What makes a memory good or bad? If some distant event, person or circumstance suddenly creeps in your mind, as in a flashback, how do you gauge that it is pleasant or unpleasant? If the qualifier is the content,then it should mean that everything unfortunate, sad or harmful should constitute a bad memory. Conversely, anything that is happy, pleasurable and nostalgic is a good one.
And yet, when we really analyze what happens as we access these memories, the emotions we feel may sometimes be incongruent with what we think about. A depressing moment that happened some time in your life, may not necessarily make you feel sad. Sometimes, you even feel victorious after having overcome it. Likewise, when we think about the good times with a former lover, we sometimes feel sad and regretful for the lost times we can never make up for.
So how do we qualify our memories then? Is it good if the feeling is congruent with the thought? This may still not be the case. What if it is a regretful incident that you recall that made you feel depressed? Then this still doesn’t give much clarity to qualify it as a good memory.
Following this thought, perhaps, there is a greater chunk of weight on the emotions we associate with the thought. Memory, then, ceases to be just a fragment of your consciousness. Does this make memory an ambivalent kind of emotion? It still isn’t so.Think about it, why are there times when you can’t seem to access the details of a memory back into your consciousness? More importantly, how do we forget the things we don’t like to remember, when we still feel too much of the emotion we associate it with?
Memories may be flawed. They may be crystal clear. For what it’s worth, we should just be thankful for the people and events that shaped us to who we are now.