If you could completely erase someone from your memory, would you do it? Would life be happier if you could remove every sad memory or heartbreaking event? Those intriguing questions enticed me to see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
In the film, Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) have gone through a bitter breakup. Impulsively, Clementine has Joel totally erased from her memory through a new technological process. Deciding what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, Joel arranges to do the same. But in the middle of the process he realizes in addition to losing his bad memories, he is also losing all of the wonderful, loving and joyful memories associated with Clementine.
This really hit home with me. After the movie, I contemplated what significant people I might have erased from my memory. I quickly recalled several boyfriends from high school and college who broke my heart. Would my life be better if I’d never met them? Would I be the same person I am today?
I would never give up remembering the support I felt from divine Love.
In thinking about this, I realized anyone who was an integral part of my life invariably brought goodness despite the tough times we may have shared. It was often that combination of elements in a relationship that prompted me to grow and learn.
Most importantly, my heartbreaks taught me to rely on solid, spiritual ideas. I have felt the proof of this statement from Science and Health: “The wintry blasts of earth may uproot the flowers of affection, and scatter them to the winds; but this severance of fleshly ties serves to unite thought more closely to God…” I would never give up remembering the support I felt from divine Love, or God, even when things seemed dark.
Through these experiences, I’ve learned the importance of honesty and communication, and how to be more loving. In fact, I’m convinced that important relationships like my marriage are more successful because of these lessons.
I would miss out on the opportunity to forgive.
There is also something to be said about the nature of forgiveness. I thought next about a friend from my youth with whom I’d shared a lot of good times. Later as grown adults she betrayed me, leaving me hurt and confused. Suddenly, the good times we’d shared didn’t seem so good anymore. But if I erased all of my memories, I would miss out on the opportunity to forgive.
Forgiving actually allows for the possibility of healing, and it’s vital to my understanding of God. I’ve found that God’s love embraces everyone. In the years since the initial hurt, I’ve experienced the freedom of forgiving my friend. Over the years, I’ve seen her regularly through mutual friends and at social events. We’ve come so far that now we meet with a hug.
There’s a great benefit to reviving a relationship. I would never want to miss out on the good that brings. And so, no, I wouldn’t erase my friend from my memory if I could.
In the future, new technology may be able to erase an individual from our memory and leave us with the “eternal sunshine of the spotless mind”—and no thought of pain or sadness. But, in line with the conclusive message of this movie, I know I would rather have loved and learned—and grown closer to God in the process.
Article by Meg Dendler, Original article here