One of the lasting memories that I have of my Dad is when he returned home from an out-of-town assignment, exhausted and totally worn out. I asked him – Dad, why did you go when you didn’t really have to? His reply was – “I signed up to do the job, so I wasn’t go to quit halfway and come back even though I wasn’t well”. That one conversation, which barely lasted a minute, has remained lodged in my mind, thirty years on.
There are certain remembrances, that have the power to keep influencing our heart for a very long time like a warm, gentle summer rain. Then, there are others, which we would much rather divert, or even dam, for the pain and the angst that they bring back like the flash flood created by a spring thunderstorm. What distinguishes our “warm rain” remembrances from the “flash flood” kind?
Is it that the mind filters and amplifies different memories differently? Is it that we teach ourselves to “play favorites” with certain remembrances as compared to others? Is it that time and distance from the actual event change our perception of it?
Regardless of our original experience, it often happens that our own inner growth, our spiritual journey can effect a change in our heart’s attitude towards some memories. This can particularly happen with our “flash floods”. In India’s gangetic plains, flooded fields can often be the recipients of rich deposits of minerals, once the waters recede.
Those very memories, which had the power to create pain and angst among us (farmers), with patience, become the fertile grounds for new growth in our hearts. We learn to create better filters, better perspectives through which we accumulate new memories. We begin to trust ourselves more, and build better reservoirs for their preservation. We empower ourselves to let some memories go – yes, even the “warm rain” ones – if we need to lighten our load as we go up higher on the mountain.
One way that we can lighten our “memory load”, is to discover the power of “constant remembrance”. How may we discover this power? We can ask ourselves. What is the “constant” in our lives- That which is beyond the influence of time, space, and the weather of our emotions? Once we answer That question, we can create a practice of “constant remembrance”.
Let us empower ourselves to ask. It is perhaps the best way to remember the “warm rain” of all those who sacrificed their all, so that we still have the power to ask.
P.S. Join us Sunday, May 27th at 9amET / 630pm India for our weekly twitter chat. Share some of your favorite memories in #SpiritChat – particularly those ones that empower you towards “constant remembrance”. Namaste.