Silver Linings

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I love a lot of things. Among my favorites – people so honest the only kind of bullshit that exists in their world is actually associated with four-legged bovines, music so impossible to ignore it defys you to sit still or resist singing along, books so compelling as to confuse and confound reality with whatever world they have pulled you into, and movies…movies so quotable they are their own species of poetry.

When it comes to movies, like my brother says, I want the full experience. I want to laugh, I want to cry, and I want everything in between. One of the better movies in the fairly recent past – one, which gave me the full experience, was Silver Linings Playbook. There is so much quotable dialogue in the film it makes me giddy. The writing is brilliant, and the acting brings the words to life in such a way as to make you feel like you could be…maybe you even are…one of the people you’re watching on the screen. Best of all, is the convoluted, yet undeniable beauty of the message of excelsior. The main character of the film, Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper), a man recently released from intense treatment for bi-polar disorder, has taken a new outlook on life. He refers to this as “excelsior”. This is also a reference to the name of the film, as he attempts to see the good, or “silver lining”, in all that he experiences, however challenging.

I recently had an…(carefully choosing my words here)…experience. It has brought to my mind the wisdom and applicability of Matthew Quick’s (author of the novel, The Silver Linings Playbook from which the movie is based) outrageously quotable words:

“(Excelsior?)…It means, you know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna take all this negativity and I’m gonna use it as fuel, I’m gonna find a silver lining, that’s what I’m gonna do. And that’s no bullshit. That takes work, and that’s the truth.”

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While my fingers itch to spell out the details of my…*ahem*…experience…I’m taking another page from the Playbook.

“You need to know it’s your actions that will make you a good person, not desire.”

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I’m focusing on excelsior – and finding my silver lining.

My silver lining? Well, I’ve found a few.

I have a God, whom, when asked, can lead my heart to where it’s meant to be. I may, in times of pathetic wallowing, believe he asks much of me. But those moments are fleeting, for I know he asks far more of far better people – and He asks no one face it alone. He is always willing to walk along too.

I have a kiddo whose beautiful heart surpasses anything my imagination could conjure, who possesses a love of learning that inspires everyone around her, and an astonishing resiliency that has kept my own heart from breaking.

I have a husband who doubles as a best-friend, confidant, and ally in this brutiful business we call life.

And I have friends – truly, the best to have ever held the title. They span through my ages – some having known me since birth, and some only coming into my life fairly recently. They wear multiple hats – relative, teammate, fellow-parent, teacher, like-minded-sister-soulmate. But the one thing they have in common, the same thing I find almost unbelievable while I simultaneously thank God for it – they extend unto me love in the way it was always meant to be given…wholly, with grace, and poured on in times of trial like a monsoon rain.

No matter the challenge – big or small. There is always a silver lining.

And that, my friends…is no bullshit.