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The Guys You'll Meet on Earth But Not in Heaven: Those Who Don't Look For The Silver Lining

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In order to find that silver lining, we must stand there and focus on the clouds despite the darkness and the rain.

This is an interesting but very confusing world to live in.

On a daily basis we are bombarded by bad news, misfortune and cloudy days.

Unfortunately, most of us have been taught to run from the bad news, block out the misfortune and seek out sunnier places. Now, this way of dealing with adversity does not provide us with the answers we need to make the best of our journey through life. 

Why?

Because within the bad there are truths to be discovered and learned from.

And, amidst the adversity there are hidden opportunities for us to take. 

To put it simply---Every cloud has a silver lining.

But, in order to find that silver lining, we must stand there and focus on the clouds despite the darkness and the rain. 

Back during the worst of times in this country, somebody saw the light. It was 1929 and the Great Depression was upon us. But, a song was written called "Look For The Silver Lining."

Those of us who searched the clouds for a silver lining discovered some of the best advice this world has to offer.

A more modern version of Silver Linings was highlighted in the popular 2012 film, Silver Linings Playbook. In it, Bradley Cooper plays a character who suffers from Bipolar Disorder, also known as Manic Depressive Disorder. This is a common mood disorder which can lead us into manic moods marked by too much energy, extreme irritability, infidelity and illogical thinking alternating sometimes with deep depressions. 

Now, if you’re in a relationship with a bipolar person, at the beginning all that energy and fantastic mood can make them a joy to be with---but, as their good mood elevates into mania adversely affecting their behavior, you’ll be looking for a way out.

At the beginning of Silver Linings Playbook, we see Bradley Cooper in a psychiatric hospital throwing away his prescribed mood-stabilizing lithium. This quickly puts him on a dangerous path back into mania as he leaves the hospital to return to his family. As his behaviors go seriously out of control, he gets close to being rehospitalized.

But, instead of just continuing on his dangerous roller coaster ride, he looks into the darkening clouds and sees his silver lining.

The silver lining tells him ---"You’re not crazy, just a little unwell...So, get back on your medication and work this world." Once he does this, he develops a relationship with Jennifer Lawrence and everything looks possible as he controls his energy to cope better and utilize his significant talents.

Interestingly, many people with bipolar disorder can do amazingly special things if they locate their silver lining, and then get some help to stabilize their mood rather than taking something in a bar or on the street to slow themselves down.

Why so special? 

Because even after getting on the right treatment, many bipolars still have a little bit more energy and creativity than most of us which can translate into significant talent. Kay Redfield Jamison, a psychologist, has documented this in her best selling book, Touched With Fire.

In it, she talks about how mood disorders and creativity are linked giving the "fire of talent" to some of us. In fact, if you wander through a library into the section on mood disorders, you will find just as many books about creativity ranging from scientists, writers, composers, artists, actors, actresses and rock stars. So, from Vincent Van Gogh to Ludwig Van Beethoven, from Ernest Hemingway to Dick Cavett, from Brian Wilson to Patty Duke and from Amy Winehouse to Catherine Zeta-Jones there are no limits to the talent we are talking about. 

Clearly, some of the most wonderfully, talented men and women on the planet also struggle with mood disorders. Now, if they choose a cloudy day to find their silver lining, then their talent and their relationships will prosper. But, if they avoid the clouds and the rainy days by self medicating with alcohol and drugs, then they are more likely to destroy their talent and their relationships. 

The road is clearly marked----------Look up!!

Check out Kacy Musgraves’ enlightened country song about the only way to find your Silver Lining.

 


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