How accurate are your memories? When you compare memories of events with others, do you find yourself arguing over the details? How many of your memories are colored by emotions or feelings more than specific details?
Memories are part of our thinking process. Consider a simple example: how do you recognize the movement of a bug on the wall? The first time you look at the wall, you may not even notice the bug, but once it moves, it catches your attention. How? Your brain compares the previous state of the wall when you first glance at it with a moment later, and notes the difference between the two. The difference is the bug’s movement. Without memory you would have no way to recognize that the bug had moved. Thought requires memory.
Your entire perception of reality is tied to memory. You remember a friend being angry with you yesterday and the big argument you had, and today you are looking at your friend with some suspicion that another argument might be coming. Enough arguments, and you just want to avoid your friend. Your past memories taint your perception of that person today.
Self-perception is colored by all your memories — what you remember from the ancient past, and what just happened yesterday. Incidents from your childhood are affecting you still today. What people closest to you say to you has lasting impact. And something that may surprise you: what you say yourself also affects you — your own words and thoughts feed back into your memory formation.
How are memories formed?
Neurons are where bits of information are stored, and synapses connect them together. Memories are recorded as your senses provide data: memories are made up of sights, sounds, tastes, smells, feelings, emotions, perceptions, and how they relate to other memories. Each component is connected to the others to form the complete memory. Neurons near the source of the input store the information for that type of input: for instance, neurons in the visual cortex store a sight. Memory sequences are stored in the order of occurrence. You may find it easiest to remember what letter in the alphabet comes after “D” by reciting the alphabet you memorized long ago, until you reach “D” and discover again that “E” comes next. Or you need to replay a song in your mind from the beginning to remember a lyric in the middle. Sequence is important: imagine your confusion if you could not remember events in order!
Since memories are collections of inputs from various senses and from your interpretation, it makes sense that some of your memories are sharper than others. You likely remember emotionally charged events strongly, and you likely remember the emotions themselves as much as the details. Since neurons can connect and drop connections, you can forget certain details of a memory as the memory ages, and you are forgetting the least impactful details first. Sometimes what remains of a faded memory is mostly the feelings you had, because they affected you the most and caused the strongest encoding.
Memories are formed as a composite of information received during an event. What you say, what you are thinking during the event, how you interpret and comprehend what is happening, and your own beliefs are all parts of that information. So what you remember is very personal, and someone else witnessing the same event may form a rather different memory.
In the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers studied the relationship between self-perception and memories. They found that those with low self-esteem gave higher relevance to (or favored) memories that supported their low opinion of themselves, while those with a high self-esteem favored memories supporting that viewpoint. Memories that came to mind supported their overall self-opinion. Supporting memories had “superior encoding” — they were impressed on their memories more strongly than opposing memories.
In Nature Communications, researchers found actual mis-recording of memories to support subjects’ self-images when they were ethically behaving poorly. The subjects misremembered how much they had tipped a server, or how much money they had given to others — they inflated their actual generosity. Those behaving ethically remembered more accurately. When not happy with their own behavior, memory in subjects was revised to maintain their self-image.
The studies show how “adjustable” memories are, and how memories affect how we see ourselves. Memories which are having the strongest impact on us may not be completely accurate.
Dr. Nemec’s Comments:
One of the most important things to understand about your health or your disease, if you are in that state, is that the level of your health or lack of it just means you have lived a life with certain perceptions and environmental conditionings from since you were in utero. The only way to completely heal is to address the stored mental/emotional stress programs. This is the most important way to begin to heal. We have done this for over 35 years and do very specialized brain mapping and heart/brain entrainment therapy. This will open a door to release what is stored including things you know nothing of but are still stressing your body and producing inflammation at the highest level. We teach you how to heal in body, mind and emotions.
Do you think you have really healed because you cut out a tumor and did chemotherapy and radiation? What did these do for the original inflammation that you produced from the negative stress programs, poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle and chemical and toxin build up in your system? All this was there before you had the surgery and conventional therapies. Are you more or less toxic afterward? Have you released stress programs which caused the condition in the first place?
Throughout our lives, memories shape our perceptions. Some memories, including subconscious stress programs from childhood, are harmful as they replay in our bodies. Since your memories can be colored with your own perceptions as they are encoded, you don’t see clearly even when you remember something, as that is from your own perspective. We readily see things as we would like to see them, or expect them to be, and then record them into memories, and finally make judgements based upon what we remember. Jesus said , “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Truth is not malleable. It is not subject to our opinions or our memories. We can hear the truth, if we listen to our heart and balance our heart, brain and mind.