The memory center in our brain occupies the same area as the imagination center.
We cannot dwell on memories from the past without limiting our ability to imagine, or enVISION, our future.
Essentially, there is competition for attention in our brain. Memory and imagination compete for attention.
If we dwell on negative, painful memories, full of disappointment, or failure, where strong negative emotions are attached, such as fear or anxiety, the limits to our imagination are exponentially increased. And like a vicious downward spiral, negative emotions and anxiety, capture our attention and laser focus it on the thing we are anxious about (it’s the bodies natural stress response).
Negative thinking begets further negative thinking. Our brains become swamped in a stew of negative emotions that further push us to dwell on hurt, pain, disappointment, or failure.
Overwhelmed, we cannot dream big God-dreams. Our vision and faith are robbed.
It doesn’t matter if the memories are decades old, or from yesterday, the more we dwell on them they become locked in our thinking, making it difficult for us to ever let go. When these memories have our attention, they severely limit our ability to dream and imagine a great big future in God.
No wonder Jesus said, Pay close attention, for whatever you give your attention to, that you will get, that and even more, Mark 4:24.
It’s also why we are encouraged to catch negative thoughts and daily renew our thinking, 2Corinthians 10:5 and Romans 12:2.
We choose what we give our attention to. We decide either by the inaction of dwelling on the past–and we get stuck there–or by the action of deliberately focussing the best of our attention on God, His Word, and the dreams He placed in our heart; then we get nothing less than all of what God has for us.
We can and should choose to imagine, dream big, have big faith and believe for the impossible because nothing is impossible for God, Matthew 19:26.