The movie "Silver Linings Playbook" with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence left the movie-goer with a profound sense that there indeed are silver linings in life, regardless of how harsh one's circumstances. It is about looking for them. The multi-layered story-line explores the silver lining that comes out of Brad's characters' mental illness, his love addiction, as well as his wife's infidelity. Similarly, Jennifer's character finds the silver lining in her grief and loss, and both people find their silver lining by accepting new love, healing family dysfunction, and realizing the importance of having hope, forgiveness, and unconditional love.
Like these two characters in this powerful movie, there are so many opportunities to see the silver lining in one's recovery; however, when you are in it, it feels quite the contrary. Life can really suck at times. Along with this, many people want to skip the lessons that are woven into the silver lining and instead expect to get gold... This can be a set up for much disappointment.
In A Gentle Path through the Twelve Principles (2012), Patrick Carnes states, "When we were enmeshed in our addiction, we made a mess of our life--and, almost certainly others' lives as well. Paradoxically, in recovery we summon the courage to make a mess of things again, but in a positive way (p. 148)."
We have to work our way to having the gold by experiencing the many lessons that accompany all the silver linings. If we don't, we miss out on the amazing opportunities to learn about our families of origin, ourselves, our addictive thoughts, feelings, and actions, and do things differently.
Might that be the silver lining? That life is indeed messy and once we take that courageous leap (or even step) into our recovery, the messy we feel is healthy? After all, we are re-training our brains to think, feel, and act in healthier, less destructive ways that we are not used to. Therefore, we may be clumsy, emotional, vulnerable, and awkward for awhile, and that is ok!
As Bob Proctor states, "We will stumble and fall in the learning process, but success can only be reached when we are prepared to take those steps, all of them, even the ones where we fail" (Carnes, P. 2012, p. 149).
That is how we learn, through silver linings. If life was rosy and paved in gold, we would never grow. I realize this is extremely hard for folks that are new to recovery from anything. However, it is imperative to accepting that even though recovery is messy and hard, the silver linings are endless. One more day sober is better than the rest of your life in your love, relationship, sex, drug, alcohol, food, work, financial, etc. addiction.
So, this week: look for the silver linings in your life, especially in your recovery (from anything!). It may be simple and easy to miss, but in every messy, troublesome, stressful, disturbing or upsetting situation, there is ALWAYS a silver lining. I promise you. It may be small, but it is still significant and for many, the only thing that gets people through their day at times.
One silver lining might be that you took the time out of your hectic day to focus on your recovery by reading my recovery blog. Way to go!
You are SO Worth It! Please don't ever forget that!
Namasté and Happiest of Holidays to you and yours. May we embrace all our blessings, more silver linings, and even some gold;)
• This Week~ We are collecting cans of food for the Food Bank; if you want to donate, we would greatly appreciate it. We will be taking our donations to the Food Bank on Dec 24th. • Tuesday, December 30th from 6:15-7:45 p.m. Candice and Jenny Jo will be facilitating The Relationship Recovery Class focusing on the famous work of Drs John and Julie Gottman; the leading experts on Couples Therapy. We will incorporate a discussion of attachment (which is only one part of addictive behaviors). Location will be emailed again to everyone next Monday; if you want to come and aren't on our email, please contact Candice: firstname.lastname@example.org.