This morning as the dogs and I were about to enter a fenced trail where they could run free, a young woman and a dog came jogging out. We waited. "So three dogs, huh?" She asked, slightly out of breath.
With a big grin and a cheery tone, her answer was easy, "That you're up for a party!" .
What??? As I continued, I thought, That was interesting. In the woman's simple reframing of my many dogs, an epiphany flooded into my awareness. Really? I had long supposed that my canine passion was more about something leftover from my less than delightful childhood, about my inner child longing to be whole. I flashed on the day before as the dogs and I went off to coordinate the refurbishing of one of my rental units. The music in the Jeep was up high, Lacey with her head partially out of the window, had her ears flopping in the breeze, Zoe's tail was thumping, and Tessie was keeping beat to the music. (Well, maybe not...) But we were a happy gang going off to work. "Hi Ho, Hi Ho!"
Hmm. Going off to work felt like fun.... Making the bed this morning to the backdrop of three huge dogs wrestling all around me was fun... They were certainly having a party; and a raucous one at that!
Maybe the lady was right, maybe one's old take onsomething is just that, old. I know that reframing is one of the most powerful personal tools one can have. It is a skill that grows out of adversity. It is the ability to look at something from another perspective. Resilient people have it in spades. It is their ability, when in distress, to reduce the appraisal of perceived threat and to increase their coping effectiveness. For example, if your feelings are hurt because your friend forgot your special day, it could be that by reframing it, you can see that something else might have been going on. The forgetfulness might not have been personal. EVERYTHING MIGHT NOT ALWAYS BE ABOUT US!! (Thatis a complicated thought to digest!) In Loss Support group we use reframing to shift to gratefulness, to celebrate all the years we have had with our loved one....It helps stem the agony of loss. It is possible to examine our old beliefs and reframe them. We have the power to draw new conclusions from what we know. The jogging
lady did that for me. Now instead of thinking I am a bit over-the-top running through life with three big dogs, I see that I take my party with me wherever I go! How fun is that? I'd love to know your thoughts.
My best, donna