Reframing Our Situations
We look at situations from a certain point of view and we think that is real along with the emotions that follow. But often we are off and need to reframe our perspective.
This past week was the first time for me to leave my kitties at home alone overnight. And not just one night but four! As I was packing up that morning, I picked up Malcolm and tears started to flow. How lonely they would be. They might think we are never coming back. They might think we abandoned them. At that moment, I knew this wouldn’t work. One, I would be a complete crying mess and two, I might not get on that plane. Then I realized how silly my thinking was. Sure they may feel a bit lonely because animals do – but all that other stuff – I don’t think so. I was projecting human thoughts onto them. So I stopped and the spirit of truth reframed. They are going to have a great time, jumping on counters, scratching our dinning room chairs – all those things they aren’t suppose to do. And the loneliness they feel will be minor. At that point the tears stopped and I made it out the door without another drop – barely. Our perspective is powerful in what it creates.
God has been teaching me a lot about reframing. There have been several situations lately (some mentioned below) that when I stopped and sought His input of truth I discovered my initial view point was off and I needed realignment. God is adamant about us seeking truth because the consequences of living in lies are extensive. The wrong outlook can destroy relationships, our purpose, and ourselves. It can destroy our body, mind, soul and spirit. Once you live in the truth, how living a lie affected your life becomes clear. I’ve been amazed at what the lies created in my life – and it was nothing good.
I am finding that this simple act makes a huge impact in our work, response to problems, relationships, ourselves, you name it. And when you reframe your point of view your emotions change and your emotions aren’t erratic or damaging but appropriate and helpful.
The part of this that isn’t simple is seeing the truth. From our birth we are inundated with lies. We develop concepts about us, others and the world that simply aren’t true. Only by abiding in God’s pure truth as the Spirit as our teacher do we start to learn the truth, start to see clearly. And it isn’t instant. Developing an intimacy with God that leads to His truth invading every recess of our lives is a journey. Intimacy requires trust and trusting God is a process. We have to know Him to trust Him and knowing Him as He is and not our images of Him takes time. Our lies about Him are some of the first ones His expels.
Abiding in His Word is the key. When we dive into God’s Word and abide with Him as a bride, in time He reframes our perspectives on Him us, others and this world. As a result, we are more aligned with what is true and real. Because of our limited physical capabilities we can only know in part, but that part is much more accurate, and it is a view that brings life, abundant life.
I have a friend who I only see a couple times a year. I had certain expectations about how I wanted that time to be spent – engaged with one another, one-on-one time talking, catching up, and diving into intimate conversations. I told her that was my desire. But that isn’t where she is at – she is a busybody running to and fro. When plans didn’t go my way, I started to get frustrated and hurt that she didn’t have the same expectations. But when those emotions started to set in and my actions were becoming jaded, I stopped and the Spirit reframed. I accepted that we were at different places, decided to enjoy what we have for what it is, and not try to conform her to what I want in a friend. The hurt and frustration dissipated and I ended up having a good time. My previous emotions would have wrecked havoc on the friendship. The latter ones allowed me to enjoy what have whatever level it is on.
One more example . . . my older brother and I aren’t very close. When I visit my parents, he stops by and we have a thin and brief conversation. I thought we just didn’t connect and he wasn’t interested in a relationship, and left it at that. But this past week was different. I put those thoughts aside and engaged him in a deeper conversation. It was wonderful. We discovered we shared many things in common. We had a stimulating long talk that neither wanted interrupted. God altering my perspective of how I viewed our relationship caused me to respond differently to him and as a result him to me.
Review your relationships and situations that are bothersome to you. Seek God’s wisdom and counsel. Perhaps it is a reframing issue.