Monica Cost, Chief Brand Strategist

*I am a movie fanatic! Netflix is losing money on my subscription, for sure. It may be no secret to some of you, that I much prefer films that are grounded in an honest human connection. Well, last week I had the distinct pleasure of going to see Silver Linings Playbook, with the adorable Bradley Cooper (Pat) and the underrated Jennifer Lawrence (Tiffany), on my birthday.

Although, I’m an avid movie watcher, I usually only turn my TV on, on Thursday nights for Scandal. That being said, I had not seen the trailer and had no idea what the movie was about. I had; however, heard that it was excellent.

Well, I agree! The movie was focused on the extremely important topic of mental illness and I am not qualified to discuss that matter. Except to offer that it is relevant (as it has always been) and not addressed adequately, as we see from the 30 shootings since Columbine; with the latest claiming the lives of 20 beautiful children and 6 adult servants to our children.

In my work as a Brand Strategist and Advisor, fighting for authenticity in all aspects of life, I found the journey to the character’s personal truths to be refreshing. Tiffany’s honesty about her behaviors, her past and her existing circumstances  led to a very genuine connection between she and Pat. Meanwhile, Pat’s denial about his existing circumstances, his past and his behaviors created the ultimate turmoil in his own life, as well as his human connections.

Tiffany experienced something very traumatic that led her to exhibiting behaviors that caused people to label her in certain ways. Instead of explaining away her situation, she simply owned it and swallowed it up in the love she felt for herself. On the other hand, Pat continued on making excuses for himself and believing that if he just kept going down the same path, everyone else would see his lie, as well. Until. . .Tiffany, gets into his head and heart. There, I believe he sees truth and the beauty in the journey.

Whether it’s divorce, promiscuity, crime, molestation, failure, mental illness or something else, don’t label yourself because of it.  Instead, take a look at the fact, right where it is and own it. Why? Because it doesn’t define you.

Life is full of failure and success, highs and lows, heartache and heart-joy. Not a one of us can escape it, no matter how much we pretend. Some of it will be self inflicted, others will be out of our control. Either way, we must stay authentic to the journey. Let’s not hide the bad from ourselves, but learn from it.

This level of personal and internal authenticity will leave you with an amazing level of confidence as you travel along your path. In this honesty, nothing will haunt you because you will have already diffused it, by acknowledging its existence.

Need a playbook for life? Find the silver lining in your truth.

Monica Cost is a Brand Strategist for Evidently Assured & the Live Your Truth Experience (L.Y.T.E.).  She is the Author  of the new life changing book on living an authentic life called, “The Things I  Used to do to Sneeze!: How to live an authentic life with awesome sensations” (found at Email her at:  [email protected] her via Twitter: @monicacost and Live  true!