Friends have made fun of me for years because I am such a recycler. No piece of paper, plastic, or glass is too insignificant for me to put in the blue bin. Yes, it should be a green bin, but that is for the yard waste in our town. Recycling is a mental relief for this gal who was worried about the amount of trash in the world as a small child, but I have realized that I have been doing some very unhealthy recycling.
Too often, I review memories of myself behaving foolishly. This is the opposite of a mental relief. It is a quiet way for me to self-torture. I must ask myself, as I frequently do, “Would I want my loved ones to do this to themselves?” No, and in fact, I tend to mentally trash unnecessary memories of others’ foibles. Shouldn’t I do the same for myself?
It is just dawning on me how self-centered these memory reviews are. Not only do they feel lousy, but they ARE lousy. Thinking about my most-enjoyed memories, I am not the star of most of them. Wow. Wow! What an epiphany!
So, instead of habitually pricking my soul by bringing up images of myself doing things I wish I hadn’t, from silly to significant, I want to deliberately shut down those thoughts. Since the lessons I have learned from my behavior have become a part of who I am, I don’t have to engage in this shame recycling in order to continue making wiser decisions.
The next time I catch myself playing one of these reruns in my head, I am going to hit pause, rip off the image like a piece of paper, and put it in the TRASH. If I’m going to recycle moments, they might as well be my favorites.