Outer Life/Inner Life
I was sitting on the beach last Thursday with three of my closest friends. We’d driven to Gulf Shores on Wednesday to spend four uninterrupted days together, catching up on each other’s lives.
But it was windy. And it was cold. And I was growing miserable.
It’s easy to depend too much on our surroundings to make us happy. When they turn sour, we can, too. Our energy drains away. We focus on our discomfort. We have little positive to share.
As the sand storm blew fiercely around us and on top of us (y’all, sand was literally filling in the pages of my magazine), I finally decided to go up. Poolside. Surely it would be calmer.
But while it was less windy, it was also colder. I inwardly vowed, “I’ll never come back to the beach in March.”
Get a Reframe
I needed a reframe.
When we can only see one side of something, it’s time to flip it around.
“Reframing is changing your mental and emotional responses to people and events.”
I recently participated in a 21-day e-course, “Reframing.”
It was designed to walk us through areas of our lives that need a new perspective, see other people and events as spiritual teachers, and become less judgmental. Topics included:
- Reframing Negativity
- Reframing Anger
- Reframing Fear
- Reframing Worry
- Reframing Waiting
It challenged us to make a list of things that needed reframing. Then encouraged us to set an intention, and actively find new meanings behind events.
So I decided to reframe my Thursday afternoon.
I took my Kindle, a snack, and a jacket to the balcony of our condo. I poured myself a Diet Coke and read and ate. I was no longer on the beach, but I could still see the ocean, still hear the waves.
And joy returned. Despite the wind. Despite the temperature.
Receive New Gifts
I realize that reframing our situations are rarely that easy. Especially when circumstances are out of our control.
Our stories don’t unfold like we expect.
But instead of fighting against the differences, maybe we can open our hands a little wider, and receive the new gifts that God is giving us instead.
- Pray for reframed attitudes.
- Invite the Spirit to give us new perspectives.
- Claim hope for God’s grace in the moment and grace in things to come.
On Friday morning?
You wouldn’t have called me a beach fashionista, but wearing a warm sweatshirt, a cap cinched tight on my head, and a beach towel wrapped around my legs, I sat on the beach with my friends with thankfulness, laughter, and grace reframed.
Poor me no longer.
Blessed me instead.
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What situation do you need to reframe? Please share in the comments.
- 5 Books I Recommend – March 2017
- On the Blog – March 2017