I used to consider the phrase ” Look for the silver lining” to be a pointless platitude. Upon further consideration, I can now report that I have changed my opinion. For today’s Daily Prompt, we are asked to Write about something you consider “ugly” — war, violence, failure, hatred — but try to find beauty, or a sense of hope, in your thoughts.
Let me being by saying that the film The Silver Linings Playbook immediately came to mind. I am a therapist who has worked with many people who are diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, so naturally I would be drawn to this film. Then there’s Bradley Cooper……. Next are a few synchronicities thrown in for good measure. Matthew Quick, the author of the novel, based the story in Collingswood , NJ. This lovely town is about five minutes or so from my childhood home. The film was shot in Upper Darby, PA, not far from my current hometown, Philly. In an earlier post, I mentioned I have eaten at the now famous Llanerch Diner, where a pivotal scene between Pat and Tiffany takes place. https://lindalitebeing.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/youre-like-epically-awesome-man-the-award/
What I discovered from watching the film and reading the book afterwards, is that Pat (Bradley Cooper) achieved his goal of finding his silver lining. He did not succeed in reuniting with his ex-wife. What he did do is reinvent himself and transformed his life. Through his friendship with Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), his therapeutic alliance with his therapist, and his refusal to give up, he forged a new path forward. While his past connections with his dysfunctional family and his ex-wife were challenging to transcend, his commitment to dancing, love of the Eagles and vision of tomorrow kept him focused. While disappointments and struggles continue, Pat discovers that he is resilient and begins to step into a larger version of himself.
Speaking of stepping, my attendance today at a debut performance for Girls on the Move Germantown 2013 was filled with a plethora of silver linings. Moving Creation founder Emily Nussdorfer explains the importance of this program:
Imagine the future of our communities if all our youth are supported to find meaning and purpose for their lives. Imagine what our future would be like if all youth have the opportunity and skills with which to build their life from that place of creative purpose. What interesting, innovative and fulfilling possibilities could exist in our world as a result! The current devastating statistics of youth violence, suicide, anorexia, bulimia, obesity, addictions, school truancy and drop out rates, early pregnancy and disease would be reduced to a bad memory.
Today’s performance was such a treat. Family, friends, and supporters assembled at Germantown Friends School to see a fashion show, step routine, poetry readings, and hip hop dance number. These five young women captivated the audience with their courage, creativity, emotional vulnerability, and luminousness. I was moved to tears and grateful to be part of the celebration.
Synchronicities were also present for me today while sitting in that auditorium. I have attended meeting for worship a few yards away at Germantown Meeting. I had worked for many years at a program 2 blocks away in the heart of Germantown. The girls spent some time together in retreat at Pendle Hill, a sacred place I hold close to my heart. It comes as no surprise that so many connections abound. I have been a fan of Emily and her program for years. She is a wonderful soul who exudes enthusiasm and great love for her girls and their communities.
So in case you are wondering, how these stories tie together, the answer is presence. Both Pat and the Girls on the Move were able to put aside negative beliefs and social conditioning in order to start anew. They did not deny their history. They learned to create new beginnings by taking action in the moment. As a social worker, I was repeatedly taught to meet my clients where they are at. This basically means to accept someone exactly where they are and proceed from this point. I believe this practice is important if you want to transcend your limitations and create a new vision. Meeting your Self where you are is likely to assist in the promotion of positive self-care. Combine self-care with a strong support system and an active spiritual life and the possibilities are limitless. (yes I know, another Bradley Cooper movie – Limitless)
hydrangea by © litebeing chronicles 2013
So I now see that with some effort and an enlightened perspective, silver linings are quite likely to manifest. Add a bit of magic and creativity, and you are on your way……
for further information: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1045658/
image by freerangestock.com