The year of 2020, was a bit of a cluster f***. Kobe Bryant died, there was a worldwide pandemic that killed hundreds of thousands, wrecked the economy, and left so many without food, jobs, and questioning how to pay their bills. Racial injustices were surfaced and exploited, businesses closed down forever, a wild presidential election occurred, and hate and fear were thrown around like confetti.
I know I am not even remembering half of the shit that happened, but that pretty much hits the high points.
This is the week of Thanksgiving. The one time of year we all come together and give thanks and praise for all that we have and all the good that has happened.
Looking back on this dumpster fire of a year, one might think, “what went right?”. But something always went right. There is always a silver lining in the clouds, we just need to find it.
I wanted to write this blog because I want to challenge you to not just be grateful that this year is coming to an end, but I want you to find gratitude for something that actually happened to you. I want you to find your silver lining.
Finding gratitude in the midst of chaos and pain is no easy feat. It’s easy to dig deeper into the pain, sulk and blame everyone and everything for what’s happening. It’s difficult, really really difficult, to find the good but you can.
I have worked on looking for the good during the bad my entire life, so much so that it has become second nature to me. As soon as something bad is happening, and I have tears and snot running down my face, I talk about the good that could come from it in between the sobs. Now I do let myself feel, I do let myself get upset and angry, but I don’t let myself stay there because that doesn’t do anyone any good. I work on getting myself back on track by finding gratitude.
There are three main things that I do to get myself to find the silver lining. It takes time and a process to get there. This is what I do:
I let it all out. I am a crier. I get a little angry or pissy, but crying is my release and honestly, I feel so much better every time I allow myself to do it. Whatever your “release” is, start there. Whether that’s a scream fest, bitch fest, a cry fest, or gym sesh, go do that.
Shut down what is no longer serving you. For me, this is social media or the news. If I consume too much of it when I am in an emotional state, or when something is really bothering me, being on social media and reading news articles just makes it worse. So I literally shut it off and shut it down. I need to physically remove that negative influence from my zone or it will continue to kill my vibe. Whatever that thing, person, or place is, get rid of it and take a TO (timeout) from it.
Start simple. This is the point when I start searching for the positive. A lot of times I am still a little pissed or upset at this point, so I can’t really muster up much besides, “At least I still have my family and I love them dearly. I am healthy and can walk without pain. The sun is shining on me today.”
I start really simple because it gets me thinking about the small stuff, the things I often ignore but are always there and always great. That helps me feel better. Then once I start to feel better I can look at the big yucky thing and say, “I’m glad I let that go because it got me out of a job I hated.” “I’m glad we broke up because even though it hurts, it wasn’t the right relationship.” You can eventually get there if you let go and allow yourself to not be angry and defensive, but open and vulnerable. I get to that point fastest when I start thinking about the amazing simple small blessings that I already have.
Change your perspective. Once you let go of the bad emotions, stop the negative flow from coming in, and start listing what good came from it, that’s the point where you can finally change your perspective. You can start to look at the situation as “how is this working FOR me” rather than “this is happening TO me.”
That allows you to see the situation entirely differently. It helps you find your silver lining. It helps you find the good within the bad.
A lot of shitty things happened this year, but a lot of good and beauty came with that pain. Train yourself to find gratitude in the midst of chaos, and you will always find peace.
Happy Thanksgiving my friends. So much love for you.