#BlogElul 14: Remember

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It’s Elul again!

Today’s word is Remember. Last year I wrote about all sorts of things that the Torah wants us to remember – remember the Shabbat, Rosh HaShanah as the Day of Remembrance, and most paradoxically of all, remember to erase the memory of Amalek from under the sky. How can you remember to erase a memory?

A lot of us work hard to avoid remembering things. Sometimes it is a feeling that is too painful, so we play around the edges, like poking a sore tooth with your tongue. You don’t want to push so hard so it actually hurts, but you also can’t leave it alone and move on with your life. Uncomfortable memories can cause us to get stuck, unable to move forward and grow in joy.

My teacher, Brooke Castillo, says that every feeling comes from a thought, rather than the circumstance that evoked the thought. In other words, if a memory appears to be causing us pain, it’s not the circumstances that we are remembering that are painful, but the thoughts that we attach to them. While we cannot change the past (and I am always amazed at the amount of effort the people put into this kind of time travel), we can change the way we think about it, and therefore also change the way we feel, opening the door to moving on with our lives. No, I didn’t say it was easy!

This is the kind of thing that I’m learning at The Life Coach School – how to ask the right questions to help people understand the power of their own thoughts, to separate the story they are telling from the actual circumstance, and understand how they can change the story to something that serves them better in their present life.

When I’ve learned enough to feel confident in my ability to help people, I will start looking for people who are interested in my help. I will certainly need courageous people who are willing to be my guinea pigs and help me learn how to do this. I’m not quite ready yet for that, but I’m hoping to be within the next couple of months.

So what does this have to do with remembering? I think it’s a different approach to living with the past – rather than analysing it, or using it to justify a victim mindset, we take back our power, remember the past but refuse to allow it to control our future. Who wants to travel this road with me?

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