Our experiences in life always come down to perspective. The beautiful thing about this is that perspective can always shift.
Some might call the shift "miracle moments" and others "woo woo" or "gooey." Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, the ability to shift our perspective is a valuable skill that can be cultivated and transferred to almost any domain of our lives.
Recently, I had the honor of participating in a training on trauma informed facilitation (led by LCSW Briana Moore) which covered tools for understanding trauma and how to transform it into avenues for wellness.
If you know me, you know that I jumped at the chance to attend this training because I've been focused on this work personally for eleven years. Trauma is a common part of the humanexperience, so building a professional tool kit based in trauma sensitivity is how I can better translate compassion into sharing skills.
The ability to shift our perspective increases resilience and compassion; two things the human race can always use more of. People of all ages need tools for understanding their experiences so they have more options for how to care for themselves and those around them in more resourceful, healthy ways.
One key takeaway from this training is to navigate elevated emotional states with a simple shift from 'what is wrong with you' to 'what is happening for you' or 'what happened to you'?
Whether we apply this to ourselves or others, reframing our language in this way shifts the focus from shaming and fault to a perspective that is more generous, curious and considerate of the spectrum of human experiences.
We can never truly know someone else's experience because it is informed by a set of experiences that are private, subjective and deep-rooted.
We are each our own meaning-makers in our own private stories. Herein lies the gift or the curse depending on your perspective.
Regardless of how you see your situation today, it also becomes our individual responsibility to cultivate a deeper understanding for our collective humanness... and to learn to navigate it with greater curiosity, compassion, and resilience.
As an aside, this is one reason (of many) for my commitment to art-making. Creative practice is ripe with opportunities to shift our perspective as is exercise, meditation, travel and countless other self-care activities.