How to Use Memories to Stay Strong

Memories serve to keep us safe. As Mark Twain noted no cat sits twice on a hot stove — that also means no cat sits on a cold stove.  More to think about:

Quotes about memories

Emotional Fitness Training is designed to keep negative feelings from controlling. Memories trigger feelings, some good, some bad. Looking for the lessons  found  in your bad memories marks you as emotionally fit,  what others call Emotional Intelligence.

Memory books strengthening  your ability to find the lessons bad times bring. Here is a quick Emotional Fitness Training look at Memory Books.


Everyone and parents in particular.

If you are a parent, try to make a family memory book.  Start with creating your own book and encourage your child’s other parent to do the same. Build on those two as you create a Family Memory Book.

Some parents start their child’s memory book, but as soon as the child can, he or she should be part of creating his own memory book as well as contributing to the larger family memory book if one is being kept.


Start with a memory box. Use it to gather items that you think might  belong in a memory book (like party invitations, pictures, various reports, notes, etc).

Do not collect only happy memories. As Stephen Levine author of A Year to Live, noted “Simply touching a difficult memory with some slight willingness to heal begins to soften the holding and tension around it. (74)”

When going through a trauma put items in the box that can be used to make a memory page at some later date when the pain is less and you want to hold on to the good.

Establish a routine for making memory book pages.  Some devote one evening a month to sorting through the boxes and making one or two memory pages; others make it birthday, holiday, after a vacation or other special event activity


 Review it off and on. When making a new page is a good time to flip through it quickly. Focus particularly on the good memories. Those are the ones you want to strengthen.

To so with full awareness.  That is done by meditating before and after the exercise.  Sound too difficult?  Not once you have learned and practiced  EFT’s One Minute Meditation.

Do not neglect bad times, particularly the  bad times  that have  you reeling and not able to do much but crawl ahead. While enduring a bad time try to call up a similar bad time you survived and hold it in your heart as tiy sat  “I am a survivor, and I will survive this.”

Once you can function a bit normally, write about this bad time and add it to your memory book. Doing so moves the healing forward.

However, do not dwell on the bad endlessly.  One of the problems with talk therapy is that it focuses often on just the bad stuff. Good for a time when the bad stuff first occurs.  Not good if not  used to learn lessons and reaffirm you strength and let you move on.


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Stay strong, it is not always easy.


This post was inspired by this WordPress Daily Prompt: Memory on the Menu by Ben Huberman Which good memories are better — the recent and vivid ones, or those that time has covered in a sweet haze?


These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.




  1. I especially like the Proust quote, which in a way fits into your interesting theme of not ignoring bad memories, but recognizing that we tend to gloss over the bad in favor of a sunny picture that may not serve us well: we can’t learn from the bad if we don’t acknowledge it and if we’re chasing after perfect past that never existed as we remember it.

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