When you forget a «person/place/thing/idea/though/memory», that which previously sat in your cognitive field is there no longer. When you become mindful of that «person/place/thing/idea/though/memory» again, it returns to your cognitive field. We call this “forgetting and remembering” something. But remember is the wrong word.
Remember is the opposite of dismember. Dismember means to break apart into its different parts or components. You can dismember countries and organizations and ideas and aspects of personality and memories of events. Memories of events are the most important for this example. Our definition of remember is really composed of two parts: becoming mindful about those memories and reassembling them into something useful.
Becoming mindful of memories sounds like a nonsensical statement but it is simple: take memories that were somewhere else and bring them here. Sometimes that happens consciously, intentionally and easily but other times it is an unconscious process that was completely unplanned and out of your control. Either way they came back. Becoming mindful of them simply means acknowledging there presence. Whether it was in your control or not, what you do next is 00% in your control: choosing how to re-member them.
Remembering those events means first choosing to focus on them or not. Sometimes they are not worth pondering and you can let them move on. Others are so intense and mesmerizing taking you do the depths of despair or the elevations of ecstasy that there is no way you can get out of the tail-spin of those feelings. The trick is to pull out of the tail-spin before starting to re-member them.
Breathing comes naturally to all of us. Either we are doing it or not. However, we can do it better. Doing it better creates a completely stable and safe cognitive environment where we can place our memories in and out of our cognitive field as we sit. It is a gentle process that lets us examine them without the emotional charge. This process of re-membering without the massive rush becomes a process full of curiosity and observation.
This is the true process of remembering that every human being ought to be able to practice if they wish.