How Thankfulness Can Be So Healing
Perhaps like me and millions of others, you’ve recently seen the film INSIDE OUT. It’s an animated portrayal of how our emotions struggle against each other within us. Memory also plays an important role as these emotional characters deal with the life changes they encounter.
Watching the film and hearing new information on the way the brain works has caused me to think about how memory functions. The brain scientists say that when we recall a memory, we actually make a copy of it and this copy is usually altered in someway during our recall. This explains why we tend to remember things a good bit differently than they actually happened – we’ve been adding material to the memory each time it is remembered. This also explains why two people can have a very different recall of the same experience.
As I’ve pondered this, I realize that it explains why certain kinds of praying can have such a healing effect. When I spend a few minutes in the THANKING course of my spiritual meal, I often dig back in my life and give thanks for various people and things in a specific “slice of life” (Page 62 in Pray Like a Gourmet). Sometimes I really go in deep and take an hour beginning at childhood and “thanking” my way up to the present (referred to as the Big List on page 64). This is an overwhelming experience in Thankfulness.
When we take a few moments to give thanks for people, events and things in our past (even the boring, mundane stuff) we are actually recalling memories, copying them and coating them with the ooze of the Spirit as they are refiled in our gray matter somewhere and somehow. When I introduce this kind of praying in Prayer Tastings, quite often someone says that they intentionally chose a difficult time in their life. We CAN recall even the hard times and the bad memories, re-copying them more positively with the same spiritual ooze. But it may take some time. Be patient with yourself.
So take a few moments whereever you are and give thanks for what or who your memory brings to mind.