Memories are a captured facts, experiences, events and emotions that are stored within the brain. Emotional experiences tied to your memories are stored within the hippocampus. These memories are integrated into the neural network structure of the brain and are therefore interconnected to a vast array of other memories that help us recall our life experience.
It is however impossible for anyone to recall any memory without altering it in some way. Every time you replay a memory in your mind it gets tainted with your current beliefs, attitudes and perspectives. As such, with each replay of this memory it changes slightly, and after many recollections of that same memory it changes quite significantly over time.
Have you ever played the game Chinese Whispers? In this game people sit around in a circle. The game begins when one person whispers something to the person next to them. Then that person passes that message onto the person beside them through another whisper, and so on. As this message is passed from one person to the next using whispers it often changes and gets distorted. Then typically once the message gets back to the very first person who started the chain, it is vastly different from the original message that was whispered.
Each time the whisper passes from one person to the next it gets filtered through that person’s beliefs, attitudes and perspectives. Moreover, because the message is being whispered it isn’t as clear as a regular voice and therefore can get lost in translation. The result is that the message gets significantly distorted the more people it passes through.
Our memories are very much the same. Every time you think about something you distort that message due to your current state-of-mind and expectations. Your state-of-mind of course refers to your beliefs, attitudes and/or any emotions you are experiencing within that moment.
When you are in a positive state-of-mind the memories you recall will be tinged with more pleasant emotions, and therefore you will see these memories in a more positive light. However, when you are in a negative state-of-mind your memories will be tinged with the negative emotions you are experiencing. This is how beautiful memories can quickly become heartbreaking.
What’s more, every time that you cycle through these memories you effectively change the story behind them, and as such your memories ever so slightly vary from the original experience you had years ago.
All this is quite significant because when you recall your memories they are nothing more than reinterpretations of the experiences you have had. They are reinterpreted through both logic and emotion based on your current attitudes, perspectives and beliefs. What this means is that your memories are only interpretations and not based entirely on reality of what has been.
All this becomes even more significant when you realize that because your memories are distorted anyways, you can therefore consciously alter these memories in a positive and helpful way to help you get the most from these recollected experiences. You can of course do this by consciously — and progressively over time — changing these memories to help make them more empowering and beneficial for your personal growth and self-image.
The Undistorted Memories of the Inner Mind
There are however memories that do not get distorted in the same way. These memories are subconscious memories that are hidden from conscious awareness within the Inner Mind. These memories are pure because you don’t consciously remember and recall them, and therefore cannot alter them through replaying them over in your head.
Your Inner Mind captures absolutely every experience that comes through your five senses. Because there is just so much information coming through your senses each moment of the day, most of this data gets stored within your subconscious within the Inner Mind. It gets stored there because it is regarded as not being important or significant for your purposes at the time. However, the memories are certainly there and can often be recalled during therapy sessions or via hypnosis.
These subconscious memories coming from the Inner Mind can quickly come to the surface through your intuitive feelings. Intuitive feelings are often tied to dormant subconscious memories that surface when external events and circumstances trigger neural associations that unlock these memories from the depths of your Inner Mind. Once brought to the surface these memories can serve to help you find true answers to the questions you ask yourself.
Given all this, it’s important to recognize that relying on logical answers will not always provide you with the right answers because logic is tied to memory, and as we have discussed here, your memories are only interpretations of reality that have been diluted by your beliefs, attitude, and perspectives.
- Read more: How Our Brains Make Memories