Sometimes, good things happen to me. I don't really remember the specifics of the events, but I just know they happened. I had a really great senior recital, but it's now all a blur except for the videos that I have on my computer. I had a great party afterward, but all I remember now is the comments people gave about the cheesecakes I made after the fact, and the thank you cards that I forgot to send. I had a good audition at UNLV... all I remember is the 5 hour flight home.
A lot of the time, bad things happen to me. I can replay the horrific disaster that was shattering the moon roof on my dad's car with a kayak 2 summers ago. I remember about 80% of the times I've twisted my ankles in great detail- where I was, what it felt like, how painful it was, and the long and frustrating recovery. I remember the exact words i used and how the hot tears felt as they ran down my face when i had disagreements and arguments with my loved ones. It's like my bad experiences have been permanently burned onto my psyche. The 5 rejection letters I received from graduate schools left me so paralyzed, I didn't know if I would ever pick up my flute and play fearlessly again.
For some reason, it's like all my bad experiences have been permanentely tatooed onto my psyche. If you could see my soul it would be covered in images of tears, loved ones I miss, people i've wronged, activities I used to love, broken glass, bad test grades, rejection letters, and missed opportunities.
Apparently, it's not just me. Natalie Portman barely remembers her Oscar Speech. Many women plan weddings for months, but after the fact, the day is just one big blur. But I'm sure if you asked any of these people what the most traumatic or saddest experience of their life was, they'd be able to tell you in great detail.
My question is: Why do our bad experiences get burned into our minds and hearts forever, while our happy ones are fleeting? Is there any way to burn our good experiences into our thoughts and behavior patterns the same way we've internalized the bad?
Perhaps forgiveness works as a tattoo removal surgery for the soul. Only through forgiveness can we erase the burn marks left by these bad experiences. I need to forgive other people for what they've done to me, but most of all, I need to forgive myself for the mistakes i have made.
So here's the real question: how do we forgive?