On Bouncing Back

Anyone who knows me knows that I love and honour sleep. Lately I have been sleeping on an incredibly comfy memory foam topper and it dawned on me how helpful the metaphor of memory foam is when attempting to describe the lasting effect of our day to day experiences.

We are innately resilient. All humans have a core of well-being that can’t go anywhere and can only be temporarily obsured by thought.

Thought comes through us, gets brought to life within us, results in an experience and then moves on to make way for the next experience. Our experiences don’t stick around any longer than the amount of time they’re on our minds.

They come, they go, they come, they go; constantly in movement.

It sometimes seems like experiences we’ve had in the past are still affecting us today, but past experiences can only ever be felt in the present moment.

Whether conscious or subconscious, whether we’re aware of it or not, any experience we’re having has a present moment thought behind it.

It is an unbreakable link; it only works one way.

How this relates to memory foam is that I can press any shape into the foam and for the duration that the shape is there, the memory foam holds that form. But the second I move my arm, adjust my neck or change sides, the shape that the memory foam was holding disappears.

A new shape, a new form, takes its place instead and there’s no lasting trace of the previous form.

I press my hand into it and it reflects the shape of my hand for as long as my hand is there. As soon as I take my hand off, it bounces back to default.

Our experience works the same way, for as long as we have sad thoughts we’ll have sad feelings. The instant those sad thoughts change, the sad experience disappears.

Unlike the memory foam which has about a one second delay, our human operating system works instantly.  We’re constantly being bounced back, so quickly in fact that we often don’t notice it.

We are all naturally wise, well and clear. And the minute a particular thought isn’t being pressed into the metaphorical foam of consciousness, we bounce back to default. 

Experience only lingers to the extent that we think, believe, and act as though it does. What happens in our past has no inherent power over us. The only thing that has inherent power over us is thought in the moment.

So any moment it seems like past experiences have power over us, we’re just feeling thought in the moment, brought to life by consciousness. The minute that thought leaves, the perceived power it has leaves as well.

We don’t have to do anything to make experience keep moving, it happens naturally. And as soon as that happens, the form leaves the foam and the foam is once again neutral with no lasting imprint, ready for the next shape to take form.