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Memories and Emotions


“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies” 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 NIV.



Memories and emotions aren’t stored up inside our brains. They’re stored in every cell of our bodies simultaneously as pictures. We don’t remember events in words, but in images, mostly, identified in what scientists call the Picture Superiority Effect. National Public Radio has an interesting article and graphic depiction of this principle (click here to view). When we recall past events, negative or positive ones, we remember them in pictures, not words. These cellular memories store up everything we’ve ever heard, read, or experienced. Some even believe that the body itself is the subconscious mind.


Scientists and researchers know that emotions might be triggered in the brain, but are felt in different regions of the body, and sometimes in the entire body itself.


Does your face ever feel flush when remembering an embarrassing moment from decades ago? Does a nauseous feeling of regret hit you in the gut when thinking about that argument with your spouse or child? Do you feel a warm glow in your chest when you think about the moment you felt love for the first time? Our emotional bodies can trigger episodes of PTSD that feel similar to the original traumatic event. Our bodies were designed to communicate with us, but they do it in feeling-pictures.


Your body may be holding you back from a better life. Negative memories can become trapped energy in the body that makes you shrink back from challenges that could improve your health and well-being, a kind of muscle memory working against us. This isn’t some freaky voodoo thing. God didn’t make the kind of distinctions between spirit, soul, and body that we’ve adopted. Though we’ve separated these out as parts of the human organism, God hasn’t. There’s an organic unity among them that mirrors the Trinity itself. Make friends with your body. It has a lot to tell you.


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