What if life is happening to support you, to help you grow, and to guide you into the life you are meant to live?
When life goes sideways and knocks you down, we tend to think, “Why does this always happen to me?” Or “Why can’t I get a break? This is called “rearview framing.” Everything is framed with a perspective of looking backward and living in the past.
When you drive a car, do you drive down the highway only looking in the rearview mirror? Of course not. You look out the windshield to see what is ahead of you. You may glance in the rearview mirror occasionally, but that is not how you go forward.
What if … we thought, “Why is this happening for me?”
Imagine how different life would be if you always searched for the silver lining and the good in everything?
This is called “future benefit framing.” Everything is framed with the belief that it is happening for me for a future benefit. You’re not living in the future, but you understand that in some way, this moment is going to benefit you in the future.
The silver lining is a gift at the moment. What’s great about this happening right now?
In other words, how it can impact you in the future. Fortune can come in the ways of more opportunities, happiness, freedom, an escape from a bad circumstance, or a new start.
As a personal life coach, I’ve met many people that blame something that happened 10, 20 or even 50 years ago. When you hold on to the past, you block the opportunity for anything good in the future.
I’ve heard things like, “My life was good until my company downsized and they let me go.” But that was 20 years ago.
Major change often takes time, but what have you been doing for 20 years? That’s a lot of time to recreate your life, to find a new amazing job that makes you grateful that you were fired from the other job. That’s a lot of time to go back to school and get a degree.
What if losing that job happened for you so that you could find a dream job, and a company you love way way more?
What if it was to give you the push to move to another city?
Or it was to give you the nudge to start the business you have always wanted to start?
Sometimes the universe is trying really hard to help us move forward to something better than we had in the past.
The universe is never trying to punish you. You’re doing that all on your own by living in the past instead of walking through the door that was just opened for you.
I often hear, “He (or she) cheated on me and then divorced me” And then they share the details as if it happened last week, but that was 10 years ago. That’s horrifically painful and so many people bring that ex-relationship and emotional toxicity into every relationship in the future.
There is almost no way to find a healthy relationship or even a friendship when you are living in the past of “Why did that happen to me?”
What if that divorce happened for you so that you find your true soulmate and boundless happiness?
The easy thing to do is to blame the past because there is no responsibility in it. But life will never get better when you are looking backwards. When you drive forward-looking in the rearview mirror, you will keep crashing the car over and over, but not understand why it keeps happening over and over.
When you shift from a “rearview framing” to “future benefit framing” then your life will change in ways you can’t imagine just yet. The pain will fade, anger will dissipate, and regret will change into gratitude and optimism.
When you start looking for the silver lining at the moment, and then seek the future benefit in the future, the universe will conspire to open doors for you and lead down a glorious path that is so much better than the direction that you were heading.
How do you do this?
When something “bad” happens, ask yourself, “Where’s the gift at this moment?” and “Where is the unexpected blessing coming from this?”