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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Taylor

Sniffing Nostalgia Makes Me Hiccup

It's true, and I don't have to explain it to you, because you already know what I mean...

smelling certain things can evoke memories.

You're not even trying, and all of a sudden you are back in your Grandmother's kitchen because you smelled an apple pie.

Mine has a lot to do with the smell of sugar and cinnamon - cinnamon toast on cold days.

I think that's why the phenomena of pumpkin spice is so big. It really doesn't have to do with Starbucks, so much as it has to do with the memory that Starbucks is cashing in on.

What a gift is the gift of smell, right?

Except when it isn't.

Some smells take us to times that are not the best of memories.

One of mine is the smell of sanitary rubbing alcohol - it brings back memories of walking through the hospital when someone I loved was laying on their dying bed.

You have some of these smells, too, right?

Although memories are experienced in our thinking, they really affect our emotions.

Sometimes without our even knowing it.

Other experiences wake up our emotions as well. Have you ever experienced a time when you were crazy anxious about something? Or, crazy angry about something? And, when I say 'crazy', you know what I mean, right? You know in your heart that other people wouldn't act quite as emotionally as you did when you look back at it, but you just couldn't help it.

That's when the hiccups start. I call them 'emotional hiccups'. Something I am going through in my present life triggers an emotional happening in my past that I barely, if at all, remember, and 'BAM', I'm into a state of emotional upheaval.

Here's an example from my life - I'm graciously invited to my son's college apartment where I overhear a discussion of how the rent will be split out between he and his roommates. The discussion was headed toward my son having to pay more than the others, while not even having a room of his own, when I began to come out of my skin.

I know I shouldn't say anything - don't do it, Suzanne. You'll regret it, Suzanne. But, it comes spilling out anyway. "Do you all think that's fair?" Eyes look over in my direction, but the ones I saw most were those of my son. A look of disbelief and extreme hurt and disappointment. I knew it right when I interjected, but the crazies in me would not be silent. I didn't/couldn't stop. "Come on, guys. That's not right." Digging my own grave - yep.

When I shared this with my husband that evening, he asked me the question we have learned to ask each other when we are more emotional than the average crazy person...

"How old did you feel?"

After pondering for a moment, the age of myself in my 20's came bubbling up. "Somewhere in my 20's, but not sure why....oh, I know...when I was in college, one of my roommates was always trying to put her own duties and financial issues onto the others of us, and I never felt strong enough to say 'no'. Well, I'm strong enough now! I may not have had a voice then, but I do now! You can't tell me what to do!"... I hadn't remembered that in years.

I had poured out my anger and frustration from my twenties onto my son's friends and their conversation that was not even mine to speak into.

I took my 'hiccup' to my Father, prayed over it, forgave the girl from my college years AND myself for being human in a messed up world. And, I tell you, I got to let go of that hurt. And, when other similar events come up and I get that feeling of not having a voice, I get to forgive again. (Seventy times seven, right?)

I also got to ask for forgiveness from my son.

Your hiccups? I don't know what sets you off, but I do know if your past is leaking into your present, and you find yourself crazy emotional, it might help to ask the same question...

"How old do I feel?"

Your memories might coming flooding quickly, or they may trickle in, but whatever the case, you can forgive yourself and/or the other person for being human in a messed up world. I know my example is a light, momentary type of situation, but I have been through much worse since then. And, it works just the same with the harder, more deeply wounded times.



It's the gift that comes from forgiveness.

Plus, you’ll create the gift of more space in your heart for positive magical memories -

like cinnamon toast.

May you have a day filled with sugar and spice and everything nice...

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