Being forgetful has become more apparent and rampant in the last few years – blame it on stress, overwhelm, over-scheduling, or the usual scapegoat – getting old. Although it’s very convenient to blame ole’ Father Time, memory lapses have their drawbacks and upsides.
What do you mean upside to being forgetful?
If you are a caretaker with a parent or friend with Alzheimer’s, or some degree of dementia, wouldn’t you agree that you can find yourself yelling or being irrational with your ward, just to see that in about 10-15 minutes they forgot the whole incident?
The only thing that you must deal with and balance out is your guilt, and feeling bad for yelling or getting angry. It’s normal to lose your cool especially after being asked the same thing for the 20th time, or repeating yourself again and again. It’s funny, but not funny for those of you in the trenches. Just remind yourself that getting emotional is on par, and your loved one is lucky to have you.
The other benefit of not remembering is a good strategy to not be held accountable. If you forget to do something or follow through, it’s convenient to say I don’t remember. I have a particular family member who has a penchant for this type of behavior so if this happens quite often to you, think about recording with your smartphone, or having the person repeat what they told you and vice versa.
Working towards clearer communication goes a long way to ensure that ease and harmony prevails. It took me years to get to a point of accepting her for who she is. That’s also why forgetting is a benefit; it helps on a conscious level to not have to feel and to disconnect from the pain. However, you don’t ever not feel something, and on top of that, the memory is held somewhere in your body until you’ve accumulated enough to finally deal with it.
The one single benefit for a person who gets Alzheimer’s is the unconscious choice to truly stay in the present moment. I have always felt that people with Alzheimer’s or dementia aren’t suffering, although the loved ones around them are. It’s nature’s gentle way for a soul that’s not yet ready to transition, to stay in their physical body. So, the two suggestions I have for those who don’t want to manifest Alzheimer’s in the future is:
1. Know who you are, know your truth, and speak truly.
2. Live by your values and not according to someone else’s.
Two simple, yet not simple, ways for you to avoid Alzheimer’s. We will discuss this in further detail in one of my future Mind Body Talks that we have every other Friday from 6:30 pm to 7:15 pm.
Last but not least, one of the reasons why memory and the ability to multitask wanes as we get older is not due to age, but because our values change. Our perception is that being younger in age means that you have more energy and vigor. However, energy and vigor are directly proportional to how inspired you are and what you value the most. As we live longer, we also become more selective in what we do and how we spend our time, energy, and resources. If someone wants you to pick up something that you have little to no interest in, as you get older the likelihood of you forgetting to pick that thing up, exponentially increases. In closing, get more clear on what it is that you enjoy and value the most and see your memory stay sharp and focused.