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People who know me, know that the motto, ‘Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining’ is one that I live by and I practice what I preach, every single day. I do this because it provides me hope; hope that things will get better, that there’s a lesson to be learned, or in an attempt to keep things in perspective.  Unfortunately, none of us are immune from experiencing heart-break, sadness, abuse, loss, and trauma. It can be an unfortunate, but realistic aspect of being a human being.  Being human also means we are capable of feeling a myriad of emotions and these can ebb and flow day by day, hour by hour, even minute by minute.  Most of you can probably relate to that ebbing and flowing of emotions throughout the course of the day, right now while our reality is very different from what it was a few short months ago.

 The Corona virus has given us a new appreciation for what fear is, what it can look like and feel like and how it impacts the world around us.  I find it interesting how for some people, fear may bring out the worst in them yet in others it may bring out the best.  On a daily basis now, there are many things that we don’t have control over and we can choose to feel frustrated, or angry and discouraged about that, or, we can choose to shift our attention to what we do have control over and find a way that we can turn these uncertain moments in time into a time when we choose to do our best  and to be the best version of ourselves.  We actually have control over finding the silver lining.  

I’ve caught myself stating to others recently, “why does it take these horrible things to happen in our world for people to show their kindness and extraordinary support for one another?”  And what I’ve realized is that that’s not necessarily true.  There are extraordinary people who show up and do the right thing and act kind to one another and perform random acts of kindness every single day: it just may not be the headlines we’re reading or the top story we’re hearing about.  I appreciate how the media is sharing these extraordinary stories with us now, almost on a daily basis, mixed in with the news that provides fear among us.  I believe they’ve recognized the value in these stories, the hope that they provide to us and the value of hearing about positivity to help us get through this challenging time.

 The kids who come through our Child Advocacy Center love superheroes.  We have some of those life size characters on our walls and the children really respond positively to seeing them.  Think about it, all it takes is the recognition of a superhero to make them smile and feel good.  Why should it be any different for us adults?  Have you ever thought about how many real-life superheroes you encounter in a day?  Their actions don’t necessarily need to be earth shattering and life-saving.

 You can choose to recognize these people during your most mundane of days.  It may be the grocery clerk who was friendly to you and whose smile you could still recognize under their mask or your child’s teacher who took the time to reach out to you and your child individually to help with some homework, or even a neighbor who shared their surplus of home-grown tomatoes with you. Medical personnel, first responders, volunteers providing food to the unemployed, therapists, even the cable guy…it doesn’t matter who you are or what circumstance you’re in right now, we’re all essential and it costs nothing to show appreciation and gratitude to one another.

 So you may ask me, what do superheroes and finding the silver lining have in common?  The answer is simple. Superheroes and silver-linings are always there, right in front of us every day; it’s simply up to us whether we choose to see them and recognize them.

 I shared with you that I practice what I preach and I’ll be honest, some days it’s harder to see the positive sides of things or the good in some people, but I can promise you that when I do this, it helps me cope with the negative aspects of whatever I’m dealing with. Be mindful of the little things in life that make your life better and pass along that gratitude to someone else.

 We will all get through this better together, supporting one another and helping model what true superheroes look like to our children. 

-Jennifer Wormley, Child Advocacy Center Director