Healing and Restoration Through Memory

selective focus photography of girl in green and black striped sweater holding and blowing dandelion
Photo by anne sch on Pexels.com

I will always cherish the moments my mother would bring me grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup when I was sick as a little girl. She would tuck me into bed during the day, put a little black and white television in my room next to me and bring me my comfort food with a little glass of apple juice on a tray. All day, my job was to get better. I watched old black and white episodes of “I love Lucy” and anything else that came on after that.

Every now and then I would drift into a deep sleep and wake feeling much better. Sometimes Mom would bring me hot chocolate or some tea with sugar in it to soothe my throat or whatever else was bothering me. They were not medicine in the form of pills but they healed because love was in the giving of them and the receiving of them.

Sometimes on lazy Saturday afternoons I would wander into the spare room where the sun was shining brightly on the floor. I would have a book in my hand and ready to snuggle into a cozy green lounge chair with a blanket for the day. My day was spent lost in the stories of the book I had chosen for that day. The characters, the scenery, the chapters, became my reality just for that moment. It was so much more than that though. My thoughts were also lost in the innocence and beauty of the story and how the ending would unfold. It was not so much the story, the book, the chair, the sunshine, or the room that was healing to me, but the love I felt for myself at the moment. Self care is actually learned early on. We choose to somehow unlearn it over time. It’s like we begin to think spending time on ourselves is a waste of time so we lose out on that experience.

Whenever life becomes hard for me and tears end up flowing from my eyes and heart, I like to wander back to those moments in time. Since there really is no time when we think of eternity, my experience is just the same now as it was then. I get just as much comfort in the memory and reenacting the moment in my mind. In fact, it has been found that our bodies will respond to what we are thinking of and visualizing at the moment, just like they did when the actual event had happened the first time.

This is why it is so important to dwell on things that are uplifting for us. Our bodies respond to our thoughts. Whatever is good, pleasing and admirable; think on these things. The Bible always has had good advice. When I want to feel love I go back and dwell on what gave me that child like experience of love before I knew any different. Sometimes we overemphasize the harm of “comfort food” that we forget that sometimes there is a use for it. That would be when the act of giving it created a feeling and experience of healing love. If that is not what you are feeling then put down the cupcake! I think you get what I am saying.

Sometimes I close my eyes and watch myself play with jax on the hardware floor of an old three story house we used to live in when I was little. Or there was the time I used to use the floor heaters to pretend to make tea for my little tea parties. The memories are endless and they are so healing as long as I know I can stay with the good loving feelings that they can reproduce in my body. When this happens depression can be lifted, anxiety can be calmed and the body can be restored to a cell level. Our bodies “remember” what state it was in when those things happened. To our bodies there is no time or space. It is like the scene is happening again right at the moment of remembering and feeling.

On a particular windy day I remember walking down a familiar street and suddenly stopping to close my eyes and just feel the breeze against my face. I remember how I smiled at that moment. To this day, bringing back that memory when I am meditating will still bring me a smile.

I completely believe our bodies, minds, and souls can be restored just by allowing them to “remember” to that deep of a level. It’s not modern medicine. It’s not a pill, and it does not really make sense to many people but it does work! All we have to do is remember to remember. Our unconscious mind will bypass the conscious mind and take over like it has been waiting to bring some wisdom of thought! This is why hypnosis works so well. It brings the body into alignment with what is being programmed into the unconscious mind instead of analyzing every little thing that is happening in front of us. Habits can be changed to good ones. If we don’t reprogram our unconscious mind it will drive our lives with all the mess we have experienced over the years.

I ask you. Do you really want that? Or, do you want to be restored by the renewing of your mind?

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry

Memories of “Ms. P”

balloons-latexYesterday as I sipped on my Starbuck’s coffee and ate my favorite thing to go with it, gracious thoughts about my friend “Ms P” entered into my mind. I met her around 2006. Most people I met that year were going through some crisis of one kind or another. She came to me for advice, or maybe just to talk. Talk she did. She was bright, funny, fun, and always fancy free. She was one of the only people I had ever met who truly had a child like spirit, vulnerable, trusting, and had a wild curiosity about so many things.

She especially loved the spirituality I brought to her life. Ms P had a craving to know everything and anything I could tell her. Telling her was always fun and usually met with wide opened eyes and a jaw that enthusiastically dropped. She was a mix of sensitive spirit and wide eyed optimism wherever she went. I remember her as one of my greatest fans, if ministers could have fans. The only thing I could see that she did not like was being told “no” because the phrase “you can’t do that” was just not in her vocabulary. For her, trying was mandatory if it was something she really wanted. I often wondered why she came to meet with me. Maybe she just needed a friend who would understand her.

Sometimes I ¬†thought she was a bit self centered but actually as I look back it was in a good way. I wish I would have looked after my own desires a little more carefully back then. I might have tried more things with a child like optimism. I think one of our greatest faults as people, sometimes, is to not realize all of what we deserve to have. Why do we listen to our inner tapes that repeat “I can’t” more than “I can”? Why do we care so much about what others think of us and leave our dreams sitting on the sideline for fear we wont’ be accepted?

As I look back, maybe Ms P taught me more than I taught her. I can’t explain it, but I think I felt a soft nudge from her as I sipped my Starbuck’s coffee. Words entered into my heart, “You can do this”. I could not help but smile because the memory of hers is such a bright one. We had lost contact for awhile. I suggested something she should not do. That was really not acceptable to Ms P because she went with her heart and no one could tell her otherwise.

I’ve been thinking that maybe a good way to honor a person’s memory is to learn from the goodness they brought to us. I loved her freedom, and her ability to go for what she wanted regardless to what others thought about it. She lived with a great deal of zeal and enthusiasm and it was as contagious as her laugh. She would love that this blog post is about her. There were some very tender vulnerable spots she carried, but mostly she loved being the center of attention. Maybe it was her way to make up for what she thought she lacked. Looking on from the outside one would never feel she lacked anything at all.

We all hide behind one thing or another, but Ms P chose her optimism and child like freedom to hide behind. Now that I take another look at her, it was probably her very best choice.

Loving you from here Ms P,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

**Photo credit from Party City. Ms P would love that!