Tammy Miller
February 3, 2021

I’m sure most people have heard the quote “When dark clouds loom overhead, just remember that EVERY cloud has a silver lining.” If you haven’t heard this one, you’re welcome!

Here’s a refresher from the dictionary describing what a silver lining is: a hopeful or comforting prospect in the midst of difficulty, a good aspect of a mostly bad event, and a consoling aspect of a difficult situation.

One of the most beautiful gifts each of us has in this life is the ability to choose. We have the freedom to choose our thoughts. Our perspective is a combination of our life experiences and the thoughts that we think about them, basically,  it’s the lens in which we see things. Have you ever sat back and marveled how two different people can see the same situation in two totally different ways? I know I have and I think it’s absolutely fascinating!
I recently heard a story about an old 92-year-old I want to share it with you. “She is a petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.”

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.”

She went on to explain, “Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories Thank you for your part in filling my memory bank. I am still depositing.”

Whether you are looking back on 2020 and what a challenging year it was for every human on this planet, or you are experiencing big life changes like a divorce, a job change, a big move to a new city and maybe even a new state, or you have recently become an empty nester, a loss of a loved one — we have a choice to FOCUS on the hardships or we can focus on the bright spots – the silver linings. All we need to do is open our mind, our eyes, our hearts to the beauty that comes with trials. A favorite quote that really resonates here is “in every lesson there is a blessin’. We get to choose to see it differently but there is such an UPSIDE to seeing the silver linings in life – they are all around us if we CHOOSE to see them.

My husband I recently sat with some friends that lost their son unexpectedly in a tragic car accident. As we were talking, the father of the boy that was killed said he was in awe of the beauty he had witnessed in the passing of his son. He said this did not diminish his heartache but he saw how his departed son was bringing so many people together because it was a wake up call to how fragile life is. He mentioned that he was the recipient of many kind words and loving acts of service, he mentioned other things as well, but my point is he was sharing the silver linings.

I am choosing to live my life deliberately – it’s all a choice, and I choose to see the silver linings, because they are there if we will simply open our eyes to see.