How To Deal With Painful Memories

Are you a victim of memory? Do you feel like you are? This page aims to show you how to deal with painful memories.

Often people can become victims of their own minds, feeling as if their past weighs down heavily on them. Painful or traumatic events from the past can seem to linger on and re-live themselves inside their minds and bodies, and gradually more and more past pain builds up inside, and life become a burden.

Memories Are Self-Generated, Not Event-Generated

One of the biggest causes for memories causing so much disturbance within us, is the belief that they are due to outside circumstances that are out of our control. An event, another person, a sensation or a trauma - were often things that we did not expect and did not see coming, and seemed to be out of our conscious control.

I am not debating whether what happened was in our control or not. But we must separate an event which has now disappeared, with the thoughts that are now being generated in the body and mind ABOUT it.

All thoughts and memories come from within you. They are not being fed from an outside source. But when we believe our memories are direct, truthful representatives of something that has happened, then memories become solid, real, terrorising even - because we take them to be facts of life.

But your memory of something will be different to someone else’s.

Any painful memories being produced now are no longer about the thing that has disappeared. They are now internal generations of pain, claiming to be caused by an unmovable, unavoidable event.

Every painful memory tends to have a disempowerment aspect to it, in that “I” am or was the victim of an external thing. But see that the pain, the thought, the victim, is now all coming from inside you. It is not coming from outside. It is not coming from events. It is coming from you.

If this is clearly seen, then suddenly, in some people, it can then be dropped. What kept it there was assuming that it came from the outside, not the inside. For others the patterns may re-occur, but now simply seeing them as internal, self-generated movements that have become habitual, not tied to anything in the world - will mean that they can weaken by themselves.

No one is throwing you memories and saying “here, suffer them”. It can feel like that, but actually, it is all just coming from within you.

Be Fine With Any Memory

Following what has already been said, if there are certain memories that you feel you hate to experience - then just that contracted resistance alone can act to attract the certain memories that vibrate at the same frequency. Experiment, be ok with any memory that may emerge. Be an open, victimless space, remember that the memory is a projection of the mind, it is not real.

We usually re-live our memories in our minds as if they are actually happening, like living in a dream that you think is real. All the time that memory tries to fool you, smile and know that it is just an illusion. Nothing is happening.

How Does It Help?

Sometimes we can have hidden reasons for going over past pain. If it it still there after allowing it to come, after seeing that it is purely internally generated - then see what purpose it serves. How does it help? We can believe that it is protective, as if it will prevent something similar happening again if we hold on to that pain. Actually, the opposite can be the case. Holding on to something we don't want, can act as a magnet for more things we don't want.

Perhaps you feel as if you deserve to keep going through it, perhaps there is guilt which keeps it feeling real.

Perhaps, secretly, there is something within which subtly ENJOYS the pain, because it makes it feel alive, or gives it an identity, something to cling to.

If we notice that all the pain is actually doing is creating pain for us, then it loses the support of our belief and interest. Our believing it was necessary can keep it feeling stuck.


  • See that the memories are now internally generated. They come from inside you, not from anything else.
  • Be ok with any memory coming. Be open, non-resistive and non-confrontational towards your own mind and memories.
  • Notice the futility, see how it emerges into your life and influences things. Is it helping at all?

Hope that can help,


I also made a video shortly after writing this: