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Is it good or bad to revisit a memory that makes you miss someone?

My vote: both, but weighted towards ‘bad’. The reason I say mostly bad is because the feeling of loving and missing someone can initially feel like love. However, it quickly transforms to a negative thought/feeling cycle about how you wish you were with them now, what you miss about them, and how you can’t be with this person anymore.

All thoughts and feelings associated with the cascade of missing someone are negative thought patterns and actually push you further away from them. On the other hand, positive memories with someone — that make you laugh, smile, or feel warm and fuzzy — also establish the feeling of love, but they help create a bond and result in a cascade of positive thoughts and emotions.

Each of us desires to remember someone or something from time to time. But, rather than let your memories control you and your state of mind, I’ll suggest you use your initial memory as an ‘anchor’ to channel all the fun and positive experiences you’ve shared. Here’s an example that’s on my mind right now:

I just arrived to Seattle on a 23 hour layover. My brother and his family live here, but my brother isn’t in town today. I’m excited to see my sister in-law, niece, and nephew. Yet, since my brother isn’t here, my mind immediately went to the last time I was in Seattle without my brother; it was with my childhood best buddy, Joe Scodari, who is no longer with us.

My initial reaction was to think of Joe and smile on the memory of being with him; but, then I was hit with sadness and the feeling of 1,000 pounds on my shoulders. As I started to miss him, my mind became foggy, and the chills that were running down my spine a minute earlier disappeared.

Yet, before I went too far down the rabbit hole, I remembered this lesson used the cues of ‘Joe’ and ‘Seattle’ to bring back the rest of the memory. We drove down the northwest coast of the United States together, listened to a good chunk of Joe’s music library (and boy did he know music!), arrived in Napa Valley for a friend’s wedding, and had the absolute best time laughing and joking about our childhood with the rest of our friends who were there.

The chills came back. In fact, they are here now as I write about him and these memories. I feel happy, satisfied, and grateful. The warmth I feel inside my body is lovely, and it feels like Joe is right here enjoying the moment with me.

So, I have a choice: focus on the negative (Joe is no longer alive) or focus on the positive (some of the best memories of my entire life are with Joe).

If I want to share these memories with Joe — or even if my motivation is simply to avoid feeling sad and depressed — I choose the happy memories. If I want to feel lousy and make it harder to remember Joe, I can choose to focus on his death and how much it sucks he’s no longer here to hang out and form new memories together.

Today’s lesson:
Think of at least one memory you revisited in the last week that left you feeling sad. Now, use that memory to cue you towards positive thoughts and feelings with the same person/people. Feel the warmth, see yourself smile, and hear yourself laugh. You might even feel their presence, which is the point.

Ask yourself which option you prefer: sadness or happiness, and then make a decision.

I’m so grateful for you,


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Dr. Kareem Samhouri

Dr. Kareem Samhour is known as (perhaps) the best Doctor of Physical Therapy & Kinesiologist on the internet. People come to him for results when other methods fail, injury gets in the way, or health situation is more complicated. Dr. Kareem Samhouri exercising In fact, he and his companies reach a combined total of 1.5 MILLION people on a daily basis to help them with their health. If you ever saw Dr. Kareem on the street and mentioned something was going on with your health, however, he would volunteer and offer to help you for free... that's the Dr. Kareem way.

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