Look For The Silver Lining, It’s Always There

Leilani, one of my readers, wrote to me in response to one of my blogs I sent out. Here was the message she responded to followed by her response: Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

While I helped create an unhappy marriage for 15 years (first marriage), I NEVER took advantage of my sense of humor as a powerful tool to change my attitude and thereby my circumstances. In other words, I would have been out of the marriage sooner. We can’t be angry and joyful at the same time. Pick between the two today and watch your problems resolve or escalate. And in every situation you go through in life, there is always a silver lining.

Leilani wrote:

No kidding! I have a special talent. I can see the bright side of absolutely anything. I’m not an eternal optimist. Those drive me nuts. I’m just drawn like a magnet to silver linings—even when they’re rusty.  

Several years ago, my best friend and I were driving halfway across the country. I had a good car, but a dummy spare, and I’d wanted a real spare. However, a real spare required a real rim, and rims were quite expensive, so I’d kept putting it off. Late one night we were run off the road by a semi truck that swerved into our lane. We flew through the air with the greatest of ease—hitting the ground several times on the way—and finally came to rest upside down in the fast lane of the other side of the freeway. We climbed out of my totally smashed car (only my atlas lay between my head and the pavement) and staggered out on the road. A few moments later, as we stood in the median, shaken and shaking, I said, “Check it out! I’m not going to have to spring for that spare!”  

My grandma once said to me, “You’re a lot happier when you’re happy.” I like being happy.

I like being happy too. I learned it from my parents (mostly my dad). I remember once they spent a whole month planting a lawn. They rented a seed spreader and one of those rollers that presses the seeds down and every day after Dad got home from work, they were back outside working on the new lawn-to-be. Our house was on a slight hill and about 40 feet from the road. (It was enough of a slope to get a nice ride out of a sled in the winter.) No sooner had they finished the hard work we had a down-pour typical of Washington’s benevolence and my parents and my sister and I watched the storm from the living room window.  We also watched all the grass seed get washed down the hill into the ditch. Dad started laughing first and then my mom chimed in.  I was ten and I remember laughing too probably because my parents’ joy always rubbed off on me.  Then my dad said, “We are going to have the grassiest ditch in the neighborhood!”

Leilani and my dad get to experience life with joy and wonder and the only difference between them and an Eeyore-type is practice. At first it takes conscious awareness that we have a choice to respond any way we choose. Then it takes building our choosing muscles to pick the grateful response. Until we take over the reins we leave our response in default mode. Let’s get out of default mode and go manual and before we know it we’ll all have the grassiest ditch in the neighborhood.

If you’ve not looked for the silver lining of being disorganized, you’ll be amazed when you change your attitude about yourself. Being a SHE is to be celebrated and if you haven’t thought of it that way, I hope you read The Joy of Being Disorganized.

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