Memories come in lots of different packaging. Most of the time we see them with our inner eye, they are a visual experience. According to science the sense of smell is the most powerful in regard to conjuring up memories. The smell of a person, a certain food or a certain environment can take you back to one powerful moment in time or help you relive a whole childhood. It is amazing how our mind works.
I sometimes use this to my advantage. My favorite way to travel to my happy place is to open a bottle of Coppertone Baby Sun Screen and take in a few deep breathes. Instantly I am transported to The Jersey Shore, surrounded by my family, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. I loved/love it there. I never remember being sad in that place, which is why I choose it as my memory of choice when I need a pick me up.
This weekend I had a dream. In it I was with a man, nobody to me in real life, just a dream guy. I can’t quite remember what was going on in the dream, just one moment when the man came over to me, wrapped a blanket over my shoulders and hugged me. Then I was wrapped in no just a blanket, but a familiar feeling, and emotion I had almost forgotten. It was love, the feeling of being loved. I felt it so clearly. It has been a long time since that sensation has come over me. A distant memory that I now can’t ever even say was totally and completely genuine. The man I loved the most in this world was just a cover for a sicko, but my emotions were always real. Yes, I dated a great guy after my divorce and I loved him, but it wasn’t the same. I still don’t know if this was because he was the wrong guy or if I was, maybe still am, damaged.
All I know is, I keep thinking about that dream. How it felt when the man’s arms went around me. How easy, calming and natural it all was. This memory came from my heart. It was a reminder that love can be a beautiful thing. That it doesn’t have to be complicated. Remembering this is important, and it took more than words or visuals to really drive this point home for me. I had to feel it. The memory that came wrapped in a blanket.