Reframe the Pain

By Mary Thomas P.T.

When we have been living with emotional pain for a long time, it is easy to either:

1. Tune out the pain in order to not see it or feel it. However, by doing this, the pain continues to affect every move and every decision we make. It is easy for someone to think that they are hiding the pain from those around them, but instead, they are just blocking themselves from handling the pain.

2. Tune into the pain with so much focus that it consume you and become all that you can think about. When this happens, it is easy to miss nearly everything, even the joyful moments.

One day when I was focusing on the pain of a past situation, a good friend said to me, “Mary, have you thought about re-framing the experience?” I was very confused. She suggested that instead of focusing on the hurt feelings and the judgement from the past that we should focus on my strength in getting through certain experiences and the lessons that I learned. I stopped and thought about it for a moment and began to see and feel the other person with a different frame of mind and realized that they were broken. The other person had not been taught and did not have the proper tools in order to do better. Instead of improving, the other person was taking their hurt out on me. As I put a new frame around the experience, I realized that I was not responsible for the hurt that they were experiencing. My new frame helped me see the event differently. I could either offer the person help, allow them to walk away, or I could walk away. I felt compassion for the other person and enough compassion for myself to know that walking away was the right choice at the time.

I have gone back and reviewed different events with a variety of frames. I have my frame of light that helps me to shine more light on different situations in order to better see others and the intent of their hearts. I have my rainbow frame that helps me to see the joy of situations as it helps me figure out what I learned and what could I do differently next time. I have my frame of peace which allows me to bring peace into my heart as I strive to see the struggle and pain others are experiencing.

You can have as many frames as you want and need. You can use them in order to see any situation in a different perspective. The right frame can change a painful experience into something more beautiful and help relieve some of your own pain.

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