I’m not sure it’s possible to remember the good without the bad. It seems more likely that a person remembers what’s possible, that I remember what I can at the moment.
One of my teachers, David Hogue, who’s into pastoral theology and neuroscience at the same time, says that when a person remembers, she re-members. Recalling an event means recreating it. Dr. Hogue says that we don’t ever revisit the same event but we, rather, piece together an entirely new event. We compose memories. We place pieces of pasts next to each other.
So remembering is a creative work of doing what you can do in the moment. It may have good. It may bring bad. Which is how I eventually get to remembering what’s possible. It may be impossible to remember good things. Maybe what’s possible right now is seeing or knowing or being in touch with what’s not good.
On the other hand, when those moments come where you can’t think of one bad thing; when considering the negative feels like a distant task; and when finding something disagreeable in your heart feels like the actual burden; at that time, you’re doing what you can. You’re remembering what you can.
As the calendar year closes, as Advent ends and takes us toward seasons to see the Sent One uniquely, remember what you can. Try to be fair with yourself. You’re creating. You’re recreating what you can. You’re remembering as much as possible.
May your memories be blessed. May your creations be honest. May your experiences of yesterday bring you peace.