Why Bother Remembering Childhood?

Why Bother Remembering Childhood?

Childhood was a crucial time for all of us. In many ways, it set the stage for adulthood. It was during those formative years that our thinking was sculpted, our abilities were developed, and certain tendencies were ingrained. Thankfully though, our brains are not are not made of concrete. Instead we can modify, change, and adapt our minds and our actions.

A Loving Touch

Trauma, especially during the developmental years of our lives, leaves its imprint. As a personal example, my fathers’ suicide left its mark on me. In my adult years, in order to understand some of my less productive behaviors such as anger, self-criticism, and distrust of others, I had to take a look at the past in order to move forward. 

In remembering my childhood I would sometimes only recall the harm that was done when my father took his life, or the disconnection between my mother and me. But, when I began to examine my childhood a little more closely, I had to conclude that my growing up years were not a complete disaster. There were some bright spots along the way, namely those who embossed their love on my heart in ways I could understand. 

First, there was the loving touch of my dad. Though it was short lived, it was still powerful enough for me to remember long after he was gone. Then there was my grandmother who understood me enough to know I needed a listening ear and she was the one to give it to me.  Finally, there was my godmother who looked into my face and spoke kind, gentle and encouraging words that nourished my broken heart. 

Although tragedies, sorrows, and wounds may come to the surface of our memory quickly, with ease, the good things are there as well. When we can recall those who loved us, and the love we received from them, the negative effects from our trauma is reduced. Remembering we were loved is one of the greatest de-stressing tools in our lives. 

Why bother to remember childhood? Looking back with the ability to recall the bad along with the good brings equilibrium into our present day thinking and our actions.