Erasing Memories

I just saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on Netflix this weekend. In this sad movie, the two main characters dated but by the time the movie starts they have broken up. The premise of the movie is about these two trying to erase their memories of each other.

It won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2004 and rightly so as this is one of the mot though-provoking movies I’ve ever seen. The fact that a part of your life hurts you so much that you want to erase your memories is mind-blowing to me.

I will be the first to admit that my life is not that “difficult” (by some people’s standards), and rightly so- my heart has been protected from some of the most devastating situations that many people have to live with, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t experienced hurt. That doesn’t mean what I go through hasn’t been a struggle. For a long time I struggled with extreme frustration and for an even longer time before that I tried to come to grips with crippling regret.

But here is the thing, I would never, ever, erase any of my memories. I couldn’t do it. Everything that has happened in my life has happened, and everything that has happened has lead me to where I am right now. If nothing ever bad happened to me, how would I learn? How would I grow? I am the person I am today because of the good AND bad.

In South Park’s Season 7 episode, Raisins, Butters said this in reply to being hurt:
“It makes me feel human. And the only way I could feel this sad now is if I felt somethin’ really good before. So I have to take the bad with the good, so I guess what I’m feelin’ is like a, beautiful sadness.”

That’s right I quoted South Park!

But seriously, life is difficult. Obviously more more difficult for some more than others. But we all face hardships in our lives. We all face times that wonder how we can make it through. But most of us do, and we are stronger people for it.

I am aware thought that I can be a little idealistic about certain things, and this is definitely something I’m idealistic about. So I’m curious:

If you were able to erase one (or more) of your memories, would you?

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