They say there's a silver lining in every disaster. It's hard to see it at the time, but you have to believe it's true.
I can't say I'm one of the faithful in this regard. That doesn't mean I'm without hope, however. I just don't think there's a silver lining in every situation. I think it's a token that we cling onto, so we can brave the hardship, expecting to cash it in down the line.
There have been times when I resurfaced from the darkness and found a new perspective that made things seem less terrible. Perhaps, that is a kind of silver lining. I don't know. Whatever it is, a fresh perspective - and a good sense of gallows humour - did the job. I end up wondering why I clung onto a fantasy so long that it actually hurt me?
Rather than believe in a silver lining, I prefer to believe that things WILL get better with time. This is part of human resilience. When we get some distance, the pain subsides. We begin to forget the particulars. There are other things worth our attention. Life goes on.
What I do know is this: whatever I think is truly bad right now is going to be trumped by something else. That I know for sure.
Each decade brings something more terrible and challenging than before. The feelings may be relative, but the actual severity of the incidents increases.
For example, when I was a teenager, I had some profound agonies. But, they were over relative trifles. As an adult, I have faced much more difficult and trying circumstances, but have learnt to be less anxious about them. For the most part, that is. There are some things you can't premeditate.
Life always throws you a few whoppers. Whether it's a breakup, death, deteriorating health from old age, taxes... you name it. Life is going to get more complicated as you grow up.
I can think back and enumerate the times that I was truly in despair. I mean, moments when I really thought my life was over, or that what I was facing was just too terrible to contemplate. Somehow, I got through it. And when the next whopper came - it was predictably more terrible than the last. This is the pattern. I guess that each trial makes you more capable to handle a bigger load the next time.
This should be making me stronger. Maybe, it already has. But, I know not to become complacent. There are going to be some serious trials ahead.
So, in the end, I don't think there's a silver lining. There's just you against the world. The only way you're going to survive is by finding a way to get beyond the pain. Once you do, your life grows richer and your understanding goes deeper. That brings a sense of satisfaction. And, this new-found perspective and resilience, makes it easier not to sweat the small stuff. Perhaps, that's the silver lining, after all!