The other day, someone asked me how I was able to move on so quickly from my divorce. I chuckled at the notion that they felt it was accomplished quickly, but I suppose when you are on the outside looking in, the passing of time seems to occur at a different pace.
There were a myriad of emotional hurdles that I had to clear in order to move past it, and from my point of view it certainly wasn’t something that had occurred quickly. In fact, I was stuck for quite a while, not moving in any direction at all.
Internally, I struggled with an extreme sense of loss. I had been a wife and mother for so long, that it was hard for me to no longer see myself in those roles; I had forgotten myself as an individual.
Given the circumstances which precipitated this unwanted event, I accepted that divorce was inevitable. Nonetheless, I was plagued with sorrow and regret for the plans that would go unrealized, and I continued to focus on what was never going to be – like pages of a book that had been erased. This was the snapshot that remained in my mind for months.
I remember a conversation I had a few months back with one of my closest friends. When I told her about my pending divorce, she responded as any friend would, providing words of understanding and support. However, as the conversation continued, my friend went on to say how “lucky” I am to have a chance to start over. Lucky? I guess that was my “aha” moment.
It finally dawned on me how much freedom I now have, and it was then that I was able to look at my situation differently. Instead of focusing on the picture I had of pages that had been erased, I was able to see my situation more as a clean slate on which I could write or draw anything I wished. In essence, I had changed the frame of the snapshot, which allowed me to change my frame of mind.
No longer focusing on what was lost, I was now able to see the promise of a new beginning. The more I was able to focus on the newness of my life, the more positive I felt. I started making new plans for myself and eventually I stopped mourning the old plans because they no longer appealed to me.
Reframing is what helped me to view this unwanted change as an opportunity for exploration and growth. It is possible that my friend’s comments were simply coming from a feeling of the grass being greener, or perhaps it was a spiritual intervention that had been provided exactly when I needed it. Either way, I am thankful for it. Hugs to my friend for her ongoing love and support, and for helping me to change the frame.
[Photo via Redbubble. Artist, Wendy Slee]
Have you ever used a reframing technique? How did it affect your perception of your situation?