CONSCIOUSLY SEARCHING FOR THE SILVER LINING
Recently I have been tagged as the ‘silver lining girl’ by a friend. I often get asked how do I stay positive and smiling all the time. It has made me think about this concept and I’ve tried to work out why I find this easier to do where others struggle with it. I think I am wired this way from birth on one level but then I have also been conditioned to always look for the positive in any situation throughout my upbringing. I have great parents who always look on the bright side of life!
I think the best way to cope with all that life throws at us is by forever searching for the silver lining in every situation. No matter how negative or hard life gets, I believe there is always something good that will come out of it. In reading my old school journals I’ve realised I’ve been doing this even before life got really hard. Way back then I was already writing about my experiences and whilst capturing my negative moments through high school, I would automatically back it up with a sentence about why something good came out of it or what lesson I learnt from it or how it helped someone else by going through it.
This automatic reflex to always see the silver lining is what has allowed me to amortise the pain and suffering in the big traumas of my life as well as every day events. It is closely linked with finding the reason to be grateful in each situation. By feeling grateful the feelings of pain and suffering soften and become purposeful in their outcome. Purpose is what our hearts crave in order to find understanding and logic in everything that happens in life, especially when it feels unjustified and hurtful.
I remember in the early hospital days after my crash, it didn’t take long for me to become grateful and appreciate just how much worse my situation could have been. I think I got that within the first day of Intensive Care where I saw around me others with more horrific and painful injuries, than my mere broken back. They motivated me to be grateful and inspired me to keep going and make the best of what was given to me.
I do see these challenges as gifts given to us, we are the privileged ones to be given the task to learn through these hardships so that one day we can show others that so much can still be done in spite of them. We each get given different gifts to grow through and our uniqueness is what allows the lessons to be learned, for us and for those who look to us for support in their own struggles.
Looking for the silver lining is also linked with letting go of ego and embracing spirit. We could easily hang on to ego thoughts about a hard situation and feel sorry for ourselves, but when we listen to spirit and believe and have faith that it will be ok, we see the silver lining and all the reasons why a situation needed to happen, the focus is then on letting go and releasing the baggage.
Whilst writing this blog, I also lost my uncle in Italy a little unexpectedly at Easter. He had lived a full, rich life at the age of 80, although it is never full enough when you love someone so dearly. Through the heartache I consciously focused on finding the silver lining. This is where I found myself laughing through tears as I drove to work. The silver lining is found by reflecting and remembering the special moments in a situation. The funny memories, the special quirks I was privy to, the special bond I created with this person when I travelled there and spent time with him. The silver lining warms the heart with fond memories and pushes out the darkness that tries to creep in.
Consciously searching for the silver lining in any scenario - it is an action done on purpose. When you do it enough times on purpose it then becomes a habit. We have rewired our brain and it has become an automatic response. With every obstacle, big or small this technique works. All of a sudden you are thankful for everything and your life fills with purposeful moments and not just hardship.
Pick any situation you were in today and see if you can consciously find the silver lining within it. Can you feel lighter when you focus on this silver lining? It takes life’s stress away and allows you to cherish every moment.