Sunday, March 8, 2015

Framing the Meaning

We all have these life experiences, these stories. As time goes by, as I have sought to find the highest possible meaning and gifts that heartbreak and hardship have offered, the meaning of events shifts. There is a way in which stories can be told and retold and serve to keep me in an autopilot knee jerk reactive state or I can remain in curiosity around the meanings.

How I frame what has occurred makes all the difference in how my emotional state moves. Someone close to me  has often told me I am a victim. I am not naming who they are in order to respect them. Well, when things have been done to me I am actually a victim of those actions. But staying a victim is different. Leaning in to find the meaning around events, the deepest possible meaning and learning available, this takes conscious cultivation. This particular person does not like to dig around in events. "Why can't you just get over it?" has been one of their continual refrains. I have wondered why I don't just get over it, whatever the various its have been.

Anyone who has endured great difficulties at the hands of another knows you don't just get over it. Through it. Yes. Recover? Not possible to return to a place before things happened. But the elegant art of finding the treasures buried in the tragedy is something that takes a conscious decision, the ability to look clear eyed at all that arises as a result of hardship, a large measure of grace and courage.

The person in my life who does not like to dig around is somehow able to shut the door on things. I don't know how this will all work out in the end. There have been times when I have been deeply jealous of this compartmentalization. In my younger years events could easily swamp me. I am now finding I have become much more skilled at being a big wave rider.

The refinement of the way in which I am framing the meaning of life events is growing. In these last few years I have had opportunity to share some of the gifts with those much younger than I am. The fruit of having sorted through the debris to the gold is beginning to become clear.

I think, at least for the moment, the framing I now have is that life is a healing path. I am moving more profoundly in to this path because I am not masking or covering. I am present. What lights me up inside is being of service to others in their healing. So the meaning I give to hardship is as opportunity to be in not knowing and to open my sails to be carried away in taking the risks of being powerfully present, vulnerability and surrendering, cultivating fields of trust in myself and others.

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