May 6, 2019

The Power of Positive Memories

“At first Jesus’ disciples didn’t know what these prophecies meant. However, when Jesus was glorified, the disciples remembered that these prophecies had been written about Him. The disciples remembered that they had taken part in fulfilling the prophecies.” John 12:16 (GW)

What is your greatest memory? Creating good memories is a powerful means to building healthy, wholesome, and lasting relationships! In a Psychology Today post published on Creating Good Memories, Cloe Madanes recalls a case study of a couple who struggled to survive a dysfunctional marriage and a conflicted relationship. Rather than cashing in their chips and walking away, this couple sought counseling and found healing by creating good memories together. Madanes says, “A good relationship – whether with a partner, child, friend, or family member – is one of life’s greatest gifts, and there’s no reason to settle for anything less. When problems and conflicts arise, I counsel against exchanging one relationship for another, like a Christmas gift we take back for a store credit in hope of finding that thing we desire most. I believe most troubled relationships can be transformed into satisfying, rewarding ones. Simply falling into a great long-lasting relationship is about as rare as finding a gold coin on the street. Good relationships take work, but we all have the capacity to create joyful, lasting, deeply satisfying connections in our lives.”

These connections are strengthened when we discover the capacity to create a good memory together. The conflicted couple in her case study was challenged over a two-week period to do one special thing that would create a good memory together. “The focus on the positive fact that they were capable of creating wonderful memories diverted them from their negativity. As they were able to bring out the best in themselves, they were able to bring out the best in each other.”

Do you bring out the best in others? Relationships are messy, but they’re worth it! I’ve often wondered what the daily dynamic was like with Jesus and His twelve disciples. The Gospels give us some insight over their bickering and competing for position in the Kingdom like the time they argued over who would be greatest in the Kingdom. Yet, Jesus had a unique way of taking every conflict and turning it into a teachable moment that led to a powerful memory. They must have shared these memories with one another after Jesus left them and they awaited the coming gift of the Holy Spirit. They had ten days in that upper room to pray and reflect. Think of the many memories they must have recalled with new understanding. John tells us that, at first, they didn’t get it. They didn’t understand what was really happening until after Jesus was glorified – until after He had died, risen, and ascended back to Heaven. Then, they remembered and understood! Imagine the joy that must have flooded their souls as they remembered the times they shared with Jesus; they had even taken part in fulfilling prophecies with Christ. These powerful memories would overshadow their own individual failures and regrets.

What do you focus on the most? Choose to remember the good times. And, if you can’t remember one, make a choice to create a positive memory with someone.