gerund or present participle: reframing
- place (a picture or photograph) in a new frame.
- frame or express (words or a concept or plan) differently.
I am on a journey. Many miles lay behind me, and fewer lay ahead. Each day the steps of my life reveal more of my self-vision … the picture I see of myself … my essence within the frame defining “me” at this moment in my time.
At times I struggle with this picture because I “feel” it doesn’t accurately capture me. The frame doesn’t fit. It’s an older frame trying to hold on to a picture that doesn’t belong, one reflecting what once was. And this mismatch causes me emotional pain … a sense of failure and diminishment at times.
What’s within the frame is real, portraying a maturing man whose life is currently expanding into richness never experienced. A life offering new discoveries blended by new freedoms and capabilities, strength, and connection. Also within the frame lives a man where his outer shell ages, whose muscles ache more even though his fitness grows, whose need for occasional naps increases, and whose wisdom increases because he knows as his time remaining narrows, reflection offers calm and clearer understanding of his place in the universe.
But the frame surrounding this picture causes discord. It reflects something in-congruent and out of phase. It tries to define me using the tones of youth rather than reflect a more unique palette suited to “me” in this moment. And over time, I realize more and more that the secret to gracefully aging … to continuous and harmonious growth in years … is to reframe this picture so that the man I am inside … the inner picture … aligns more with the man I see surrounding it as the frame. Change the frame so that it moves and marches in step with the changes in me. Refresh the frame so that it doesn’t reflect an earlier “me” no longer relevant or achievable, but offers new shapes and colors matching what’s held true within … a new and powerfully rich, fresh statement of me moving into my 7th decade.
The frame must change so that the new complete picture of “me” remains in harmony with my essence. I must become friends with the concept that my “wrapper” (frame) of skin and bones must change as cells grow and decay, but my true inner physical and spiritual strength is quite different and much more powerful than the wrapper might imply. The challenge is to reframe how I tie it all together … the frame and the picture … the wrapper and the inner me. It is the dance I must now learn.
Skin may sag but strength increase. Muscles may ache while capabilities increase. Superficial thoughts may be replaced by deep reflections. And with practice, I can reveal a more harmonious picture framed by acceptance of the “wrapper” while celebrating the expanding essence of the inner picture and conditions. If I don’t, then the discord created reduces the joy I experience each day. So I must accept … no embrace reframing so that harmony is preserved. The result is an ever changing and adjusting picture, a reflection encased within a morphing frame offering harmonious context to my essence. A picture and frame proudly displayed on the wall because it offers holistically rich, joyful feelings.
Yes, an aging life must constantly form a picture in an ever-changing frame. It is one of many tasks before me, but one that deserves attention and priority because it seems fundamental to many other tasks carried in my pack.
“I don’t believe in ‘thinking’ old. Although I’ve transitioned through many bodies – a baby, toddler, child, teen, young adult, mid-life and older adult – my spirit is unchanged. I support my body with exercise, my mind with reading and writing, and my spirit with the knowing that I am part of the Divine source of all life.” – Wayne Dyer
Reframing … as with breathing … on-going in every moment lived.