Tuesday, March 1, 2016

happy scars?

I read an interesting quote the other day.
“It's so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.”― Chuck Palahniuk 

I tend to harp on my scars a bit.  I'm self-conscious of both the physical and the emotional ones.  The physical ones can be deceptively hidden, depending on my sartorial choices, but the emotional ones come out at awkward times.  Mostly they tend to make me seem a pain in the ass or crazy, depending on which way the wind is blowing.

In thinking about scars for happiness, some women might point to their pregnancy stretch marks and say those are happy scars.  Good times may not scar most of us in the traditional sense, but they do change us.  I'm a better person for all of the wonderful times I've experienced.

I can't pinpoint exact moments of happiness though, like I can exact moments of pain.  I have happy memories such as exotic trips or savory dinners, but unless I took photos, those memories fade and become harder to retrieve.  And yet, I can distinctly recall the paralyzing fear I felt when my parents got angry with me when I was a child.  Every day, I see the scars on my body to remind me of various surgeries, ailments, and mishaps.

I've recently learned this is a design feature not a bug.  We've evolved to have our brains make a permanent recording of bad shit so we can learn from it and avoid it the next time.  The good experiences, while nice, were not vitally important to recollect for our survival.  So we didn't.

I feel like we need to evolve again and reverse that.  Nowadays I don't need to remember the paralytic fear and pain so vividly.  I'm not in danger of my parents killing me or of being bullied.  However, I am in danger of too much remembered fear and pain bringing me to my knees in hopelessness.  I don't want to live in crippling fear of the next excruciating migraine because every horrible one is stuck in my head like a bug in amber.  I *need* intense, powerful happy memories to give me a reason to wake up again tomorrow.

I don't need (or want for fuck's sake) to remember my heart breaking and shattering.  That'll just prevent me from opening up to love again.  How is that healthy for my survival?  I *need* dramatically blissful permanent memories to overwrite that pain.  How do I perpetuate those once they've formed?  Besides photographic evidence?  I have to rewire my brain and connect the purple HAPPY wire to the PERMANENT MEMORY thingamabob and the drab PAIN wire to the DISCARD AFTER EXPIRY DATE area, although we all know that's merely a suggestion to me.  ;)

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