I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately.
While there are moments that sinking into past memories feels good – in the big picture, getting caught in the memory loop doesn’t always feel good.
In context of our Soul Cycles
, nostalgia is a function of the Seeking cycle – a cycle that comes up when we seem to be questioning our life, a lot.
If you want to quick tutorial on the my Soul Cycle teachings, click here.
Seeking is akin to the season of Winter, a time that we in the northern hemisphere are emerging from.
It makes sense that nostalgia comes up now, because we are in a time of transition.
Transitions are those in between places where part of us wants to move forward, and part of us wants to stay in the past.
That’s normal, I’m pretty sure I feel that every day. As a new mother, it also comes up because I’m letting go of my old life, or the old way of doing things.
So, why do we feel nostalgic?
And why do these types of memories often make us feel disconnected to our present?
And, why do we only feel nostalgic about the good, not the mundane?
After all — the mundane makes us most of our life, right?
Here are a few thoughts, from my own research and from the insight of my community’s opinion through a facebook thread on this topic.
1. Nostalgia is comforting.
We tend to need comfort, like we need food and water. Though I’m not a researcher or psychotherapist, I’m pretty sure from day 1, we are wired to seek comfort outside of that cozy womb of our mamas.
As an adult, the comforts of what we (hopefully) once knew of childhood aren’t present.
So, we try to remember them to bring us a sense of peace. Our brains are intensely imaginative, so makes sense that we would recall a memory or two that feels like a blanket.
2. Nostalgia reminds us of our truth.
When we are remembering a time that we felt good, we are remembering that feeling good, well, feels good.
We need times in our life that feel bad, because that time is rich with gifts if we let it be.
So, when stuff isn’t going that great, we try to feel our way to a better place — through the power of our memories.
As my friend Dr. Rachel Ersoff notes, nostalgia can make us realize how useless the stresses of current moments are. Meaning, nostalgia reminds us of what’s truly important to our spirit and soul’s development.
3. When we value our memories, we create better ones in the future.
Think of this specifically as a way to insure your future will be pleasurable.
Dr. Joanne Deveaugh-Geiss responds that feelings of nostalgia or sentimentality can help us value the past, and in turn look forward to the future.
In this framing of nostalgia, you always trust that your present life will be full of something delicious to look back on later – especially true if you are in a long term relationship.
4. Not all nostalgia is healthy, though.
Nostalgia can be a way that we remove ourselves from the present moment.
As my friend and fellow artist Jason Ross Martin states, some nostalgia can feel like a block to experiencing our gifts — like in over romanticizing the past.
Creative block (different from creative winter) is also a result of the dark side of nostalgia.
If we feel like our greatest moments happened in the past, we don’t see our gifts that are waiting to be developed.
Nostalgia can steal us from the illustrious gems that are the present moment.
When nostalgia feelings happen, what can you do?
The key to nostalgia is to savor it while it’s happening as an informational tool.
Getting caught in a memory loop can take you away from your current reality, so remember to ask yourself the following questions:
When you feel nostalgic, what is the nostalgia telling you?
Is it asking you to find comfort, your truth, or to remind you the future will be bright?
I’d love to hear from you — about how you experience nostalgia, and what purpose, if any, it serves in your life.
To the past + the future – I embrace you.
R o s e