When I look through pictures and reflect on the memories they evoke; I don’t often think about the things that were not perfect in those moments. I choose to remember the happiness from these photos that I’ve captured. They put a smile on my face.
Occasionally I’ll giggle as my mind wanders into the illicit details that surrounded the times I’ve framed. There’s the picture of mom and dad, that I took on a family trip to Santa Barbara, a few years back, that shows a perfect couple on a beautiful day. I remember how tired and fussy my mother had become as we hiked around one of the many places that my sister, dad and I had forced her to visit. I can still see her face as she resigned herself to our demands and carried on. It was hot and the terrain was too difficult for my mom, but as usual, we pushed and she accepted the defeat. When I asked her and dad to pose for a picture, she was beside herself with yet another request. As she sat down and smiled beside my dad, I knew I had won, and my reward was a perfect memory on paper.
Don’t get me wrong, I know our most authentic moments include the struggle, but should we dwell on the hard parts of our lives? Should we only think of the perfect moments? I don’t think either way is right, but personally, it’s better to place those tough moments in the darker recesses of my mind and forgive my flawed self and others for our humanity. I’m tired of negative thinking.
When I reflect on my forty plus years on earth, I know I’ve been blessed. I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I KNOW that it is okay to forgive myself and others for being slightly damaged and imperfect. So when I look at a picture of a day that may or may not have been perfect, I’m going to choose to acknowledge the highlights. There’s no sense in reliving the bad in our lives. Those moments have already served as learning lessons that I hope will make me a better person. As I look forward to making new memories in life, I hope my actions show less selfishness, less me, and more us. I try each day to live my most authentic life and I hope it will reflect a sincere picture of how I would like my days remembered.