Going through an old box of photos, I ran across this picture of Daniel. There’s something about the ordinariness of this moment and the sleepiness in his eyes, that melts this mother’s heart. I want to reach right in there and rub that bare little back again.
I also found this picture of Kelly and suddenly, the memory of our morning ritual of combing and braiding her hair came flooding back. I can vividly remember the posture of her body as she leaned against me as I stroked her long brown hair. Our conversation was usually soft and gentle as we prepared for the day.
Picture after picture took me back years. Each one represented a moment in time. There were vacations to the beach and the mountains. Graduations, birthdays, and holidays. Through pictures I could relive my children’s entire childhood.
I have a vast collection of memories built up over the years. My mind has recorded them in brilliant detail. Unfortunately, it has hung onto the bad ones as well.
But, we can choose the thoughts that wander in and out of our minds. Even something as simple as the look in my son’s eyes, or the many mornings spent in gentle quiet conversation with my daughter, can have a powerful effect on me. Such uneventful moments that years later still have the ability to bless my life.
I have been told when we relive a memory; our bodies physically experience that moment all over again. Just thinking about past episodes of anger, rage, or tragedy causes all the wear and tear on our bodies that we suffered the first time we lived through the event. Our bodies are unaware that we are not in the midst of the moment again.
Unfortunately, it seems more difficult to select the memories that will heal us as opposed to those that bring us more harm.
I suppose that is why the Bible urges us to bring every thought captive to the will of God. Daily, we have to choose our good memories over our bad.
Photographs are a great opportunity to trigger those moments. If you have them in boxes, take them out and put them in albums. If you have them in albums, take them out and explore their magic. Hang them on your walls. Relive them one by one until your heart is full. I promise you, it will be a great source of therapy.