Many past experiences understandably have a great influence on our lives and how we are feeling right now. Sometimes that feeling is very low or painful. The good news is that in recalling past events we can select the feel good stories and feel good. It may take some practice but with a bit of effort it can be a satisfying and enjoyable way of passing through our days happily.

I once read that all experiences reside in the mind for life though they may never resurface except if triggered in some way. Some personal happenings from way back pop up now and again because they made a lasting impression, and this is the time to be selective. When the downers resurface immediately recall the uppers; for most of us there are lots of nice memories and maybe you just need to look harder. It gets easy with practice - simply flip the switch and look back there for some nice stories when those unpleasant memories begin to resurface. There is not room for both good and bad thoughts simultaneously so choose to think about what will be most beneficial to you for the moment.

As I do so down now in putting some pleasant memories here, which is both uplifting and satisfying to me as I write each word.

It was about 1939 and Halloween night as I went from house to house to house with my bigger seven year old brother. We had been at this for a while when we once again arrived at a door and hollered; "Halloween Treats!" The lady appeared, hesitated and asked; "Haven't you been here before?" - "Yes two times." I replied honestly.

Perhaps one of my first experiences in writing was to copy a recipe from a magazine for my mom. In a child's printing I concluded the ingredients list and instructions with something like; "Always use Maple Leaf Sausages..." It was a few years later when mother was in the hospital for a week and bro and I stayed with family friends out on a farm. When later asked about our stay there, we would emphasize the highlight of our visit, the event of a squirrel running up Mrs. Broughton's leg.

Nature and gardening interested me at an early age and I had dug up some nice looking flowers down by the creek and planted them against our house. As I was finishing up a little old neighbor lady came over and told me how nice they looked, and I then learned what tiger lilies looked like. Flowers cheer up and we would often take home a bouquet of wild roses for mom, clipped from one of the trails that we traveled through on our bikes.

As the public school years wound down my school buddy and I were getting very interested in skiing, hockey, fishing and the wonderful outdoors, developing a love for nature which would last a lifetime. There were so many joyous moments like the simple act of heating up a can of beans over the campfire.

High school would bring on some serious stresses - but only the happy and funny need be recalled or reviewed now or at any time. As one day I was riding my bike to school when there were four girls from my class walking ahead on the sidewalk. I veered to the left side of the road to have a few words with them on my way by - and ran straight into a hydro pole. Funny now anyway!

There were so many memorable times and little incidents in raising a family that bring feel good smiles when recalled. Like our five month old daughter sitting in the highchair with lips clamped tight because she didn't want any more of that stuff. Or our son's first venture into answering the phone with; "Hazzo." Little things for sure but gathered and remembered over the years, a great value to one's well-being. While most of these cheerful moments from way back may be deeply buried they will pop up at times, and then they can be kept close at hand.

And today... make notes of things like the cute expressions and the carefully hand printed, sketched greeting cards expressing love. Hang on to them for life! Collecting and reviewing keepsakes, photos and words of a family growing through the years will keep the memories worth going back to again and again. For families starting out, a diary of sweet and heart warming events will be so encouraging while compiling it, and in later years wonderful reading.

Life is good if our thoughts are good; not so good if we dwell on unfortunate negative happenings, and we do have that choice. I have had some very bad experiences and regrets that would devastate me to this day - if I focused on them for any amount of time - but I absolutely refuse to do so. We all make mistakes and sometimes they cause ourselves and others much worry and suffering. We can be depressed and burdened with these regrets, never forgiving ourselves, never forgetting our actions bit it is not necessary. Worrying about something that has already happened is a complete waste of time, if it is only to wish that it hadn't happened. Wishing won't do it - there is absolutely nothing that will change it. Forget it!

With a recent experience that is haunting us, if there is some way to make amends that will help and we wish to do so, then we should. If not then we can regard it as a learning experience after reviewing it once or twice and determine what to do and what not do in the future.

Negative thoughts about the past may come back now and again and unless we are occupied with other useful healthier thoughts, they can settle in for a very long time. Feeding the brain with nice ideas and enjoyable memories is so helpful to our well-being and happiness.

Author's Bio: 

Grampa Ken ~ Author of 32 KEYS About Life and Social Advocacy Articles