The current status of the world is one of uncertainty and fear. Today is officially Star Wars day and after watching many protests last week, I have the words of Yoda on repeat in my head. “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” There are many people in my circle who are either scared, angry, or suffering through some pretty big life changes. My natural reaction to an abundance of negativity is to deflect it with positivity.

In 2012, I attempted suicide. This isn’t something I ever discuss, because I am always worried someone else will try and take on the negativity I was feeling at that time, and take responsibility for it. I firmly believe that no one is responsible for your feelings except you. The choices I was making and the feelings I was expressing were my own, and no one else’s. I was in a personal space where I was extremely unhappy with who I was as a person, and it wasn’t overnight that I learned how to cope with seeing my past and my own sense of self as something positive. However, I am sharing this because in the time that I was recovering from my low point I learned several silver linings that I wanted to share for anyone feeling like they’re in their own low point during this uneasy time. They’re my mantras and my coping mechanisms for when things start to feel hard or uncertain.

  1. Everything is temporary. The only constant in life is change.
  2. The state of the world, or your world, will always be the way you choose to look at it.
  3. For every bad and terrible and horrible thing in the world, there will always be a positive, wonderful, and good one.
  4. You can choose to surround yourself with those who bring positivity into your life. You don’t owe anyone a relationship or a friendship if it brings you down or holds you back.

When I was home alone with Owen, and had been rejected from one too many teaching positions, I felt myself starting to feel some of the really intrusive, negative, pretty awful things about myself that I felt back in 2012, some of that was PPD. These are feelings that now I can’t help but mentally project on my close people who are trying to navigate the difficult space the world is in now. About that same time, we were unboxing some of our stuff that had been in storage in Texas. I found my scrapbook gift from my bridesmaids on the day of my wedding. They had each written me a letter to read while we got ready before the ceremony. I, as I do, got distracted from my task of unpacking and started to read them all. Over and over again, my closest circle of trusted friends described me as positive. I know that I made the choice to keep them close to me for a reason. I needed to see myself through their lens for a moment in order to refocus my mental energy, hence why number four on my above list is important.

I CAN be an overwhelming, emotional, and wallowing energy suck, I think we all share that capacity. However, if we focus some of our silver linings and share them with each other, we can hopefully keep some of our sanity as the world returns to its new normal. Sometimes that’s a zoom happy hour, sometimes its a Chalk Walk masterpiece, or a painted rock left on a trail, sometimes its a package you weren’t expecting from friends you can’t wait to share queso with again (ok maybe that was just one of my silver linings from last week), or that the beach is just “closed” and not CLOSED, or maybe just the right song comes on a random playlist. No matter what boat you’re on during this storm, I hope you’re finding or sharing some silver linings to guide you through.

1 Comment

  1. So brave of you to share! If you ever need a friend or someone to hash-out the ups and downs of life and all its complexity…I am just down the street! You’ve been so nice and genuine since day one – the world needs more people like you Ashley! Thank you for sharing your trials and experiences to help others.


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