Fixing Your Memories So They Don’t Haunt You Anymore

I’ve gotten rid of all my recurring nightmares — the big snake dream, the naked dream, the skunk dream, the homework dream.

My trick?

I bring the real me into the dream world. It’s like showing an architect a house they built. They know all the rooms and doors. They instinctively know the way out.

I’ve found this technique works well with memories too. We can time-travel back into a situation – a missed opportunity, a regretted comment, a traumatic experience – by recreating it and watching it unfold. And we can make it unfold in any way we want to. Remember, we are the architects.

When I go back and find my young self and watch the things that happened to him, it’s immediately sad, but then something happens: I sit with him, I lift his chin and look him in the eyes, I place my hand on his shoulder, and I can’t help but love him. There is no need to talk, no need to come up with the perfect thing to say, which is such a relief because most of the time I don’t know what to say.

The truth is, neither of us, the big Cliff, nor the little Cliff, know what to do…

But I have another trick, one that works extremely well in the awake world as well — no matter how hard the pain, just being in the same place together, close enough to touch and not forcing anything, seems to make things better.

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