I could see it was a rough-cut Tuesday
Slow-motion weekdays stare me down ...
There were no defects to be found
Snapshot image froze without a sound ...
Thursday morning was a hot flash-factor
Friday night we'll dance the spotlight grind ...
Now I'm lookin' at a flashback Sunday
This freeze-frame moment can't be wrong ...
Freeze-Frame! Now Freeze!
~ J. Geils Band Lyrics ~ Freeze Frame ~
I think professional framer’s are fortunate people. They can transition paintings or photographs within moments using different frames and colored matts, placed around the edges. Certain highlights or perspectives are displayed ... entire readings of it that you hadn’t noticed before ... presenting a new meaning for you.
So what if we applied this to our own life by re-framing experiences therapeutically. A way of taking an image or thought and seeing it in a new way. Basically, viewing your life from a different perspective. What if we try out some new "frames" and see what it does ... will it transform in some way so that it is easier to cope with?
Think about it ...
- are there some thoughts, experiences or expectations you would like to take a fresh look at?
- what areas of your life might you like to try a new frame on?
- what kind of frame could it be?
- which aspects of the situation, or of yourself, might you like to highlight?
Interesting how two people can undergo the same painful experience in life, but one appears inspiring to others while the other appears to continue suffering and be a victim. Why? well it’s not so much our past but how we see it. With any mistake we have made in the past, many of us continually beat ourselves up for it and blame someone else. Instead we could reflect back happy that we learned from our mistakes and things are so much better now. Stepping back and looking at the broader view may help us recognize that there are different layers of meaning.
How we perceive our story determines the quality of our life. The quality of our lives has less to do with the details and more to do with how we perceived those details. The meaning we assign it and the story we tell ourselves will determine how we live the rest of our lives from this day forward.
I know that there are moments in my life that are just plain hard. I feel like I am getting nowhere and no matter what I do, I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water. Yet if by re-framing, maybe the very fact that I’ve kept putting one foot in front of the other has its own worth and meaning. I’ve kept on trying despite the odds. And I’m learning what doesn’t work, so I might be getting closer to figuring out what does.
Even the smallest, seemingly plainest of frames can help. Something as straightforward as: ‘right now, this is a really tough time’ itself acknowledges the level of challenge I'm facing, as well as the possibility of transience and that this hopelessness will eventually relent. It offers some hope to keep me going.
The beauty of re-framing is you can experiment until you find the one that feels right for now ... and also decide which elements you might like to highlight in some way.