Guest blogger Dr. Jodi J. De Luca, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 17 years of experience, is the owner of Erie Colorado Counseling (  Dr. De Luca specializes in applying the principles of clinical psychology to the overall well-being of individuals, couples, families, and groups. 

Memory is by far one of the most fascinating and essential aspects of being human. The experience of memory as a whole reminds us that life is not just a bunch of fleeting moments, but rather a collection of meaningful experiences that contribute to the blueprint of who we are. Memory is who we are. Memory is our identity.

Human memory is a phenomenon within itself. For example, a traumatic life event or loss can be so intolerable, that the painful experience is buried deep within the archives of our mind; sometimes unexpectedly evoked by a particular taste, touch, sound, or smell,… and sometimes never to be retrieved. Conversely, the smell of a particular perfume, the taste of cotton candy, or the feel of a warm blanket in the middle of winter can evoke wonderful memories of earlier life events.

For better or for worse, our memories represent profound and significant facets of who we are by way of genetics, experience, and environment. They guide our behavior on both an unconscious and conscious level. Whether they represent pain or pleasure, we must embrace these neurobiological engrams, and learn to view them as vehicles by which we can obtain a better understanding of ourselves and the way in which we interact with others and the world.

— Jodi DeLuca, Ph.D.