L´earning to Love
Gloria Ornelas HallCherish
‘Cherish’ is a word introduced into the English language during the Middle Ages, from the French, meaning cheri- dear. This lovely word of ‘endearment’ evokes the sweetness of cherries, the tenderness of fondness and that romantic song the 60’s http://youtu.be/cCEVwtIPAlU.When I sit in silence with my chest of memories evoking images that I can feel, smell and taste all over again, I have to go through them and throw away the ones that hurt, before being able to cherish them. It’s a process, similar to that of cleaning out the memory in my computer. It is as simple as ‘deleting’; much easier said than done. ‘Letting go’ to ‘forget’ requires detachment and re-engineering of the wiring in meanings.
I’ll give an example from one of my patients, a young woman repeatedly punishing herself with the painful reminder of a past abortion. She couldn’t accept it or get it out of her mind. We went over the many ways that decision had changed her life, rescuing the alter benefits she had had, such as her career and financial success. She had in fact, married a wonderful man with a son from another marriage. Trying to piece the synchronicity of her life ‘re-member-ing’ isolated events and re-engineering new meanings into the flow of events, we realized that her step-son was engendered around the date of her failed pregnancy. She came to terms with that amazing coincidence giving significance to the possibility of destiny playing a role in her life as a mother. She chose to believe that perhaps it was the same ‘soul’. It didn’t matter if it was true or not, or if it made any sense to those around her. It made her feel better with herself and that made all the difference. She could let go of her self-destructive remorse and love again.The word ‘memory’ comes from the lat. -mem- which is a unit of stored information. Electric impulses literally form DNA with the protein coding of our ‘memories’, in neurons of the human cortex. These are stored as disarticulate ‘bits’ of information. When we retrieve a memory we ‘re-member’ the isolated parts of the input and give it a personal subjective meaning. This pattern of inter-connected neurons can be rearranged by will, through conscious decision-making and cropping. This is the principle behind neuro- linguistic programming. We decide what we think. We create our own meanings.
Now, the axons and dendrites leading to these memory-neurons are activated from the skin, with muscular and skeletal response related to them. We can release the energy trapped in pain through touch and movement. Massage, dancing, love-making all give relief, through release.
After choosing to let go of the memories that hurt, I can focus on those that make me re-live moments of love. This endearing re-experiencing generates new love which can be channeled to emanate good-will and direct well-wishing to our loved ones. This type of envisioning can envelop our cherished ones, through time and distance, with re-kindled, unconditional love.