Trauma seems to sear memories into our brains
in a way that more lovely, gentle experiences don't.
That makes sense from an evolutionary perspective.
We need to remember those things that caused us harm
so we can recognize the signs and flee (or fight)
before catastrophe sets in.
But do we really want our mental hard drives
filled up with awful?
Better to learn the lessons and move on,
storing the distilled wisdom
and separating out the searing trauma.
So there is room for the good stuff.
Like the giggles and pretend
of little boys playing with Matchbox cars
and Legos. . . .
not the X@%**! when you step on one
in your bare feet.
That's the easy stuff, of course.
It's a different magnitude when you're talking
about memories of abuse, betrayal, war,
criminal victimization and the like.
Meditation can retrain your brain.
A gratitude practice also helps.
The secret is in your thought-life.