Are you the person who can detect the silver lining in a situation? Do you easily see doors of possibility where others see walls? Or are you the one who immediately sees obstacles and the first to jump to, “everything is wrong”, “it’s never going to work out”, or “I’m never going to get what I want”?
I want you to stop for one second, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think about your stance in life. If you jump to the negative, think about the reasons why. Many times past painful experiences play a part in a negative reaction. If you were crushed by not landing the “dream” job, you may believe you will never find a job you love; if an ex-boyfriend cheated on you, all potential romantic partners might inspire feelings of distrust.
Two Points to Keep in Mind:
1. This moment is unique and brand new and the people in this situation are not the ones from the past. Your fear mind senses familiar danger like a cell memory of the original injury and tells you Now is Then…but it is not.
When you live in the past and use that to predict the future you miss this PRESENT MOMENT and the opportunity to create your desired outcome.
2. Words like “always” and “never” are exaggerations at best and predictive at worst when used to describe what you fear. Some examples: “Things never work out for me”, “I am always left behind”. Be mindful of this type of language because words are powerful, energetically and emotionally.
I want to challenge you to have the faith that this time can be different. That this job interview, this guy, this friend… they might just prove your Now is Then negative theories wrong. But you must be able to at least have the courage to imagine the situation working out and feel those feelings.
If you don’t get the job or the guy does turn out to be a jerk, can you find the silver lining? Can you have faith that there was something valuable in that experience for you and actively seek to discover the gem that is at the heart of every seemingly crappy situation?
When I was diagnosed with cancer, I never asked why me or projected too far into a scary future. I saw it as my opportunity to change careers, regain control of my mind, body, and spirit, and re-prioritize what mattered in my life.
I want to challenge you to be a silver lining detective. Honor what you have learned in all of your life’s situations. From there, with mindfulness, you will be less likely to repeat the negative situation out of automated fear and more likely to create meaning, purpose, and joy in your amazing life.
Your life is what you choose to create for yourself. Ask yourself often how you want your life to look and feel. Continue to go back to the feelings and images of that dream life when you find yourself not living in joy. By conjuring those positive feelings, you will draw those types of experiences to you. Everyday is a new opportunity to recalibrate what is not working.
So, can you be a silver lining detective? I dare you.
Love love love