I may have grown up before the existence of the Internet or DVD’s, but there is one thing that is still common to both eras: re-runs.
When I was a kid, the summers were full of them while the TV shows were in their taping sessions for the Fall premiers, and now with DVD’s and on-line companies that rent shows and movies over the Internet right into your living room, re-runs are even more available.
I love watching re-runs, because I already know I like what I’m about to watch. I already know if I’m going to be scared, or happy, or that I get to have a good cry…again. You would think that after awhile they could get boring, but quite often the strangest thing occurs.
Despite the fact that I’m viewing the exact same scene contained within the two dimensions of a television screen, there are times I actually say, “I don’t remember seeing this before.”
While my daughter and I were watching a movie we had seen multiple times already, it occurred to me that our memories are kind of like watching re-runs of television shows or watching a movie that you’ve already seen before, except they are being replayed over and over in our minds.
If we miss things while watching a re-run of a movie or TV show that is exactly the same no matter how many times we watch it, how much do we miss while playing out a scene in our four dimensional lives that overlap with everyone else’s four dimensional lives?
Then I remembered an experience I had shortly after I married my children’s father in 1979. He had repeatedly told me about a movie he had seen in ‘71 with a bunch of his friends in a movie theater. Any time we watched a movie within the same genre he said he wished it would come on TV so I could see it.
Well, we finally saw that it was going to be on TV the next week. He was very excited, and we planned the evening right down to the popcorn. We got settled on the couch, ready to watch a really great movie, one we had been waiting a long time to see.
After the first couple of scenes played out, I was kind of disappointed. The acting was terrible and the action scenes were not staged very well. It was definitely a “B” movie. I turned to look at him, wondering how he could have thought this was such a great movie, and the look on his face told me he was shocked at how bad it was, too. It was not at all like he remembered it.
Then he just started laughing. He finally admitted that they were all “high” when they went to see it, and they were having a great time before they even went into the theater. His memory of the movie was adulterated by both the drugs and his feelings during the whole experience.
Memories are important or else we wouldn’t have the capability built into our brains, but our re-played memories are confined to our perception of that memory as it occurred, with no chance to ever experience it again and no chance to have a different perception of that experience.
Sometimes our memories are happy and joyful, allowing us to relive special moments with our loved ones over and over again. It doesn’t matter if the memory is accurate or not as long as it puts a smile in our heart.
But then there are the memories that keep us tied to the anger or pain that we felt when we had the actual experience. If our memories are affected by our feelings during the experience, it is most likely that our memories of the experience are not completely accurate about what actually occurred.
Once I honestly accepted the understanding that my memories are influenced by many other factors, it made it easier for me to stop watching the re-runs of the bad memories I have carried along with me and made it possible for me to forgive. It has helped to heal my heart.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it: My name is Laura Mozer Davis, and I was born over half a century ago. My life’s journey has included raising three children as a single parent while caring for my parents who both became disabled during the last 10 years of their lives. Now that my children are grown and my parents have passed into the next part of their journey, I finally have time for me to grow as a person, not as just a care-giver. What I am learning, however, is that my destiny is to always be a care-giver. When I started writing for The Daily Sisterhood blog, I realized that I was to continue my care-giving through my writing. If my words help even just one person find either solace or joy, I know my life continues to have meaning.