On the importance of long-term memories

Because nostalgia leans on schemes from movies, books, and songs, it distorts, or washes away the negative feelings you felt in the moment. And, knowing this, over the years I have come to distrust placing too much value on warm feelings I find in memory. Instead, I look to the past to understand origins, to see how my ideations, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors solidified and changed over time. The past gives us clues about the present; the danger is looking to the past to give a sentimental salve for the burn inflicted on us from the present. To look to the past to soothe us is just self-medicating.