in admitting when you’re hurting. This New Year’s, I’m doing everything I can to see the world as positively as possible. Gone is the negative energy I’ve felt over the last few years. Maybe my surgery gave me a new perspective, but the one thing I do know is that getting healthy mentally and physically is helping me in the spades. But dealing with a heartache where my heart remembers the worst things is also helping me to move on. I’ve learned that I am worth good relationships and opportunities. So are you. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. And if somebody does try to do that, then tell them where they can fly a kite. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the day and know that the weekend is upon us. Have a great day, everyone.