I had heart surgery at the age of 24, right before I turned 25.
When it was happening, it was the worst thing that ever happened to me.
I thought that’s how I would always think of it.
But the brain is magical and can come up with new meanings if you allow it.
As the years went by, I realized that my heart surgery was actually the best thing that ever happened to me.
It made me wake up to my life.
It made me realize what’s important.
It put me on the path that I’m on right now–a mental health advocate helping others learn about a topic I love so much.
If I hadn’t had heart surgery, I never would have left a career that brought little fulfillment to pursue a career in mental health.
In a strange and mysterious way, I wouldn’t have had the surgery-related mental health breakdown that has given the most meaning in my life.
Now, instead of looking at my heart surgery as the worst thing that has happened to me, I see it as a gift. I truly do.
This is re-framing: taking a stale view of the world and turning it into something great.
But how can you apply this in your life?
I’m certainly not going to recommend that you go try to make yourself have heart surgery so that you can turn your life around.
Your path is your own, and the events that transpire will be yours alone to deal with.
But you can learn to see events in a new light.
You can learn to re-frame them.