Every so often, one of my websites starts to show errors and the technicians “clear the cache.” It did that again last week.
Cache files are created by apps to store commonly used information so it doesn’t have to be generated or downloaded again.” —Lowell Heddings
Over time, browsers accrue a lot of that temporary data, text, images, styles, and code. A growing cache is something like the brain’s memories, storing each experience, hardening around habits, building us shortcuts as we navigate through life every day.
It’s important to remember carefully. And in interpersonal relationships, it can also be useful to flush cached memories from time to time.
Fixing others’ in the past can mean missing who they are in this moment.
For convenience, we might fix somebody in time in a period where their handiwork caused negative results for us. Our cache might justify us in feeling resentment, even after we’ve resolved the issue or mitigated its outcomes.
The cache can just as easily contain pleasant memories as unpleasant ones, and we might be even more reluctant to clear our cache of them because they feel good. Yet there’s still a major benefit to shifting from memory to experience, from past to present.
In the present moment is the only place that real relationship happens.
No matter how much a parent looks warmly at an old photo of their adult child, the version of the child that the photo captured is forever gone.
Even if those parents struggle to view their adult child without nostalgia, it’s only as they make room in their perceptions for the children they have today that they stand the chance of relating person-to-person rather than person-to-projection.
And none of us can compete with others’ projections about us.