Every picture tells a story and that can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you feel today.
Recently, a conversation with one of my dear friends made me think about how many of us can open up our photo albums and take a long walk down memory lane. We are transported back to special occasions; milestone birthdays, weddings, parties and travel. There is also the photos of people who have shared each of those experiences with us. Relationships immortalized on film including our intimate partners --- but what happens when you no longer want to be reminded of that person?
My friends solution: a cleansing, a purge of any reminders, she just got rid of the pictures. Though, she is not quite sure how she will feel down the road about that decision, right now it feels pretty good. A way to alleviate some of the pain associated with viewing the photos.
She wouldn't be the first to throw out what was once precious mementos; each of us may have chosen at one time or another to do the same. It is quicker to trash the reminders than mend a broken heart. There is a sense of gratification too. If you have tried it, you know that initially there is a real feeling of power, a taking care of business and regaining control.
It can be difficult to talk about a person or situation but it can also be cathartic. To have the memories floating around inside our head is something we can't change; short of having amnesia which I don't think any of us are going to put on our wish list. :)
Photos, however, are disposable. A simple toss in the garbage, a tear or cut around the offending person and we believe we have instantly helped our current situation. Unfortunately, I'm not convinced it works that well.
I regret the removal of pictures from my life, I only did it once with a handful but it was enough for me to have some regret. Pictures can be my link to days gone by that were fabulously great, moderately memorable or served as a reminder of challenges I have overcome. I don't want to pull pictures out to relive the experience and people as if I'm missing something now. It is just that every picture tells a story and that story is about me. The photos chronicled all the people who shared with me an experience that can never be duplicated and most often they were the same people who taught me something I needed to learn.
Everyone has the right to do what they wish with their possessions and photos are no different. So, there is no final judgment here, just a chance to explore how our feelings can collide with what was once a treasure. I just can't help but wonder if the removal of a picture or pictures really has any real influence on closing that chapter of our life.
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