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How do you Frame your life


When I took some of my son’s art in to be framed, I was surprised at what a huge difference the frame made.  Even with the black and white pictures, each demanded a border that would showcase that particular picture, highlighting the important elements.

The wrong frame would do the opposite.  When the right frame was put together with the picture, it was one you wanted to hang on your wall to look at over and over again.


How we frame the events in our lives can also make a huge difference in the outcome.  We can take that slice of life that challenges us and put a frame of strength, perseverance, and problem-solving around it. Situations that seem impossible can be turned into a major centerpiece of triumph on the wall of our lives.


Wide Angle vs Telephoto Lens


When we use the telephoto lens of our camera, we want to highlight one aspect of the scene before us. Looking through the lens, everything is excluded except the focused subject. Taken out of the context of the surrounding landscape, our attention is directed only to the object of our focal point.


We tend to do this in real life also, focusing on small segments of what is happening instead of seeing the whole picture.  We need both. We need the telephoto to properly identify the problems we are facing as well as the wide angle to give us all the background information. If we simply concentrate on one part of a problem we tend to have a knee-jerk response without considering the context in which it is occurring.


In order to evaluate more accurately, we need to broaden our field of vision.


In troubled relationships, for example, our spouses and teens are seen as uncooperative and argumentative.  Until we include the larger perspective of attitudes, mindsets, unrealistic expectations, past experiences and a willingness to work together, we will remain stuck in a fighting and combative pattern.


We develop reactive habits that lock us into a pattern of responses that work against us. Once a habit of arguing is established, a fight will be triggered no matter what the circumstances or what is said. It becomes so rigid that anything positive stays out of your field of vision.  You no longer see the bigger picture that involves targeting the problem specifically as well as expanding the options available to us.


Reframing looks beyond the problem to see alternatives we didn’t know were there.  We see what we couldn’t see at first glance opening up different possibilities.


Reframing takes what life hands us and gives us a new way to look at it. Our initial reaction can be tempered by different ways of looking at a problem, whether it is our relationships, major health problems, or the nitty-gritty of everyday life. When we are able to expand our interpretation and work towards a positive outcome, we can experience that glimmer of humor that allows us to laugh at our mishaps, mistakes, and humanness!


Reframing allows us to grow and prosper

regardless of circumstances.


Reframing takes any traumatic or challenging situation and looks for constructive solutions.  Expanding our frame of reference enables us to see God working in the background. We are able to develop strength of character and define what is truly important in life. Our resilience grows along with the belief that we can chart a better course. We can put in place habits that help us think through problems vs simply reacting to them. It is choosing to shape our outcome instead of just allowing events to dictate our destiny.


Reframing means I choose not to be a victim.

It means I am not a hostage to my situation or pain.


We will have doubts and anxieties.  However, we don’t allow them to keep us from finding ways to work through any difficult situation.

Reframing allows us to grow and prosper regardless of the obstacles. Whatever the problem, we are able to see it not as a permanent roadblock, but something we can work with to bring about our goals.

Whether the situation that confronts you is a marriage falling apart, teens in trouble, or a diagnosis of chronic illness, you can always expand your field of vision to find the right answers.  Uncertainty might leave us scared and anxious about the future.  But it is confronting that uncertainty head on where we learn to dig deep and find the resilience we need.


Marlene Anderson

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