Until a couple years ago, the idiom had always reminded me to look for the bright side of things. There's always a bright side...isn't that what people say?
But during the last couple years I have learned some things about myself I never would have expected or known had I not endured many cloudy days. My silver linings are very unconventional and come in three forms...survival, effort and reward.
Often, there's not a "bright side" to my difficult moments in life and many time not even a "light at the end of the tunnel". Rather, I find that one of my silver lining presents itself through the process of merely surviving an unwelcome circumstance without losing myself in the process. I draw a compensation when I go through something difficult and am able to exercise control over my reactions, gauge my behavior, and respond to the situation with as much of my true self as I can. So while I may go through that cloudy day (week or month) without a common silver lining, what actually becomes my silver lining is the gratefulness I feel at being given the opportunity to grow up and out of a formidable and maybe even painful place and be better for it.
Sometimes my silver lining comes through the effort I put forth. I have been in and am currently in situations where I am receiving little to no personal satisfaction or good feeling. My effort put forth in these situations at times seems to yield nothing for me at all. I'm neither compensated, complimented nor noticed...rather I'm quite invisible. My efforts might be for nothing. Who knows? So my silver lining IS my effort...it is in the perfection at which I execute my effort, it is in the love I execute it with, and it is in the hope I have that my effort is being received and for good.
And lastly, my silver linings come like they did during a more recent cloudy day for me. When all is wrong, and nothing is right, and everything is stacked against me...it is at these moments when I most surprised by the silver lining that emerges as pure reward. As I sit here typing, I think of a specific situation...one that threw me off course, taking shots below the belt and exhausted the pleasantries right out of me. Initially, I wanted to knock someone out...I mean, come on, doesn't that thought ever enter your mind? Simply punching someone in the face? Okay, maybe not, but using the term "knock someone out" always makes me feel better when I say it, but I digress. Anyway, as I was saying, this little situation was determined to test my patience, resilience, tolerance, and goodness. But as I began to get over myself about it and I started to let the humor of the situation pussyfoot it's way in, I experienced the most amazing silver lining. Because this situation was a task beyond my capabilities due to time constraints, I engaged in the services of someone whom I never would have worked with had I been given more time and been able to do the task on my own. The opportunity to work with her was just a fluke. I knew nothing about her when we started and by the end of the night, I was thrilled with how much she had shared her life with me. And now all I can think of is that no matter how incredibly bad the day sucked and how much I would love to have had the day go my way, on my terms, and within my control, I would never give up what we shared together. I know what I am saying probably doesn't come out right...I mean, I'm being vague because I have to be. I can't share everything here. It's just that I can't help but think about how fortunate I was to be in such a circumstance to have to solicit the help of someone I never knew I would end up liking so much and someone that would bring pure joy to the hell I had to be in on that particular day. What she shared and the way she shared it made everything worth it and I wouldn't change it for anything!