The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Reframing the Issue: What's Your Outlook?

There are many times when it all just becomes too much. Too much terrifying news leads to a fear driven outlook on life. Too many horror novels can turn the sunniest day dark (I know ... never read 5 Edgar Allen Poe stories back to back ... bad news). Too heavy a diet of political diatribe leads to an angry, fuming life. Too many opinion shows on "Cable News" leads to ... really, really furious old white guys (according to the news ... see how this feeds on itself). All of it leads to an increase in fear, an increase in the activation of that old reptilian portion of the brain that seeks fight, flight, or freeze. None of that leads to a positive outcome unless you really do have a large and hungry carnivore bearing down on you.

So, what to do when you want to paint the world black? Reframe the issue. Step back, take a deep breath (or a dozen), calm yourself and look at the issue objectively. Ask yourself how you might approach it as a problem to solve, a puzzle to complete. Ponder which experts might be able to help. What sort of information do I need to fix this? Who do I know that can help?

Turn away from the panicked, we're doomed mindset and the reptilian responses. Look to more evolved portions of the mind, the parts that know about working together with others and see the world a little differently. There is never only a single way to view a situation. Seek the healthier way. Find the source material that will help you get there. Seek out the peaceful people who follow such paths and ask them how they manage to reframe the issues for themselves. Try what they do and see if it doesn't work for you. Your world view may become a little brighter as you feel empowered to do more, to join others doing it, and to help take charge of the problems around you rather than being their victims.

Based on this, if an event can be explained with "a person died because we are all scum" or "a person sacrificed himself because of his love for us," based on reframing, which should you choose. In case you're wondering, these are two views of why Jesus was crucified. Just so you know.

Good luck.

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