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Can one memory shape your life?

November 23rd, 2014 1 comment

Can one memory define you?

Do memories shape us, or do we shape our memories? Can one event change your life forever?

Researcher Yochai Ataria from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem argues one traumatic event can change a person’s sense of self, and their identity. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “a traumatic event is an experience that causes physical, emotional, psychological distress, or harm. It is an event that is perceived and experienced as a threat to one’s safety or to the stability of one’s world.” Traumatic events can include a death of someone close to a person, hospitalization, terrorism, violence, physical injury, mass disasters, and other horrific events. Traumatic memories have the power seep into a person’s life, making it unable for the person to do anything but think of that event.


Maybe some of you have experienced a traumatic event, but I hope you haven’t. Unfortunately, I have. I watched my Dad pass as I held his hand. I often can’t get the image of him taking his last breath out of my mind, or the last time he said “I love you.”

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