Have you ever heard this saying right in the middle of a “not-so-good” point in time, and wondered why the heck a certain situation is happening? Then looking back, maybe months or even a year or two after that negative event occurred, been able to trace all the unexpected positive things that have come out of that situation?
This is a constant occurrence in my life. Fortunately, I am currently at the latter end from some not-so-good events of the past. I am seeing that there was a lot of “what the heck is going on” moments about 2 and a half years ago, that I can now see had to happen in order to bring myself and my organization to where it is today. I won’t go into the details, but I have learned that when times get tough, instead of wondering why they are happening, I have trained myself to know that something positive will come out of it. Or better yet, I find the positives right now.
About ten years ago, I read a book called “Learned Optimism” by Martin E. P. Seligman. Back then, I was not this glorious vision of optimism that types out this blog today. In fact, little to my knowledge, I had gotten into a pretty nasty pessimistic whirlwind of “why is this happening”, and “these people around me are awful”, and “why can’t I find my way”. There is a test of sorts you can take with Seligman’s book. To my complete and utter surprise upon completion, I might as well have been walking around with a giant scarlet “P” on my forehead. I was a full blown “glass is half empty” kind of gal and didn’t even know it. That realization hit me pretty hard. I came to understand that I was finding the clouds in the silver linings of all the blessings I had been given. Not only did I not want to be seen that way, I didn’t want to be that way. So, I learned to not be.
The ebb and flow of life is always among us. Whether we choose to see the positive side of things is a learned skill. I’m not great at it by any means. Over the last ten years, I have probably taken my “F” to a “B+”. It can take a while to begin to undo something that was twenty-eight years in the making. However, I know if I keep trying, I will get my A. That is the silver lining I have no problem seeing today.