To remember is to record – and then edit and fine tune until we get the essence: the story of our life. A story that is not so much about the experiences we have had, but about the meaning that we have given to these experiences – or more specifically, whether we are happy with the life we have lived. Philosophers and writers have long understood that it is this colored perception that gives shape to our reality. But now research also indicates that instead of being hardwired, our brains can keep adapting and form new connections – a process known as neuroplasticity – enabling us to let go of painful memories and instead, focus on the positive feeling of having emerged stronger from past trials and tribulations. A section dedicated to the question of how to make sense of our past, to cope with our present.

(Sankofa (return and get it), West African Adinkra symbols that mean ‘learn from the past’. Credit: Adinkra.org.)

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