Are You an Intentional Collector of Positive Memories?

In life, how do you remember experiences?  Do you find whatever you are looking for?  If your mind is set to focus on the good parts of experiences, then that is what you will remember.  The reverse is also true. If your mind is set to concentrate on the negative, then that is what you will see.  Are you an intentional collector of positive memories or a collector of negative evidence?

When you share a story, how do you retell that story?  Do you look for and remember positive parts of the story, the invisible blessings?  Or do you share and draw out the negative segments?

A gal I work with is a good example of this concept.  Julie and her husband are very different people and are on opposites ends on the personality chart.  She is not happy with his (her words) lack of initiative and decision making.  On the other hand, she is very decisive and takes the lead in many situations.  She continually reminds herself of what drives her nuts about him.  Julie does not remember about the flowers that he buys her periodically…just because.  She does not recall how helpful he is at home (mows the lawn, prepares the meals, folds laundry). He is happy with life and his status quo.  Julie is frustrated with him that he does not strive for more nor has a similar internal drive.   All she can see is her negative version of him.

She has been listening to podcasts and working on reframing how she sees him.  Instead of looking for and remembering her negatives, she intentionally started to note the positives.  She not only focused on these but began thanking him and appreciating what he does.  This helped her to see him in a totally different light. She started to be a collector of his favorable traits.  She implemented a few new strategies to help her with this reframing.

Reframing strategies:

  • Gratitude journal– writes down 2-3 quick points on what he did for her and the family
  • Shower wall- she can write on the shower wall with her finger what frustrates her and watch that frustration wash down the drain
  • Focus on intentions- instead of focusing on what she thought were his deficits, she focuses on his intentions of being supportive of her high energy and drive.

Reframing how you look at something is not easy, and it is natural to slip back into old ways of processing life.  How would you describe yourself?  Are you an intentional collector of positive memories?

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