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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Silver Lining of Authenticity

Journey down the road of life and remember every cloud has a silver lining

 'Silver lining' was a phrase coined by John Milton in Comus:  A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle in 1634.
I see ye visibly, and now believe
That he, the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
Would send a glistering guardian, if need were
To keep my life and honour unassailed.
Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err; there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.
Yeah, whatever.  I think it has something to do with chastity.  I guess I flunked that course in college.

From 1634 onward, usually citing Milton and referring to them as Milton's clouds, 'clouds' and 'silver linings' were often referred to in literature.  The language of Victoria's England changed the expression to the one  with which we are familiar - 'every cloud has a silver lining,' which I believe has become an archetypal expression.

Carl Gustav Jung developed an understanding of archetypes as being "ancient or archaic images that derive from the collective unconscious."   Archetypes are influencers to our psyche's.  They are universal in their application.   Some Archetypal examples are "the stepmother," "the hero," "the caregiver," "the explorer," "the sage" "the wounded healer."

Archetypes endure and contribute to cultural  function and dysfunction.  They move us, pull us, influence us and provide measures of motivational patterns that drive human behavior.  Powerful and when applied to current culture, the phrase 'every cloud has a silver lining' serves as an archetypal influencer, which is demonstrated in the the academy-award nominated movie Silver Linings Playbook.

 A surprise to me, this sleeper earned eight Oscar nominations.   Embedded in this edgy dramedy (comedy/drama) is the portrayal of human suffering and overcoming.  A story of two mentally disturbed, appealing young people who fight past their demons, following the roller coaster of their feelings, to find their silver linings.  The author of the book upon which the movie is based, Matthew Quick, has his own silver-lining story.  Quick was an English teacher in New Jersey and followed his own gut to quit his job and write a novel.

Within all of us is a desire to find that silver lining.  We dance and celebrate when we find it, we despair when we don't.  How exactly does one find the silver lining?   We begin by assessing our "silver lining attitude."   Ask yourself:

l.   Do I believe my clouds have a silver lining?  If not, why not?
2.  How does this archetype play out in my life?
3.  Do I feel I deserve success and happiness?
4.  How have I handled the failures in my life?  How do I bounce back from the curve balls?
5.  How do I judge myself?
6.  What would happen if were truly successful?  How do I self-sabotage?
7.  What is my general attitude about life?
8.  Do I live with an open-eyed, realistic life view or do I prefer fantasy?

If you haven't figured it out yet, attitude is everything. "Happily ever after" comes and goes and  is an archetypal bombshell perpetuated by those fairy tales we all heard as children.  Do you wish to live in a fairy tale existence or do you wish to live an authentic life?   Authenticity requires a realistic view and willingness to see what is.  The only way to come close to finding that silver lining is to live as your authentic self.  That necessitates your knowing yourself and living from your own agenda.  It also necessitates a willingness to be seen.  That alone scares the crap out of us.

In the movie, Pat, the male protagonist proclaims, "You have to stay positive and if you do you have a shot at a silver lining."  Lets' decide to  travel down life's road,  positive attitude in hand and reality in our pocket.  That's a good start towards creating a new world.

Here is a link to the movie trailer:

Enjoy the movie Silver Linings Playbook .

Play with Matrix Magic Playbook and begin down the road into self discovery.  Allow your own silver linings to emerge.

Ask yourself the questions above as you play with Matrix #38 and #48

1 comment:

  1. I love the word and idea of "playbook"--playbooks are important in sports and in theatre as guides for the "players." For me, Matrix Magic Playbook is a guide for me as "player." The silver lining it seems to me does not have to be sought after but rather allowed to emerge in all of its shimmering. Matrix Magic reveals to us that living out of our silver lining IS play; and even play has guidelines. Wonder-ful......ce