How many times have you been asked, “So, tell me a little about yourself?”
You have an answer ready on where you grew up and went to school, what you studied and how many pets you have.
But all that’s just the synopsis on the dust jacket. Your real story is more than just a few dry facts; it’s the narrative you tell yourself about your life and your individual experiences. It frames how you look at your life, and what expectations you have of it. Is yours the story of a go-getter? A no-good loser? Popular, or pauper?
Thing is, there is no one right answer. The self-same life circumstances can create very different stories. For example, when I was growing up, my room was tiny. Teeny-tiny. When a friend would come for a sleepover, we would pull out the trundle bed, leaving virtually no floor space. This is fact and I cannot change it. So I can either form a story of how cramped my living space was, and how others grew up in much larger homes which we couldn’t afford, so my life sucks; or I could tell the glass-half-full story of how I loved my little room, how cozy it felt, how it was my little kingdom, and how it taught me to appreciate the larger home I have as an adult. One room, one fact in my overall story, but two very different interpretations to choose from, each determining a different way to see myself now, and what I will choose for my future. I chose the glass-half-full version, because it’s more pleasant to tell that story than the one about how my life sucks. I can now look upon my humble beginning with acceptance, even fondness, thanking it for who I am now, and move on.
So my room was small, but was I poor and cramped, or humble and cozy? By choosing one interpretation over another, I frame is differently, giving it different meaning and a different emotional shade. And it defines how I relate to money from now on: very time I see something I can’t afford, I get the chance either to reinforce or to change the direction of my story, and my very identity.
So why doesn’t everyone just automatically choose the more positive version? Well, sometimes we get mixed up in others’ stories. In my sister’s story, maybe she sees me as a witch. If I hear her saying this often enough, I may accidentally come to believe I’m a witch as I go through my own life, my own story. And we can’t have that.
Cognitive reframing is a tool that helps you shine a more positive light on events or ideas, whether it’s a rude neighbor or bigger issues like why I hate my life, or why do I always suck. We’ll teach you to deal with both, so you can be a bit more positive and a bit more optimistic about your past and your present. You can separate negative interpretations from the facts, and learn to see the half-full part of the glass. Reframing your story will enable you to heal and move forward, to reshape and enjoy your future.
You’re a brave guy. And a lucky one too. How do we know that? Because you survived your heart attack. And now, you’re ready to move on. Maybe you think the best way to do it is to forget it ever happened. But how far will that get you? Chances are, not very. To really move on you need to first deal with what you’ve gone through and then start re-structuring the pieces of your life. That’s a tall order even for the bravest and luckiest among us. You need – and deserve –the best tools to help get you there. We have gathered these tools for you right here, in the ‘Recovering from heart attack’ community. This is the no-nonsense place where men like you come to learn how to process what they’ve gone through and move on. It’s where they share their experiences with one another and practice the steps that support and sustain their recovery. In fact, it’s the only place where you can access all these tools within the framework of our uniquely effective approach to recovery. Just for brave, lucky guys like.
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