Reframing has had a great press agent recently. And it should. For generations this simple wisdom has been passed down to us from our grandmothers who have just wanted to help us feel better about a situation. More recently it has been codified by therapists and coaches into a tactic of sorts.
All of that is great and useful. We want to add a bit more to it, because, mostly, we hear it talked about only as a technique to identify and then change the way that situations, events, ideas, and/or emotions are viewed and therefore experienced. But, there is more value in it. The more significant value lies in the reminder that reframing provides us.
Reframing helps us see that we are in the driver seat of our experience. It alerts us to the agency that we have. Your realization that the story can be told this way or that way is where the deeper value lies. It is easy to forget that our minds are not truth machines simply displaying reality to us. Our thoughts are often terribly skewed and influenced by such a wide array of factors that we could never get to the root of them all. We shouldn’t chase after our thoughts anymore than a feather blowing in the wind. They are capricious and fickle. The danger lies in forgetting this. This is why reframing is a great exercise. Not just because it can alter an undesirable experience, but it reminds us that our thoughts are not to be taken as objective truth.
Through your stories and interpretations, you create the texture and experience of your life. This is by no means to argue that we are a closed system and that we are not influenced by others. It is only to say that after everything is said and done, you make the last call. You’re the one who decides if some experience was good or bad. We know that we can make the most wonderful experiences terrible and the "terrible" ones filled with joy, love, education and gratitude. It is up to us.
To knowing we can tell it this way or that