Self-knowledge helps you to remember in order to be able to forget. There are
different paths to self-knowledge but the most effective ones require input from someone outside of our unique belief system—a coach, mentor, therapist, religious guide, etc. There are three things we can do ourselves that help the process of remembering: meditation, developing a habit of “doing the harder thing”, and practice serenely bearing the pain of being displeasing to ourselves everyday.
So, what is it we have difficulty remembering? The main things we have difficulty remembering are the conditions, feelings, and potential responses we experienced in the formation of our early mental models. In other words, how we made sense of the only world before we developed alternative perspectives and our pre-frontal context was “mature” enough to understand the uniqueness of our experience. Hence, these models were the best we had at the time. However, once established, they operate like gravity, warping all experience so that our view of the world is continually validated and reinforced. This is even more likely to occur when our early models were established in response to trauma.
It is an unfortunate fact of life that those who had the hardest time early in their lives are the least likely to be open to change. That is why the three suggestions above should always be the backdrop of our lives.
We encourage you to also check out Seth Godin’s blog post “The Opposite of ‘Defenseless‘”