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Reframing Life

The facts are the same, the filter is different. What we filter out or allow to filter 'in' within our minds determine how we will respond to information presented to us. We call this a cognitive bias - the filters we apply within our minds based upon our experiences and/or our preferences. The facts will be the same in how we see things, but we can see it quite differently, can't we? The frame of our thought or situation defines how we see the situation. We change the 'frame' of our day and we can change the way we interpret the events of that day. The filter or frame are dependent upon us - we choose the filter we apply or the frame in which we see things in life. We cannot control what happens TO you, but you can control HOW you see it.

I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered. All the soldiers here, and everyone else, too, found out that I’m in jail because of this Messiah. That piqued their curiosity, and now they’ve learned all about him. Not only that, but most of the followers of Jesus here have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever, speaking out fearlessly about God, about the Messiah. (Philippians 1:12-14)

We oftentimes have expectations that form in our minds. Those expectations set a 'frame' by which we interpret our lives. If that frame is based upon something we really wanted, but we don't have it now, we might be seeing life through a 'frame' of disappointment or regret. Expectations are important - we need to understand how they affect our filters and frames by which we interpret life's events and moments. We often want the exact OPPOSITE of what we are framing our events as right now. So, why don't we change the frame? The frame is part of our 'experiential cognitive bias'. We 'frame' life in either a negative sense, or choose to reframe it in a positive sense.

Our frames shape what we experience. We can see life differently because of a different frame. What frame do you most need to change in your life? There are times we choose the wrong frame for our day, event, or relationship. As an amateur woodworker I have learned there is a benefit in preparing the frame for what I am creating long before I set out to create it. We call it a blueprint or plan. The plan helps to determine the outcome. I have started a few projects with NO plans at all. They didn't end up as nice as the ones with the 'frame' prepared ahead of time. 

We might just need to decide the meaning of an event or situation before we enter into it - that is cognitive reframing. We let Jesus frame the meaning of an event or situation. How? We seek his 'view' of the day even before we begin that day. It is why I study the Word each day - to cognitively reframe my day even before it begins. Prayer also reframes our day - moments spent just sharing what we are going through or anticipating we will go through in the presence of God. The frame might need to be different - because we cannot control the circumstances - but we can see the blessings in the moment when we apply the right frame! Just sayin!

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