I was recently having a flashback about something that I would rather not remember. As I chatted with some wise counsel about these unwanted memories I was reminded that, “Many people want to dig down and deal with everything that may have happened to them, and to examine every single memory. Yet we don’t really have to do this unless those events and memories have or continue negatively affect our life.”
The fact is that even though there will be events in our lives that we really wish had not happened, this does not mean that we have to be depleted and destroyed by them. With God’s hand upon our life even the awful moments can be overcome and part of turning our ashes in beauty. With time, healing and having the attitude of not just surviving but thriving we can choose to grow to be more compassionate, wiser, deeper, resourceful and a stronger person for all that we’ve come through. We don’t have to allow the bad things to steal from us; evil may seek to destroy who we are, but God always has the last word. (Romans 8:28)
Only a few years ago neuroscientists believed that our brains were like a hardwired machine, and if experienced we would always be stuck with the damage of trauma, bad memories and negative mindsets. However in the last few decades science has made the discovery that our brains are in fact changeable and malleable. Instead of having brains (and therefore thoughts, emotions and reactions), that are “stuck” our brains are in fact changing moment by moment every day. This change and adaptability is called neuroplasticity.
This neuroplasticity is exciting because regardless of what has happened to us, or how we may currently think, we can change! We can actually change the physical makeup of our brains through our thinking and choices. This means we can move past our memories, negative events and the effects of trauma.
Every night while we are sleeping baby nerve cells are being created, so when we wake up each morning they are at our disposal to learn, discover, to replace any negative toxic thinking and to rebuild healthy thoughts and emotions. The birth of these new baby nerve cells is called neurogenesis.
We may not be able to control everything in our lives or about our day, but we can definitely control and renew our thoughts and consequently our reactions. Each morning those new nerve cells can be shaped and used to replace any thoughts/memories we don’t care to have or to be weighed down by. Science is agreeing with what God says; we can be transformed, healed, set free, and given the ability to start each new day afresh.
“The faithful love of the Lord never ends. His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Today be encouraged by how God has created us. You don’t have to be stuck with your bad memories and their adverse consequences, bad habits you may have struggled with. God has wired and created us to grow, develop, heal and change!
Take time to read the Bible and let God’s words and presence restore and refresh your soul. Put to good use those new baby nerve cells and fill your heart and thoughts with God’s plans for your life which are filled with love, peace and hope for the future.
With God’s help, “If you wired those toxic thoughts in, you can wire them out.” (Dr Caroline Leaf)
“But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” ( Philippians 3:13)
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)
Prayer: Lord thank you that you have created me with the ability to constantly change and to move past any hurtful memories and mindsets. Please help me to observe and change any unproductive unhealthy thoughts, reactions and habits I may have so that I can become all that you have made me to be. In Jesus name Amen.