A Gift of Love: Metamorphosing Past Experiences
In the tapestry of our lives, we often encounter experiences that leave a lasting imprint on our hearts. Some may be joyous and uplifting, while others may carry the weight of sorrow and disappointment. However, within the depths of every encounter lies an opportunity for transformation and growth. It is through the power of love that we can weave a beautiful narrative, turning our past experiences into precious gifts of wisdom and resilience…growing through what we go through.💖
Seeing Life From a New Perspective
As I prepare prints for my very first exhibition next month, I find myself embracing the idea of discovering beauty in old photographs, and it reminds me of how much life resembles this process.
Life has a way of presenting us with unforeseen challenges, traumatic events, and horrible situations that can leave lasting emotional scars. These experiences often shape our perceptions, leading to a negative narrative that hinders personal growth and healing. But by learning to reframe the narrative surrounding these events, we can empower ourselves to find strength, resilience, and newfound purpose.
The photographs I wanted to use for the exhibition were taken eleven years ago on an old 14-pixel digital camera while in a moving vehicle 😁, quite a contrast to the 20 Megapixel Canon I have now. The resolution was terrible, and distracting highway railings cluttered the images.
My time living in Alaska was an experience I cherished, and I even considered settling there, but the exorbitant cost-of-living made it challenging. Living in the “lower forty-eight,” as they say, is vastly different from inhabiting the wilds of Alaska. The diversity of the people, the breathtaking landscapes, and the abundant wildlife create an unforgettable experience that I am eager to share more about…
The Stories We Tell Ourselves Create Our Lives
Amidst the breathtaking beauty of Alaska, there was a time when this majestic landscape was viewed through the lens of a traumatic and painful experience. However, over time, I underwent a profound transformation in my perspective. As the author of my life’s narrative, I realized I had the power to shape how I perceived my story. I often share with my granddaughters the notion that there are countless ways to perceive something, influenced by the color of the glasses we wear and the angle from which we view it.
Refusing to embrace the role of a ‘victim,’ I decided to redefine my story in a way that empowers and uplifts me. The world, I discovered, is impartial; it is our interpretations and understanding that determine whether our experiences support or harm us. What truly matters is not solely what happened to us but the narratives we craft about those events.
Reframing is a Tool
Over the years, I have discovered the power of changing the lenses through which I view the events and experiences of my life. Instead of looking through the dark glasses of ‘victimhood’ and seeing only darkness and shadows bringing me pain and anguish every time I recalled those events…It was crucial to take responsibility for my actions and choices after the traumatic event. By doing so, I could regain control over the narrative and begin the process of reframing it in a way that empowers and heals. So, what other perspective could I view this experience from? I could take back my power and become a survivor. Reframing my story from one of victimization to survivorship was the first step.
The Perspective of a Survivor
Indeed, reframing your experience from victimization to survivorship can be a powerful and transformative perspective. By taking back your power and embracing the role of a survivor, you shift the narrative from one of helplessness to one of resilience and strength. This change in perspective allows you to see the challenges you faced as stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks, and it opens up new possibilities for personal growth and empowerment.
As a survivor, you acknowledge the impact of the past without allowing it to define your future. You recognize the strength and courage it took to overcome those traumatic events and use that awareness to create a vision for the life you truly desire. This reframing empowers you to let go of the shackles of the past and embrace the possibilities of the present and future.
From the perspective of a survivor, you are not defined by what happened to you but by how you responded and thrived in the face of adversity. This shift in mindset can be the catalyst for positive change, self-discovery, and finding a newfound sense of purpose. By seeing yourself as a survivor, you acknowledge your resilience, and you can build a life that aligns with your values, passions, and aspirations.
In embracing this perspective, you reclaim the authorship of your life’s narrative. You are not merely a passive character but an active participant, shaping your story with strength and courage. Your experiences, both challenging and triumphant, become integral parts of the tapestry of your life, and they contribute to the growth and wisdom you carry forward.
By reframing your story from victimization to survivorship, you open yourself up to new possibilities, greater self-compassion, and the ability to turn adversity into an opportunity for growth and transformation. This shift in perspective can be the foundation upon which you build the vision for your life that you truly desire—a vision of empowerment, resilience, and boundless potential.
How Does Your Story Influence Those Around You?
As the author of your life’s narrative, the way you reframe your stories goes beyond just your own experience.
Your influence extends to those around you. Your story impacts not only yourself but also your family, friends, and even co-workers, whether they are aware of it or not. Since your experiences affect you, they also have ripple effects on those in your life.
Our beliefs and attitudes are not hidden away, especially during challenging times. As stress increases, our egos can take over if we are not fully present and self-aware, pulling us back into a state of fear and old patterns. In such moments, our past can surface, influencing those around us.
So, it’s essential to ask ourselves: does our story inspire others positively, or does our negativity push people away? By reframing our narrative into one that inspires and empowers others, we not only help ourselves but also assist others in overcoming their negative patterns. Through our example, we can demonstrate the power words have in shaping our lives and encourage others to reframe their own negative comments into sources of strength and growth.
A Prayer for The Big View
A closer look at the Lord’s Prayer can help us reframe our lives.
Our Father reminds me that I am not praying to my God but ours. He’s the God of the people in my home as well as the God of the person with no home, who sleeps on the streets. The world shares the same God, and his eyes are on us all.
Hallowed be your name acknowledges that there is a power in the universe greater than ourselves. When we acknowledge God as the center, it helps us see our lives as part of a bigger story that will continue after we are gone.
Your kingdom come, your will be done.“Your will be done” means I not only acknowledge there is a bigger story, but I submit myself to be part of it.
Finishing “Your will be done” with on earth as it is in heaven leaves room for God to work in ways we cannot see.
Give us this day our daily bread isn’t a prayer for tomorrow’s bread, or for more bread than we need. It is a prayer for God’s provision in the here and now. What I do with that perspective is directly related to whether or not I believe that tomorrow’s bread for me will be resupplied.
Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors might be translated, “As we experience your forgiveness, help it to spill over in the way we treat others.” Saying—and living—this line of the prayer could affect more people than we can imagine.
Lead us not into temptation means asking God to help us make good choices with the freedom we have.
Deliver us from evil is the prayer for the courage to see the evil our temptations have brought us. There is a line between temptation and evil, and here’s how you find it: temptation includes your freedom; evil takes it away. Evil needs to be battled by Someone greater than us.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory is a benediction that reaffirms we are here for a greater purpose than just ourselves.
Reciting this prayer gives us the perspective we need each day to see our lives the way they actually are: part of a bigger story.
From When Changing Nothing Changes Everything by Laurie Polich Short.https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/4523-reframing-your-life-with-gods-perspective/day/2
Love serves as my transformative force that allows me to reframe my life in meaningful and profound ways. By cultivating self-love, healing emotional wounds, embracing empathy, fostering positive outlooks, building connections, nurturing resilience, encouraging forgiveness, and engaging in self-reflection, we open ourselves to a world of possibility. Through the lens of love, we can reframe our experiences, finding healing, growth, and a newfound sense of purpose. Love guides us on a journey of transformation, helping us discover the beauty and potential within ourselves and the world around us.