Does EVERY cloud have a silver lining?
In Powerchange we’re very suspicious of the word ‘every’. No room for manoeuvre is there? We ask, ‘Every? Surely some cloud somewhere doesn’t.’ Of course few of us could care about the semantics when we’re encompassed or overshadowed by cloud. It is much more personal than that. This is the cloud I’m under. My cloud, so to speak. And it is blotting out sun for me.
The good news is, yes, every cloud has sun behind it – at least when daybreak comes. There is no place that I’ve heard of where the sun is 100% blotted out for ever (you may know of somewhere – I’d be interested to know). In fact where there is endless sunshine and no cloud there is drought and barrenness. Although human beings seem to love sunshine, and here in the south of England we’ve just had a wonderful spring week of warmth and sunshine, unmitigated sun is a catastrophe. It is the cycle of sunshine, and rain, the variety – whether daily or seasonally – that enables crops to grow and the land to be refreshed. And the people to live.
In my work as a Powerchange coach I meet many clients whose lives have been traumatised by negative experiences with high levels of emotional pain. These are not mere ‘clouds’ but terrorising hurricanes, or devastating cyclones, tornados vacuuming up hope and joy, overwhelming monsoons that are beyond any control.
So how do you come back from that? How do you recover from disaster? Where is the silver lining?
It seems to me that it is the meaning we make of these traumatic times that drowns us or rescues us, not the experiences themselves. How we see them – and ourselves within them – really matters. Each of us has more control over that than we might realise to start with. Look again and see with the eye of faith beyond the devastation, and new meaning emerges, a more useful one, a meaning we’ve chosen, one that lifts us up instead of takes us down. Ask: what new, more useful, meanings might this experience have for me? And what else? Look deliberately and as your free choice, for a silver lining. You don’t have to, and you may need someone to help you who knows how it works, but making that inner choice is your human right. It puts you back into control. It’s not what you experience in itself, but the meaning (the label) you attach to it makes it empowering or not.
Have a meaningful day.