Silver Linings are in the Eyes of the Beholder
I’m typically a silver-linings kind of girl. In the midst of challenges and most definitely in retrospect, I look for the gifts, lessons and blessings that accompany rough patches. As a firm believer that the reason WHY things happen is usually above my pay grade, I learned a long time ago that sometimes “why” isn’t as relevant as the question, “what’s next?” - this despite the fact that my first spoken word was, most literally, “why”.
That said, some situations just really, truly suck. The silver linings in crappy circumstances could just as well be bars of solid gold encrusted with diamonds and crispy one-hundred dollar bills, and yet we still feel like smashing them into itty-bitty shards of debris for hurling at unsuspecting passers-by. These feelings (as opposed to the aforementioned actions) are as valid as the “lemonade from lemons” approach: it’s normal to have negative feelings, we are built to experience them, and sometimes yellow water just looks, smells and tastes like pee no matter how much sugar and citrus you add (not that I suggest you try).
Clumsiness and frustration in the face of silver-lining-adjacent stink-bombs vary, too. We can hit the bullseye of ease through tragedy and struggle, or we may miss the board altogether. Maybe therein lies a lesson in that despite our best efforts and intentions, we can’t always predict or control the outcomes.
In any case, as our week begins, my hope is that we can endeavor to be gentle with ourselves and accept all that we are: for the tough times that we encounter, eventually get through, and admit they were awful; the moments when we can look back from a distance, aware of what we have gained from the experience, and be appreciative, at the very least, for that; and for when we can effectively ground ourselves, take deep cleansing breaths, and glide through the most challenging trials with wisdom to spare.
Sometimes survival and acceptance of suck-level is a silver lining in and of itself when "seven times down, eight times up” is all we can muster, and that's good enough...and so are we.