Thursday, October 9, 2008

Prisoner of your memories

I read a story about how a 175 pound man can keep an 11,000 pound elephant in captivity. Elephants are known for their amazing memory; unfortunately this very asset becomes its curse.

When an elephant is very young, it is tied to a four foot long wooden stake driven into the ground with a thick rope. The baby elephant tries its mightiest to break free from this captivity, but is unable. After unsuccessfully trying many times to escape, the young elephant eventually comes to believe that escape is impossible. This belief becomes deeply embedded in his memory and is carried into adulthood. When the elephant is fully grown, it can easily break free from the four-foot wooden stake, yet it never attempts to do so. This intelligent, powerful creature is held captive, not by any physical restraint, but by his own memory and associated thoughts.

We humans carry a lot of memories and in those memories we may have thoughts of despondency, inadequacy and regret. At some time in our life we may have been let down or even cheated by someone. We may have tried something and failed at it.Our confidence may have been shaken or even destroyed at that time. We choose to carry that burden even today. Somehow, we started to believe that we were not good enough and became prisoners of our own negative thoughts. Even though we may be extremely qualified, we may have all that we could possibly desire; we don’t feel confident or deserving and sabotage our own happiness?
A friend of mine had a painful experience when he was 16. His girlfriend left him for his best friend. Today he is 24, extremely wealthy and good-looking, but unfortunately very unhappy. He cannot trust either his girl friend or his best friend. He carries with him the painful memory of 8 years ago and sabotages his own chances of happiness.

Do you ever wonder what thoughts of yours might be holding you back? Are you a prisoner of your memories from which you could easily break free, only if you tried?
We are not elephants who can’t break away from the tether. We are blessed with a brain that is extremely malleable and allows us the luxury of change in our beliefs and perception.

Your thoughts can be your hell, or they can be your heaven. If you think you can or if you think you can't, you are absolutely right. In order to do anything, become anything, or have anything, first believe that it is possible.
Like the elephant, my friend is imprisoned by his painful memory and chooses to remain captive of his past and continues to allow it to ruin his present and his future.
What you believe to be true will come true, so choose to believe in the best and you will experience the best. Do not stay tied to old and painful memories. Do not remain captive, break free now. Believe in your ability to break free and you will break free.

Shveitta Sethi


TC said...

Thanks, Shveitta. Your blog post came to rescue at the right time in my life. the elephant analogy somehow makes the concept of prisoner of one's own memories easier to grasp. funny how the concept itself is really quite simple and obvious, but i'm one of those who struggle to put it to practice.

Happiness coach said...

Thanks TC. Am glad to be of help. And thanks for the encouragement.