Psychologists use the terms framing and reframing to explain how we interpret life experiences.
When we frame an experience, we draw conclusions about it that help us to internalize the event. For example, persons who have been abused by men may frame the experience by concluding, “Men are not to be trusted”.
When we reframe an experience, we reconsider out initial conclusion, reinterpreting it in a way that allows us to grow in a more positive direction. This reframing can take place years after the original experience occurred. The conclusions we draw when reframing are often call life lessons. To return to the example above, an abuse survivor may reframe his or her experience to conclude, “My father can’t be trusted. But I’m willing to consider trusting other men.”
Of course, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Reframing takes a lot of courage, insight, and a willingness to consider alternative perspectives. To generalize, an optimist tends to choose better while a pessimist is inclined to choose bitter. Do you recognize a patter in your decision-making?
Do you learn toward better or bitter?
The key here is to take charge of your thinking, to control your destiny. Be aware of the way you interpret your luggage – your life experiences - and reframe them in a positive direction. Keeping choice alive is an exercise in will power.
Luggage is not your destiny. You can choose the path you want to walk!