Reframing the Stories We Tell
It’s easy to slip when we feel triggered — reframing our perspective of any situation helps us regain our power
Let me share a quick story about one of the mamas in our program that I think you’ll relate to. It’s about triggers, the myths we tell ourselves and the best part — something I love to call ‘reframing’ — and how we put it into motion.
And just to be clear, reframing isn’t about revisionist history, it’s about revising perspective. It’s about moving from feeling deflated to empowered. How we view the events that trigger us and how we see ourselves in the story.
For context, let me share that when this mama first came to us, she was emotionally distraught. Painful events beyond her control left her feeling completely broken. She couldn’t stop crying. If we handed her some glue, she probably would’ve scrambled to reassemble the pieces of her fractured life and marriage because from where she stood, she couldn’t imagine life beyond this marriage.
God, I can relate to that. I remember doing the same thing. Just make it stop. Make it go away. I just want things to go back the way they once were.
Emotional pain can hurt so badly that we may be willing to simply go back — but there really is no turning back.
When a marriage is fractured, there is not enough glue in the world to hold it together.
She didn’t want to get divorced but knew she couldn’t stay married. She wanted to stop crying, but couldn’t imagine ever being happy again.
But as you can guess, she pushed through the tears and the pain and the uncertainty. In fact, I often laughed because she was the queen of getting her ducks in a row. Let’s just say her ducks in a row had their own ducks in a row.
She was methodical and found a way to surround herself by people who could support her through this difficult process. That included a mediator, a financial planner, us, and a child therapist to name a few.
Finally, after having to suffer through living in the same family house with her ex, she found a place she could afford and that her daughter loved and was excited about — and awaited clearance from her mortgage broker. Everything was finally falling into place after so much suffering.
She had come so far.
One afternoon, I texted her for an update. She responded, “can you talk?” Sure.
She excitedly told me her news and then fell apart in a puddle of tears. Her triggers were triggering (as triggers do)…
I’m just so sad about leaving this house.
This was my home.
This is where we were a family.
This is where I raised my daughter.
This was my life.
You get the picture. The sentimental emotions were shooting rockets through her psyche.
I let her continue…and then I said, but it’s also the place where your marriage fell apart, where you endured emotional abuse, where you hid in your bedroom to avoid contact, where you were discarded, where you played smaller than you are.
A house is not a home. Home is where you are at peace, where you are free to be yourself, where you feel joy…where you dance, celebrate, expand and are seen.
When you stand at a monumental juncture — you will feel the enormity of it. Emotions will arise, wounds will be triggered. Remember, It’s OK.
She started getting tangled in the weeds…and began to create problems where there were none. I wanted to be out of this house before the 15th, so I didn’t have to pay any more rent.
And I just stopped her…
OK, so what is the worst thing that can happen here?
You have to pay another month’s rent.
What if you simply considered that investing in yourself?
So, you pay one more month of rent so that you can have a peaceful transition into your new home — so you can have it repainted, so you can put the new carpeting upstairs, so you can clean and move in things in a calm and peaceful way.
Frankly, that’s a no brainer. That’s investing in your wellbeing. Think about how expansive that could feel.
Suddenly she exhaled, laughed and said, OMG I just needed to hear this today.
That’s a reframe.
We can’t control when the mortgage company will approve her. We can’t control when the bank will schedule a closing or when everyone involved can agree to a date. But we can control how we respond to it and keep living within it.
Again, we all want what we want when we want it. It’s hard to trust timing, when it’s not set according to your clock.
What if we trusted that the timing is working out on our behalf even if we don’t understand it?
To reframe is to have a willingness to see things through a new lens — one of possibility and hope. Doesn’t that feel better already?
This is undoubtably one of, if not THE, most difficult transition of your life — but what if you could trust that it will all be OK...that it is OK.
The next time you get triggered, ask yourself how you could flip the narrative for yourself.
You can start writing a new life chapter the moment you allow yourself to do so.
Hey, anyone got a pen and paper? Fly mama, fly.
— Kristen Noel, Certified Divorce Coach & Founder, Best Self Intuitive Divorce
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