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Meaning and context are decisive. Can "reframing" alter our experience and enjoyment of life?

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posted on Aug, 30 2016 @ 06:07 PM
Reframing pretty much saved me, repeatedly, throughout my life. Both in acute situations (bad events where I was, even as it happened, reframing by working a narration of the OMG or funny story I could tell my friends about) and in general (our lives have the meanings we choose to give them).

I don't think this is just something one "can" do but rather, something we all do instinctively, it's merely that we can become aware of it and interject our intent on purpose, rather than allow a default, for an outcome we prefer.

It also tends to help with a degree of compassion, personally (able to consider other contexts for situations when people behave a certain way), and a degree of business acumen (from executive options to the infamous 'spin').

Reframing can be how you arrange something to be a feature, not a bug, without even getting out of your armchair. :-)

edit on 30-8-2016 by RedCairo because: typos

posted on Aug, 30 2016 @ 06:15 PM
a reply to: RedCairo

I don't think this is just something one "can" do but rather, something we all do instinctively, it's merely that we can become aware of it and interject our intent on purpose, rather than allow a default, for an outcome we prefer.

Excellent post, and it's great that you were reared from the cradle to know that!!

"Critical thinking skills." How to view one's circumstances from various angles, explore various options, weigh various outcomes, etc.

You'd be surprised maybe how many millions upon millions of people have not the slightest idea how to do that. MOST people are simply going through the motions that the "Operating System" of their infancy and early childhood offered up.
For a person who is profoundly confused, subjectively suffering in terms of life circumstances and/or trajectory to learn how to do this (to reframe the situation, thereby alleviating accompanying anxiety, pessimism, counter-productive coping 'techniques') is very challenging.

They've never heard of such a thing before. To be able to view a situation from multiple points of view is a gift of the educated, nurtured, and emotionally mature human. It takes training, too! Family Systems - identifying how their 'timeline' developed even without their conscious be able to reflect in hindsight, add things up, and say "Aha! Now I see a pattern, and I can identify a common denominator circumstance!"

Yes, that is a wonderfully empowering revelation. To be freed of the chains one no longer even 'feels' but nevertheless hold them bound to a certain set of dance steps....... it is wonderful.

Therapy -- something that benefits every person. To be taught how to reflect on oneself, one's circumstances, options, possible outcomes, and future trajectory.....priceless.

posted on Aug, 30 2016 @ 09:48 PM

originally posted by: geezlouise

I love you, OP.

You know, I almost forgot to tell you how much that meant and means to me. Sometimes is gets lonely and we so need to hear that and receive a hug.

Thank you.

I love you too.

This raises for me the magnitude of the importance of communication and human interaction and how reframing context and meaning within that realm could be the most powerful and the most impactful way to improve our lives the lives of all those with whom we interact in all our dealings, and we can talk about that but I don't want to spoil the mood. : )

Thanks again for the kind sentiment. It really is meaningful.

Thank you for making my day!

Luv ya back sweety.

posted on Aug, 30 2016 @ 10:37 PM

originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
Excellent post, and it's great that you were reared from the cradle to know that!!

Good grief no. I simply had a miserable situation from circa age 7 to adulthood and it was a survival skill.

You'd be surprised maybe how many millions upon millions of people have not the slightest idea how to do that.

I have observed that people's child/teen-hoods tend to determine their adaptation skills. Good childhoods don't teach a lot about how to deal with bad situations /trauma but they do create a healthier person who gradually "actually recovers" from such things.

Problem childhoods generally teach people how to adapt in the moment to survive, and they don't learn to recover if they don't get a break of safety after. They learn how to stuff it down during the drop-and-roll so they can cope without the panic causing its own problems, and come up fists-ready for the next round. Literally or figuratively.

Good early childhoods are critical. I have seldom if ever met someone with a bad childhood before age six who wasn't pretty much messed up for life. But I've met lots of people who had amazingly hard situations, with a decent very-young period, and not only survived but gradually tinkered with themselves until they were functional again, once they could.

For the problem childhoods, I think the "type of situation" has a lot to do with the adaptation skills people naturally develop or don't. Most problem childhoods in one way or another are a certain situation that causes a degree of deformation for survival. Doesn't teach much about reframing except in the worst sense: codependency dysfunction is the negative side of reframing, a sort of individualized stockholm syndrome, where you rewrite the situation of the abuser to provide a compassion context for them (as if that makes your misery ok).

A rather less common problem childhood is the one where the situation just keeps changing, either due to the type of situation or to changing environments. While this often creates a high degree of suggestibility (excellent hypnotic subjects!) the people are often bright, learn incredibly rapidly (often that's their primary survival skill, is 'learning') but are often also impulsive, and sometimes are over-adaptable ('who' they are literally changes with their environment to a major degree). I had this situation and not until I was an adult and obsessed on self-hypnosis did I discover by accident that I'd never really been fully OUT of it until I was actually teaching myself to go IN it on purpose, heh!

But I think the changing-elements in a stressful development of a person creates a substantial version of 'reframing' naturally because it's actually part of fast-shift adapting by its nature.

That was way too many words.

They've never heard of such a thing before.

Probably one reason why Bandler and Grinder were so successful, their ideas put into verbage and exercises seemed so novel. "Using your brain for a change" is a real simple one of their books, I think it's just transcripts (fuzzy memory here I'm going back like 25 years I think) but probably a good read for people who need some new ideas.

Of course they were also successful because they were smart. Richard's "let's just push this mental button in the guy and see what happens" approach was freaking hilarious even if a little dark.

To be able to view a situation from multiple points of view is a gift of the educated, nurtured, and emotionally mature human. It takes training, too! Family Systems - identifying how their 'timeline' developed even without their conscious be able to reflect in hindsight, add things up, and say "Aha! Now I see a pattern, and I can identify a common denominator circumstance!"

I'm not sure everything requires training but most things can surely benefit from it, I agree. I was also wading through Bradshaw's stuff way back then, and I found a lot of it really moving and enlightening. It's always sort of funny in the most horrible way when you realize everything you thought was some secret or totally unique family situation is in fact so predictable it's literally in your textbook. You almost feel like looking around -- were they watchin' us?! LOL.

Therapy -- something that benefits every person. To be taught how to reflect on oneself, one's circumstances, options, possible outcomes, and future trajectory.....priceless.

Everybody can probably benefit from good counseling. Finding a good counselor -- never mind affording it -- is a completely different thing, alas.

I actually got into self-hypnosis seriously (I'd been a little interested before) at 17 because I realized after reading about a study done on prisoners that I was a mild sociopath, likely due to ongoing events in my life, and I was trying to figure out how the hell to fix myself. I knew I had no money let alone time for the kind of therapy I'd probably need and that's assuming anybody 'talking to me' would help anyway. Going right to the source with a crowbar seemed the only solution. (Of course most of me thought I was fine the way I was, superior in fact, but I had several separate perspectives, likely part of the problem itself, but which in the end saved me, since some were stoically dedicated to me being who I wanted to be, not who life had by default warped me to be.) Took about six or seven years but I didn't kill anybody prior to a solution and it all worked out eventually! Reframing played a big part in a lot of my hypnosis scripts and on occasion had the unsettling effect of literally causing so much change in 'how' I remembered some pieces of my life that it seemed more like the past had changed.

Not the mandela effect in that case. :-)

Not that I ever remembered more than a spider web of my life anyway. But after the self hypnosis work, I'd be like driving down the road and bam, suddenly like a year of life memories seemed to have suddenly just appeared in my head like background context. Hard to explain I guess. But even going through them, they turned out to be more like a lattice framework. Which is fine. At least it wasn't mostly a series of barely-connected black holes anymore. And when I found them and they were negative I would work on reframing them in some positive way and this usually turned out well.

I might add, just as a point of humor, that the 'breakthrough' for me actually happened while watching a movie called "Peggy Sue Got Married." Don't know why but I completely broke at the end of it and maniacally cried and laughed and slept and not much else for about three days. Though vulnerable (and weirdly emotionally-immature in some respects like I'd stopped growing in that area at 15 which I likely did), I was greatly changed after that for the better. The movie is almost an example of reframing. A depressed middle age woman (with cheating near-ex) was the pretty 'queen' in high school. At reunion she has a heart incident and goes back in time, wakes up in high school. In the end (the feminists crucified it for this) it's a "perspective shift" on him. She began looking at it like she'd thrown away her life a bit, but in the end, even given the chance to 'do it all over again' if you 'knew then what you know now' -- the big things turned out the same anyway. And maybe that was ok after all. :-)


posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 12:08 AM
a reply to: RedCairo

Nice. Don't worry about too many words, I do it all the time. Gets the idea out there. Better too much than not enough when delving into these kinds of things.

Can you provide us with a few examples of effective reframing that you did because people might get the impression that it amounted to a Band-Aid and a covering over of something that you didn't want to face, as if changing the storyline from what happened to another version of the same story.

One distinction that I like that I picked up from the Landmark Forum was that "what happened" is just that, something that happened. It's we who assigned all kinds of meaning and significance to it, and gave it legs and the power to project itself into the unfolding of our life's story or central theme, but it's still just something that happened and hey we're still alive.

The hard part is getting right down to the space of nothing that is the as-yet uncreated future we are living into as a domain of limitless possibility including who we are choosing to be and become, as if it's a blank slate, and the only way to get to that special place of all new possibility, is to allow our entire edifice of concerns, strategies, dramas, and even our best weapons of protection, and the skills we developed to try to make our world safe, just implode and fall away.

The best technique for this, is the discovery of the absurdity of the nature of the unfolding story and how it originated with that first eye-opening memory that "something's wrong" or "I'm not safe", to the formative event of the teenage years, and then on to adulthood in terms of how it played out and what strategies we used, how we developed our "strong suit" to accomplish things like avoid domination or to dominate as a way to avoid domination, or to stay one step ahead of the curve, whatever tactics we might have employed as a reaction/response to the perceived threat and to defend against it as much as possible wherever and whenever possible. Only problem is "what we resist, persists"..

What I mean by absurd, is how a person might avoid certain things and cling to certain other things to keep a variation of the same life-theme going, and then when you come to see that this "story" of your life has been driven by powerful motivations and drivers that started say, that Christmas when your parents fought and you didn't get the present you were hoping for, like sort of butterfly effect in the unfolding of your life's story, it started, and you think to yourself, in a facepalm moment - OMG what the hell am I doing?! and what I have chosen here all along the way for absurd reasons, and lo and behold when I look around at my life, nothing's really changed! All my mechanisms and techniques and strategies and even my special skills and abilities, my very personality, has been shaped by what I made those things mean, and to ad insult to injury, they are just things that happened and that didn't even necessarily mean and signify what I made them to mean and on the basis of that "projection", I've been moving a variation of the same theme forward (like a bad ball) all my life from the past and on into my future. This is insane! lol?! Full stop..

Then it (the old frame and context and filter) falls. Because of love.

But for the self who was afraid of "dying", it's not death, but a rebirth as you're caught in a safety net of a loving and supportive, well-intentioned and compassionate self, who is the observer (the REAL you) as the one who recognizes the story and who alone is able to decode it's central theme, and thus, get to write the NEXT chapter, whereby the more screwed up your life as been to date, the better (more opportunity for transformation).

We cannot gradually change, not really, because change represents something different from or better than what went before, which is still reactionary in a desire to "fix" or alter our circumstance relative to that past that's all pregnant with meaning and habitual interpretation. No, it's a radical shift/reframe, a transformation, a quantum leap into the unknown unknown, which, ironically is where all knowledge is to be found (in what was our blind spot, until it wasn't any more).

You have to reach an epiphany, and really get that the joke was on me.

I know what I wanted to add.. That self and way of being that produced that theme based on a few formative events in your life, it's a wholly inauthentic self! (It's largely a coping strategy and little else, even if it also happens to be your dominant personality..).

The discovery that one hasn't been true to themselves and is a whole heap of inauthentic and unconsciously motivated drivers that are still wrecking havoc in one's life in one way or another, in that distinction.. causes it to give up the ghost (because it can no longer sustain itself), where what once might have made us cry in sorrow and regret and now for all the right reasons, becomes a fount of humor in the field of self-knowledge and awareness. And at the end of it, who knows what's happening and who and what we are.. [deep mystery]

To get to nothing after all that nonsense is relief enough in and of itself, and then maybe after the tears and hilarity, we can ask ourselves honestly just who do I want to choose to be,become, and do, while accepting that certain traits and gifts and our strong suit, however it was moulded, is still our predominant style, except that the only difference is that now we can choose to play the role and know that it's one that we've freely chosen, making what was inauthentic, authentic, or at the very least authentically inauthentic (which is still authentic).

Such a person can then become spontaneous, mirthful and charming, when before, they were dour, and without much enthusiasm or passion, maybe even a bit of a jerk or an asshole in some ways.

Often we need a jolt of some kind to wake us up to how crazy it's all been, and for no reason really (illegitimate suffering), say when the suffering becomes too great, and we turn, and take an honest inventory of ourselves and our lives and relationships (or lack of them).

But to at last really SEE just what we've been up to, yet unaware of what we were doing and why, that's often enough for us to say, hey wait! I don't have to keep on playing out that theme anymore. I can choose from within a field of uncreated possibility!

Then, right there, as soon as awareness is brought to bear on the distinction, that a bunch of stuff happened and we made it mean such and such and as a result did so and so and became this and that, then something breaks, which can produce tears of regret and the desire to make amends, and/or tears of hilarity and great joy that finally, at long last, we managed to find a way out of our self-imprisoned reality-box of our own making. Set free for the sake of freedom, to freely love as we are loved (and have come to love ourselves, with forgiveness).

We were idiots. Jerks! Just who did we think we were and why did we assign such a low opinion and evaluation of ourselves just because I didn't get the Tonka Toy I really wanted when I was four, and screamed and cried when my parents fought and threatened to get divorced?! Is that why I later got drunk and smashed the family car when I was a teenager? It that why all my friends are bad asses and why I work a giant bulldozer in the construction trade?! Oh, M, G

edit on 31-8-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 12:58 AM

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 01:46 AM
It wasn't the truth and the life and the reality that was absurd. We were.

The slice of the knowledge pie that we actually know, is limited or constrained by who and what we think we are, what we think we know and what we really know for sure, so it's a very very thin slice of the domain of all possible knowledge, the rest of which resides in our blind spot and outside of our reality box, beyond the frames of reference we've constructed.

But the nature of real knowledge is and can only be in the knowledge of personal experience or self-knowledge.

There are a few different schools on the nature of the self, but I think it would be fair to say that we define our reality by what must be a very narrow field of possibility, limitation and constraint, relative to the domain of all possible knowledge that could be available (many traditions call it "Wisdom").

Now we don't want to be so open-minded that our brains fall out. But at the same time, there must be another way of seeing and being that would be much more open or receptive to the domain of knowledge and self-discovery, not to get anywhere in particular or to do any particular thing, but to better know ourselves as we truly are and in so doing find our place in the world, but with infinitely greater access to a much much more expansive field of possibility and the freedom to choose.

The whole box then needs to go, where the payoff is reality, and the price, a state of curious wonderment and a certain knowing of unknowing that can still be classed as real knowledge since it resides in the domain of the knowledge of personal experience.

It's ok to not know precisely who and what we are or what's really going on. In fact, the state of absolute uncertainty prior to choice and judgement and the application of one's reality filter, that's the real world and where everything that happens and can happen, happens, and as the space and ground of unconditioned being, it's wide open and is the very ground upon which we are standing.

If we then proceed to love as we are loved, then it expands and grows wherein the frame becomes one where we're exploring a mystery together and the only way I can truly know myself, since there's no such thing as isolate consciousness, is through the eyes of another.

Which leads us to the frame of human interaction and communications.

But before we go in that direction, I would like to pose a question, as a frame to try on?

In the space of nothing, when everything has been set aside with an open mind and an open heart; where there is no particular thing that you MUST or are obligued or compelled to DO for any reason whatsoever, and where all has been forgiven and forgotten, in the space of absolute, unconstrained and unfettered freedom...

What surfaces or arises for you as a first-cause type of desire?

Might you desire healing relative to those you love and even your family of origin (for better or worse)?

If the reframe took place and it was decisive, in that new world just waiting to be born, what might you create, be, do, enjoy, share?

These are the tools that are of interest to me, the tools of creation, but none of them were in my old toolbox.

One of the distinct advantages to re-framing, I think, and this has to do with many of the subjects and discussions at ATS as a "Conspiracy Forum", is that you can end up with a higher frame of reference than the oppressors themselves (who don't know what they are doing and who dropped the ball) and in wielding that new frame, even as a way of being, you can reclaim your power relative to the whole of it all and in a way rule over the all in all (with Christ, in my worldview). Why? Because you outframed them in a commitment to the truth and the reality because of a hunger and thirst for what is right and true; for asking; seeking; for having the audacity to knock at the door of heaven itself and realize/recognize the final distinction between the kingdom of men, and of God (as love, truth, beauty, justice, goodness, kindness).

I think no matter how "out there" this all sounds, that the end result is that it makes you want to be more responsible and a better man or woman because "with great power comes great responsibility".

What is that responsibility? What arises for me was LOVE, the responsibility to love, starting with ourselves because you can't really give out of what you don't have full access to. We are also responsible to do the work of forgiveness, not excluding ourselves since we cannot forgive until we have been utterly forgiven, which is our true state of being at all times already always ("forgive us as we forgive those").

"You are the light of the world!"

Now there's a role worth playing.. and what other way, or how could any less, be reasonable, once you've accessed the domain of unconditional love and acceptance, and re-integration?

edit on 31-8-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 02:43 AM

edit on 31-8-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: i love you all!

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 03:11 AM
The only possible way that we can be reborn and made new again and revivified, the child within recovered at last, is if we are reborn from above in an allegorical resurrection of the self.

But maybe the "dark night of the soul" isn't even necessary?

Then again, maybe a legitimate suffering, or a meaningful suffering, in the willingness to be crucified (so to speak ie: torn apart and differentiated and re-integrated) for the sake of love, unless you're going to be physically crucified that is.. but since that's been done presumably it needn't be repeated, thank God.., once accepted, becomes love itself and as love, is worth any price, provided that's not the end of the story of course.. and having already transcended the suffering of the ordeal is no longer suffering, but a labor of love.

It's a leap of faith and trust that there's a new day waiting, a day of liberation and newfound freedom, on the far side of the fated wedge of sorrows where indeed the more that sorrow and suffering has carved into our being the more joy we can contain.

And if there are tears in the healing of the wounds, then they are worth every drop because imbedded within them is the loving hand that wipes them all away.

"Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted."

I think we must be prepared to mourn the loss of the old self, and that there's pain, sacrifice and an eventual resurrection in the germination of a new life.

It's the hero's journey, because it's for the courageous and the determined, the narrower way that leads to life, and there are few who take it.

"When love beckons to you follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth...."
~ Kahlil Gibran

edit on 31-8-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 07:00 AM
Ah, quoting Gibran! His stuff is so amazing. My best friend bought me a book of his stuff years ago. I should find it and put it by my bed to read a little in regularly. I'd probably be better for it.

I will come back later for response as there is way too much for me to have time for at the moment.

I will mention one thing though --

>> examples of effective reframing

Probably the most common I'm guessing, is that of being a survivor rather than a victim. That one didn't suffer because the divine or life abandoned you or cared nothing for you, but as a form of pressure-training, like a sword hammered, so that you would be strong for the future. That in the bigger picture there is a 'reason' for one's overall experience-set, that one isn't just an irrelevant accident in a meaningless universe (the scientism view). This isn't really changing a single thing about the memory of any given experience, individual or en masse. It's merely changing the context.

This can be done in individual real-time ways too with imagination, like when something is hurting or you're exhausted when you're doing something physically, making it feel like you're the hero getting through all odds and triumphing (actual theme music helps, ha!). Whether this requires actual daydream fantasy or just a shift in emotion is up to the person.

Small things. Just a thought off the top.


edit on 31-8-2016 by RedCairo because: killed an italic code

posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 07:41 PM

Communication and Interpersonal Relationships

For this idea, I'd like us to consider reframing the whole basis of communication, in a number of areas which, if/when utilized, would greatly benefit people in their overall sense of well being and enjoyment of life, because as we've stated before, no man (person) is an island.

The human being is a social animal, a being who is himself framed by his relationships in many ways some of which we might never have considered before for reasons that perhaps we can explore and discuss together right here and now.

An old NLP (neurolinguistic programming, a terms I don't care for much as it implies the power to manipulate others through the use of language and communication) adage states that

"The meaning of communication is the response you get."

to which I would also like to add Steven Covey's principal, from "The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People" (I think it's super successful habit number 5 or 6?)

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

another good one I've heard, also in NLP circles or in this case I think it might have been Landmark Forum, and that is

"Communicate straight and take what you get."

Then there's also this one, that we all have heard about but often don't pay enough attention to and that's the whole framing and context that goes into


..for now I'm just throwing out these things to get them all on the table like a jigsaw puzzle, after which we can start putting them together again to create a picture or a frame of the new way of looking at communications and human interpersonal relations, which I believe contains enfolded or embedded within itself THE most powerful force in the entire human experience, if not the universe (by extension) since it's also an expression of our evolution and of our role as creative agents and active participants functioning within the context of a society, from our family of origin through everyone we knew, know and with whom we interact and, indirectly, many many people that we've never even met who reside someone on the 5.5 stages of separation (it keeps shrinking) that both set us apart and unite us in our continued pursuit of a happier, more fulfilled and enjoyable human experience in all areas and facets of our life.

I would even go so far as to suggest that who we are choosing to be and to become cannot be effectively expressed otherwise except with the context of our human interactions and relationships, making communication perhaps the most important and powerful of tools and we've also touched on how "the word" or language, shapes our very reality.

I believe this element and the resulting complex network of contexts and framing that emerges in how we communicate and relate to others, defines the outer framework of the very process of human transformation without which we are lost, and through which we can dramatically impact our wold and that of others for the better, starting with those who are closest to us.

I hope to have your ear then, dear reader, and we delve into a domain and a realm of possibility of which we had no prior conception, but that is also at the same time, imminently practical, and thus applicable in our every day affairs, which is like having our own laboratory within which to conduct a variety of experiments, for those of us with sufficient courage to do so.. who realize that there is no shirking this one, however deep might run the wounds from one's own family of origin, which for many might be persistent and continuous sources of anguish and anxiety, malice, sibling rivalry, the whole gambit, and for many of us, it's worked its way into the families that we've created, or may exist as a certain tension or unresolved source of pain relative to our extended family, which also impinges upon our coworkers, our friends, acquaintances and everyone with whom we interact on a daily basis.

what do you say, is this interesting to you? Would you like to not only transform but re-create the very human environment within which that can take place in a way that's supportive, while at the same time touching into the lives of everyone with whom you are connected in some way or another and in so doing change the world?

I'll need to know that someone's listening, and interested, or the very premise of the communication will be in a place from which it cannot go on.

just a nod, any feedback will do.. thanks. : )



posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 09:46 PM
a reply to: AnkhMorpork

To me, meaning and context are decisive, but can oftentimes vary greatly from person to person based on their own life experiences, beliefs and perspectives.

That being said, we each are the authors of our own narrative and yes, I believe that you can "re-wire" the way you perceive things for the better.

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