Happy first Monday of October! These last few days, I’ve been thinking about something that I didn’t realize the importance of until recently. It’s called the
I realized just a couple of days ago is that many of us don’t take enough time to think about what it means, or how often it applies to our lives. Think about today as an example. Many of us don’t like October Mondays, because often they mean having to wake up early, giving up weekend relaxation, and dragging ourselves to school or work. October Mondays mean getting back the routine we might know all too well: stress, work, stress, take a break, stress, work, stress.
Although we might do the Monday routine grudgingly, the real reason we fall back into it is because its easy; it’s repetitive and easy to remember, and there are little to no surprises involved. But it’s because we let ourselves slip so easily back into this routine that we miss some of the more enjoyable, beautiful things that are the reasons so may of us fall for Fall: waking up in the morning in my warm blankets when it’s still a little dim outside and making a warm cup of coffee; sitting by the window and watching the red-gold maple leaves floating off of trees, joining with others on the ground; putting on a warm, comfy warm-colored sweaters and soft scarves; walking around outside and hearing the leaves crunch on the ground; drinking an extremely basic Pumpkin Spice Latte; listening to the rain patter against the window; the distant, sunny glow that appears outside after a recent rainfall. This is the silver lining.
As you can see, it’s much thicker than you might think it to be.
There are so many more things that are worth enjoying than things that I do not enjoy, but often times it’s much harder to locate these little reasons for happiness, and much easier to succumb to the blob of negativity. Stated another way, it’s much easier to remember the few things that you dislike rather than the many things that you might love. The aspects of your life that you are used to are always right there in front of you, but the pockets of happiness that make up any silver lining are much harder to find, and can often take more effort to find as well.
But that’s what is so important to remember about finding the silver lining: like everything that is worth doing, choosing to find the benevolent side of any situation takes work. But its worth it, because choosing to be positive and optimistic about life even when the reasons to be positive and optimistic might not be easy to find means giving yourself ability to be the best version of yourself.
There is of course the issue of figuring out how to push negativity out of your mind. How do you do it when so many things seem to be weighing you down? The answer is more simple than you might think: every time you start thinking of something that bothers you, identify your support system: something or someone who keeps you going. Maybe you have a method of comforting yourself that always works, or something that you love to do that always improves your mood. Maybe it’s not available to you at that very moment, but at least for me, the first step to pushing negative thoughts out of my head is to invite positive ones in. The answer to feeling hopeless is finding hope, even if it means just telling yourself that everything is going to be okay. Sometimes that is all that you can do, but you have to find a way to do it, even in the worst of situations.
At one point in my college life, I felt like my world was falling apart. Everything that I did which I thought was right turned out to be wrong, and I felt like there was nothing that I could do to fix my mistakes. I felt like I was in the biggest mess I could have possibly created, and my anxiety was at its peak. I couldn’t sleep at night, and I even had dreams of all of the terrible things which could happen if things didn’t the way that I hoped they would. I didn’t know how I was ever going to feel okay again, but I knew I had to keep myself going. Luckily, I was able to find counseling services that helped me deal with my anxiety, and through the process of talking both to counselors and my friends and family, I was able to find my silver lining.
Even though I had gotten myself into a huge mess, there was so much that I learned coming out of it. One of the most important things that I got out of my mess was that I learned to be much more empathetic to people who have mental health issues. I learned the importance of talking to other people about my own issues. I learned to communicate better with the people I loved, and I realized how very valuable the relationships I have with other people are. If I hadn’t gone through that mess of a situation, I don’t think that I would be the person I am today and I love who I am now. And so even though what I went through is something I wouldn’t wish upon anyone, I value the silver lining that I found in it.
Sometimes even if you are in the worst situation possible and it might seem like the end of the world, remind yourself that you are strong and capable and you will find a way to come out stronger than you were before. Find a lesson in every mistake, and you will find your silver lining.
Before I conclude this post, I want to thank my friend Bre for continuing to support my writing and thought process. It’s always so great to have those deep conversations with you! I’m so thankful for our friendship. Here is a link to Bre’s work. Check it out!