My job is . . .
My boss is . . .
My spouse is . . .
My kids are . . .
Life is . . .
People are . . .
How do you fill in those sentences? We all instinctively come up with words--"great" or "dreadful" or "cruel" or "kind." But these words are not the experience itself. No one's job or life is good or bad all the time. But when we assign a label, that is what we are saying. And that becomes our first thought, or our frame, about what is happening.
These points of reference create stories that we tell ourselves. And we filter the events of our lives through our stories. If our spouse says something snippy, but we think she is a kind, loving person, then we tend to assume she must be tired or be having a bad day. If our boss does something nice, and we otherwise think she is a jerk, we get suspicious. What does she want? There must be some ulterior motive!
In this way, we create much of our experience. Our lives are happening all around us, but the interpretation, the meaning of our life is almost entirely internal. We get to decide what, if any, meaning our lives have. But much of this meaning making is hidden from view most of the time.
What are the adjectives in your life? And how might your life change if you described it differently?