A talented psychologist taught me how to use hypnosis to create alternative memories to coexist with certain remembered experiences and allow for new choices and freedoms. His work confirmed that remembering positive experiences and / or creating imagined memories that offer alternative response patterns have the potential to heal family estrangements and old wounds. We can learn to create new images in our minds that function as memories using visualization, hypnosis, meditation, affirmations, prayer or other forms of mental reorganization. The Hawaiian practice of Ho'oponopono is one of several modalities that believes forgiveness and the cleansing of memories are essential to the healing process.
We don't necessarily want to erase old memories. If we were to lose our memories we would also lose the ability to learn from our mistakes. We just need to put memories in perspective and neutralize any negative impact they exert on our thoughts and behaviors. The reliving of old wounds and negative experiences feeds our fear, triggers defense mechanisms, and perpetuates a sense of unease and wariness. Remembering positive experiences feeds our strength and confidence, invites us to open our hearts, and adds to the well of our resources. The interesting thing is that memories seem to have the same impact whether they are real or 'imagined'. Perhaps because memories are stored as we remember them, as a subjective reality with our own interpretations based on our history, all memories are 'imagined'. Creating new positive ones expands our repertoire of response patterns and empowers us to make more beneficial choices in how we create our lives.
The past isn't anything that you can control. Your future is.