The expression "every cloud has a silver lining" is a well known one among English language speakers. Sometimes it is used ironically and others in the spirit of optimism. Optimism because it is helpful to see some positive future despite a negative event having taken place. There are some who would say that is easier said than done - but nothing is impossible!
In the teachings providing the basis for my therapy, we differentiate between responses and actions (see Rethinking Responses self-help course). This is where in the context of this article, we are thinking about how we behave when faced with something unexpectedly not going our way, for instance. Sometimes, when we are very upset, we find it very difficult to stop thinking about this thing that took place and the thought pattern that develops from this seems to take over how we function and behave.
It is important to think about what is happening in reality when we have a situation or outcome in mind but somehow, for some reason, something completely different occurs. When we have been really looking forward to something or felt very positive and confident around an outcome, that is often when disappointment hits harder and can be more difficult to deal with.
Change, especially when out of our control, can be very difficult too and seen in a very negative light. However, whatever change occurs, or is about to occur, is a cause for development. It is an opportunity. Very often, the ideal situation we have, or have in mind, is not so ideal because nothing is 100% ideal. Anything can be tweaked for improvement or to work better for us individually. Therefore, change is 100% an opportunity. We may not like aspects of the change but it is an opportunity, and opportunity is a positive word and a positive concept.
Any change that occurs in our life is an opportunity to improve on what we have. It is the proverbial silver lining on the dark cloud which when you see it as an opportunity for growth, improvement or progress, isn't always so dark. When things don't go to plan and cannot be changed back, remember to accept what you can and cannot control and see this as such an opportunity and seize it. Something positive has to come out of it because how we behave in the face of this unexpected event is within our control. Focus on the transformation, the improvement, however small they may be.
Download this "Silver Linings" worksheet for free to help you.