What Happened v. What You Think Happened

When my girls were in Girl Scouts and I was their leader, we were working on a badge—I cannot remember exactly what the badge was, but the point is that it was something about noticing things around you.

We met in our house, so at one meeting, I had my son run into the room unexpectedly, say something weird, and then run back out. The idea was for the girls to tell us what that they could remember about what they noticed about him. What color was his shirt? What was wearing shorts or pants? Did he have on shoes? Was he wearing glasses? It was amazing how the girls recalled different things immediately after it happened.

Some swore he wore glasses, while others vociferously argued he hadn’t. Some were certain his shirt was green, while others said it was blue. I can’t remember the details of what he wore or said, but I do clearly remember the difference in what these girls remembered. What one girl thought happened was not what the other girl thought happened.

This is so important to remember because oftentimes in life it is not what happened to us—it is what we think happened to us.

Sometimes we think a friend was mad at us, when really, they just had a bad day. Sometimes we remember our childhood one way, while our siblings remember it another.

What we think happened is often more important than what really did happened.

How we frame what happened to us can make all the difference in the world.

Posted in