Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Reframing . . . Remodeling A Life

Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. 
~ Coco Chanel

 A door (and me) in Sarlat, France
I had a conversation this past week that provided yet another opportunity for a “reframe” in my life!  I’ve known the power of reframing for years, having been a social worker and clinician and I am always thankful when someone offers me one (or more) for my consideration.

The reframe occurred when I was sharing my “checkered” relationship history. (Checkered: marked by periods of varied fortune or discreditable incidents.  Yup!  That about describes the last 20 years of my life)! The question asked, “Was that man worth six months of your life”? My answer “No”. The reframe: think about relationships in terms of time.  Be clear on your expectations from the first date, if not before.  Don’t wait (or hope and pray) for him to catch up to where you are or worse yet for him to come around to wanting what you want.  He’s either there or he’s not. Own what you want, and go get it.  Is this really news to me?  No.  Have I read this and heard this before? Yes.  Do I think I might have finally “gotten it” this time.  I sure hope so.

One of my favorite doorway photos, Sarlat, France
Did your parents ever say “How many times do I have to tell you _____?  Of course, there is no right answer to the question, which makes it not a child rearing technique but more a statement of parental frustration.  Marketing professionals have an adage that we need to hear things seven times.  Others say three times, and apparently psychologists suggest at least 20 repetitions are necessary to memorize information.  One wonders exactly how many times it might take for me to internalize and act in accordance with the idea that I can and should be clear about who I am and what I want. I think perhaps that I have been so focused on the endgame (being in a relationship) that I have neglected to pay attention to whether the man involved is a man who is the right man.  At times I think I become a bit of a chameleon, taking on the interests of the man in an attempt to promote or maintain the relationship.  Even as I write this, it is clear to me how faulty that thinking is.  I know where that thinking comes from, a childhood coping mechanism that no longer works.  What is my personal call to action?  Keep this in the front of my mind.  Think about it throughout the day.  Find opportunities daily to own my thoughts and wants and to communicate them clearly to others and myself.  In my personal life (as opposed to my professional life) I think I may be the queen of saying things like “Whatever you want, anything is fine with me.”  Generally that’s true as I am pretty easy going and open to suggestions and different ideas, however I want to learn how to be clear and to embrace and share who I am!

Another very cool door in Sarlat, France
How about you?  Have you or are you challenged with anything similar?  Have suggestions or stories to share?  If so, I think we’d all love to read them.  I know I would!!

Now, go back to the top and read the Coco Chanel quote again...makes sense, huh!?!

What is a “reframe” and when is it useful?
Reframing simply refers to something we do all the time: the process of changing the meaning of a statement or situation. 


Photos are all mine, taken in 2011 in Sarlat, France

1 comment:

  1. Just realized that I wasn't as "truthful" as I strive to be. The photos are not "all mine". The one of me in front of the monastery door was taken by one of "the Aunts" whom I LOVE to travel with. So all props for that photo go to Auntie "G" (for the picture and taking me Sarlat)!