Tool for HeartConnexion® Living Tool
Practice Holy Remembering
We all have incredible capacity to remember when our souls were wounded and left feeling less-than-enough. Do you have any problem remembering your failures? Most of us find it easier to remember the times of failing to achieve a goal than to recall one that was accomplished. We often dismiss success as just good luck or we brush aside memories of an achievement by saying, “That really doesn’t count. It was not hard enough.”
Recalling life experiences that disgraced us is easy. Memories about experiencing grace or told that we are valuable or times when we exercised personal empowerment can disappear almost immediately through Unholy Remembering. Holy Remembering can help us tap into the power of positive memory:
A BT alumni discovered the power of Holy Remembering and shared this with his group:
“I woke up Sunday AM … without any energy. But I decided that I was going to church, even if it was the only thing I accomplished all day. Although I cannot remember exactly what triggered it, something in the sermon took me back to the many affirmations that I had received from you in BT. Suddenly I realized that not only had God not abandoned me, but my BT family was in my heart…you were all there with me this morning. And I am grateful to you all! I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “the process is never over.” Well, I can tell you, “hearts touching hearts” is never over either. And you didn’t even have to be there physically! I just want to thank you all for touching my heart this morning, when I needed it so badly!”
I congratulated him for sharing his experience:
As powerful as finding meaning through heart connections with others is at the time it happens, remembering the experience is a tool we can intentionally use to remind ourselves of the gifts others see in us. Remembering is a core purpose of attending church and participating in its liturgy (formal or informal). Part of the HeartConnexion liturgy is listening again to some of the BT music, remembering the gifts shared with us and gathering with our friends to retell the stories of surviving BT. Call it Holy Remembering! There is power in connecting with the Holy that is mediated through the affirmations of others and that power is more than momentary. It is just as available when we reconnect with it through remembering the blessings. If the bad of our past can rob us for years, why can’t the blessings of the past empower us for years? Is remembering a cure-all? No. Can it bless? Yes! – Dr. Paul
Holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving, BT alumni reunions, and even funerals are times of remembering. Will they be dominated by remembering old wounds, injustices, and the unfairness of losses or by intentionally practicing Holy Remembering? What if we intentionally recall our achievements without minimizing their significance…recall the progress made toward goals rather than how far we still fall short of accomplishing them…recall the blessings and gifts that others have affirmed in us rather than our shortcomings and self- judgments?
As a pastor friend often said, “You can’t keep a bird from flying over your head but your don’t have to let it make a nest in your hair.” In other words, none of us can control the memories that come into our awareness but we can make choices about the energy we will give to them. In the place of Unholy Remembering, we can express gratitude in person, by telephone or email or by sending a note. We can create opportunities to gather with friends and remember the blessings shared. We can choose to practice Holy Remembering. What difference could these practices of Holy Remembering make in your life?
Small Group Sharing:
- What are the common ways you use to discount your successes?
- How could your life be different if you could not remember any negative experiences?
- Is Thanksgiving more likely to be a time of Holy or Unholy Remembering for you? Why?
- What are some specific ways you can begin to practice Holy Remembering?
- How would your life be different if you started using this tool for HeartConnexion living?
Dr. Paul D. Fitzgerald, ©2002 HeartConnexion Ministries