Who Are You Without Your Memories?

Imagine if you took a pill that wiped out your memory of every experience you’ve had in your life – ever; any memory of relationships, both bad and good experiences, experiences you had all throughout school and as a child, injustices, society’s ideas of good and bad, general value judgments, everything that you’ve come to know as your life and as you? Who would you be, then?

Many of us might say that we are nothing without our experiences, that our experiences define us. I both agree and disagree. Experiences can help shape our personalities and allow us to discover more about ourselves, but we still exist fully without holding onto the memories of our experiences and our interpretations of those experiences. We are not defined by our thoughts and perspectives. We are not defined by our minds.

Try meditating on this for at least a half an hour, to really try to imagine not what that would necessarily be like (because it would probably be impossible to do so), but to evaluate how your life’s experiences until now have played a role in your perspective of life and your identity. The more you can acknowledge these things, the more you can begin to get in touch with the ‘you’ that exists behind the perspectives that you hold onto from your life’s experiences (granted, this will probably take a regular meditation on this subject, not just a single 30 minutes. But a single 30 minutes is a great start).

You can allow these perspectives to still exist – it’s not about disowning them, but rather fully understanding them – recognizing where they come from, understanding they do not define you or define the possibilities of life or yourself; acknowledging that they are dynamic and can change over time.

Over time, this will also allow you to be more in tune with your own intuition and to be more open. It can also help us come to terms with what we’ve experienced in life and get used to exercising our ability to acknowledge the true nature of our own thoughts and perspectives, resulting in better control over our own minds. Our minds are extremely pliable by nature, if we let them be.

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