Forgetting About The Bad Incidents Of The Past

How do I forget about the bad incidents of the past?

Dear deeksha,

Forgetting about bad incidents is difficult. It seems that we often times forget about pleasant, but less memorable events, and remember the bad incidents. When the incidents are really bad, and it happens to a child, there is often times a defensive mechanism in the mind to block the incident from memory, or an interpretation of the event that would cause psychic pain.

It also seems that the more we try to intentionally forget about bad incidents, the more our mind will play it out and the more we recall and remember it.

Time really is the best healer, but we also need to continually remind ourselves of two things: 1) We are not "bad" because we remember the bad and 2) Try to replace the memories with good memories and stop dwelling on the memories of the bad incidents.

Sometimes physical actions will help us to memorialize the decision to move forward, "past the past." An example of this is to write down the bad incidents on a piece of paper and then burn the paper. You do not need to write out the incidents in detail, just a summary word that represents it or them. Also, please ensure that you burn it in a fireplace or fire-safe receptacle and follow all fire codes.

It isn't going to be easy, but the more that you can focus on the good in your life, now, and the good that will come in your life as you move forward, the less time you are spending on these past incidents. And, remember, they are just that, past. So, please, leave them there and take your steps toward a better future.

Deborah E
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Deborah is a #1 Jazz Singer, as well as a lifelong musician, songwriter, and sound engineer. She is also a writer who pursues a love of positive psychology. She is a thesis short of having her doctorate in psychology.
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