Why is it a strain to remember the past? It is because it requires a tremendous amount of effort and focus onto a particular path of reconstruction of The Past which no longer exists. We need to build a backstory, which requires a tension in our awareness. Being focused on the present moment is so much easier and fuller as it is not tense. The present moment mind can be stretched into the direction of the past or towards the future, and this is what causes the tension.
Any kind of contemplative thinking causes tension in the mind, and this is why it can sometimes be a strain to remember the past or think about the future. Sometimes it can be hard to think about the future because you are stretched so far into the past.
I have an unusual relationship to memory, from what I can see of how my mind works differently to the general populace. For example, I sometimes forget what I look like at present until I look in the mirror, or what house I’m sleeping in during those first few conscious moments of the day, or that I was once married, and while I was married I even forgot that I was married (but I remembered I was going out with someone and who she was). Is this unusual?
Another example happened a month or so back when my nephew tried reminding me of how great it was when we both used to live in the same house. I couldn’t find the memories of that story easily, as if most of the passage to my memory was blocked up so only shafts of memory got through. I admitted to him that I couldn’t remember it, and he laughed: “That’s 17 years, man.” Now, I know I have memories from within those 17 years, but none of them connected to the idea that he and I ever existed in the same living space of my parent’s home. Is that normal?
Memories of that story have since seeped through (mixing metaphors, but I like it); yet there’s still only an extremely below average percentage of overall memory connected with it.
What mind tricks has your mind played on you, if you can remember?