Silver Linings - Are they possible following tragedy?
On more than one occasion I have shared my way of getting motivated and inspired on a day to day basis. I love nothing more than searching for compelling stories of those who have come out on top in the face of adversity.
I recently watched an interview with Oprah Winfrey and J.K Rowling, and I was genuinely amazed by the conversation. Here are two women who came from quite literally nothing and who both stood strong, worked hard, and never gave up. Now they sit in a gorgeous hotel in Scotland and discuss whether or not they will ever truly understand how much money they both possess. Keep in mind; this was not a vain conversation about how rich they were, it was a conversation about the psychological journey they have had to go through to fully accept that they now have enough money to be free of that worry indefinitely, unless they do something foolish, as J.k Rowling put it.
One thing I got out of this interview was that no matter what a person dreams up, anything is possible if you can put pen to paper and act on it. We spend all day thinking and dreaming, but we often put it off, and the idea is lost. What would happen if we didn't do that? It's worth pondering.
The other thing I took away from this interview was that sometimes silver linings do exist. As someone who has been through significant loss and has had to work through trauma, I know how difficult it is to think that there could be any kind of silver lining following something tragic.
It the midst of the grief many people don't want to believe it's possible and quite frankly, neither did I. It is too difficult, and when your pain is fresh it is the last thing you want to believe.
Later, however, when the grief becomes a little less sharp, it is sometimes a easier to think about the possibility of life being meaningful again. You begin to wonder if you can carry this grief through a life that has joy instead of only sorrow. Maybe it is possible to feel my experience while simultaneously being happy.
During the interview with J.K Rowling and Oprah, the billionaire author said something that resonated with me.
"The books wouldn't be what they were if she hadn't died - because I loved her and she died."
She was referring to her Mother's untimely death. Something that was so tragic but at the same time something that she has accepted as being a catalyst to success bigger than she could have ever imagined.
I thought to myself, "finally." I often feel sorry for saying that my life wouldn't be as beautiful and fulfilling as it is now if my fiance hadn't died tragically in an Avalanche just months before our wedding day. It's sometimes so hard to say out loud because who am I to feel grateful that my life is just as it is when someone had to die for it to be that way.
It is so difficult to explain the concept of silver linings to those who may not understand the emotional work you have to go through to get to that point, but after listening to J.K Rowling explain her's, I know that I am not alone in this.
Not everyone will be able to reach that acceptance that silver linings are possible following tragedy, and that's okay. If you do discover a silver lining though, do not feel sorry because that is also okay.