This past week, I went to St. Paul's Hospital for a nursing skills lab. It went really well, I enjoyed myself and had a practical confidence boost as I performed the skills they were reviewing. There is still a lot for me to learn and brush up on but with each step I take, I am reassuring myself that the knowledge is still in me and my capacity to learn persists.
When I left the hospital, I walked to the bus stop along a familiar route. It was rush hour and raining enough to have out umbrellas. As I was walking, I experienced waves of emotions. At first it was slightly unpleasant because it was such an emotional cacophony! I was, in my true moment, so satisfied with my learning experience and even more thrilled to be getting back to work. I was smiling to myself at the thought of the present and of the future. However, there remained currents of unrest and anxiety. It had nothing to do with my afternoon at work it seemed. And then I remembered...everything.
It was more of a sensation of memory than direct. Feelings and a few picture memories from years past. From while I was working and physically well; those I had while working and physically unwell; and of course, those I had as a career sick person and commuting to the hospital for appointments.
Luckily, I caught this early in my walk to the bus and was able to observe it rather than analyze it and become confused or distressed as I may have before. It was rather interesting!! Nothing was intrusive, it just was.
As I approached home, a track by a great band - School of Seven Bells – came through my headphones. A few lyrics from the song “Kalaja Mari” are:
“Do you feel the pain
or do you feel the memory?”
or do you feel the memory?”
That struck me profoundly. I was not feeling the pain of the past, simply the memory. I have said before, that memories are affecting me less and less and this experience illustrated that so well. I felt many things but it was not the old pain. It was just feeling the memory.
So surely, I am walking away from the past. Memories will last, I am sure, but they are rarely intrusive at this point and even more rarely anxiety causing. It is wonderful, in a way, to have the memories I do as I lost many of them for some time (some form of mental protection). Now, it is a safer time for me to experience them as they need to present themselves in my consciousness again. I can only hope that as I keep giving my emotional self room to feel and to remember, that I will fill my most accessible mind with “better” memories. The others serve as a reminder right now, of how far I have come and what I went through to get to where I am today. At this time, I appreciate the push towards gratitude that my memory offers. In time, it will likely be different. For now, this is just as it should be and that is quite okay!
The image for today's post is a quote by Paulo Coelho. “It takes huge effort to free yourself from memory.” I agree but like so much of the effort put towards wellness, it is not at all draining – rather quite life-giving and refreshing. What better results of effort could one ask for?