The blessing and the curse of memories

Memories from the past can be a blessing, but they can also be a curse. It all depends on how we handle them.

House MD
A few days ago I watched a rerun of an episode of the TV show House M.D. In that episode, the patient was a woman who had an unusual abnormality: she had a perfect memory.

She could recall anything that happened in her life, every word spoken, details about the objects and people around her, what she felt, everything about every single day. She worked as a waitress, and she could remember everything each person ordered, not only in a specific day, but ever!

At first, I thought she was blessed. Can you imagine having such a “gift”? It sounded awesome.

That’s when the story took an unexpected turn. That woman with the perfect memory had a sister, but soon we learn that they have been stranded from each other for many years, because her sister accidentally hurt her years before. Every time she looked at her sister, she remembered everything, including the pain she felt, and although she tried, due to her perfect memory she couldn’t let it go.

Actually, she has no one in her life. No close friends, no family. Due to her perfect memory, she wasn’t able to forgive any wrong anyone did to her, ever. She indeed had a blessing, but it turned into a curse.

Everything in life can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on how we handle it. Our experiences and memories makes us into who we are, but letting go is a necessary part of living. If we cling to the memories that hurt us, it turns into bitterness and that makes us prisoners of the past.

That’s why God puts so much emphasis on forgiveness and letting go. He Himself forgives us of anything, and He asks us to do the same, as the apostle Paul says:

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)

If there’s something in your past that is keeping you from living and enjoying the present, let it go. Maybe you can’t do it alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. God can help you, and you can also seek help from a close friend or professional.

Let it go and move on, so you can focus on what matters, as Paul says:

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13,14)

(Spoiler from the House M.D. episode) In case you’re wondering, at the end of the episode the woman decides to take a medicine that would cure her from the abnormality that caused her perfect memory. She decided to give up a blessing that had turned into a curse, let go of the past and finally allow people into her life.

8 Comments

  1. Wow, Cris. This is so good. I will be thinking about it all day.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Jenna!

  2. Yeah! What an example. I love when God gives us illustrations like this. Without the fruit of repentance in our lives, every blessing will eventually turn into a prison. Thanks so much for this, Cris.

    • You’re right, Jason. There’s got be repentance so healing can begin. Thank you for your comment!

  3. We are watching re-runs of House and haven’t seen this one!  Wow a blessing that became a curse.  Yes, it is true that to live in peace we must be willing to forgive and let it go – – just as Jesus has forgiven us.  Great story Chris.

    • You will enjoy this episode, I’m sure.
      Thank you for you feedback, Hazel! God bless you!

  4. I usually have a very good memory of the past… but have been taught and told by the Lord when to forgive and when to forget and then He takes care of the issue when I allow it.  I may remember with my brain, but my heart doesn’t react and I don’t tend to dive for their throat, so to speak.  Focusing on Him and His healing is the main direction I’ve needed to go.  

    • Yes, Joanne, that’s what forgiveness is all about!

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