Updated: Jan 18
No, you don't make lemonade...you take them and squeeze them back into life's eye!
My youngest son, James, gave me this pearl of wisdom when he was about four years old. He shouted it out from his car seat while we were driving. I started laughing so hard I nearly had to pull over. Kids say the darndest things! He didn't actually come up with that gem on his own, he had been watching the Amazing World of Gumball and heard it there. Well, James is fourteen now...he hasn't uttered anything that sagely lately but he does remember when he gave me that one. I have never forgot it.
What does it mean? It means that crappy things have happened to each of us and sometimes we try to make something positive out of the experience (like making lemonade) and sometimes we need to go all Rambo back at life (like squeezing lemons back into life's eye). Maybe not so much Rambo as Scarlett O'Hara. Do you remember that scene in Gone With The Wind when the war is over and Scarlett is standing on her war ravaged property, her clothes in tatters, tears streaming down her face and she dramatically raises her fist up to the skies and says:
"As God is my witness, as God is my witness they're are not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when its all over, I'll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat, or kill, as God is my witness I'll never be hungry again."
Yeah! You go get 'um, girll! They will be so sorry they ever messed with you! While I have never been that hungry (thank God) and I have not had to lie, cheat or steal....I could definitely relate to Scarlet's determination and fury.
My dad has a saying (he actually has lots of sayings), one that he likes to say often is: "I am not in this to be a loser". If we each had a tag line below our name that would definitely be my dad's...Michael X. Harrington "I am not in this to be a loser." For those of you who know him, I am sure, you would agree. It says so much with so few words. Its so translatable too. You can use this line from anything and everything...from being challenged by a major health issue to trying to open a jar of pickles. Think how empowering it is to say to cancer: "f-u- I am not in this to be a loser." Go ahead, use it the next time the pickles are giving you a hard time, I guarantee you will feel empowered and that pickle jar will be very sorry it ever messed with you!
Why is my dad's tag line so memorable? Because its about taking control. There is something so empowering about taking the reigns of your life and taking control. Events, situations, illnesses will always be happening to us while we are alive on this planet. It is why were put here. To learn and grow. Unfortunately, the greatest growth we experience is through pain, challenge and adversity. Rising above it and finding the lessons in a particular challenge is crucial to over coming it, or at least, coming to terms with it. Sometimes we can over come it by making lemonade, such as, my essential oil and reiki business which grew out of my anxiety and panic attacks. I very easily could have just hermited (not sure if its a word, but I like it) in a room and waited for the world to pass me by, but I didn't. I first went all Scarlett O'Hara on my anxiety and panic and said: "You are not going to lick me, I am not in this to be a loser!" (Do you like how I combined both quotes together for one big dramatic super quote?). After going all Scarlett O'Hara, I did a deep dive into what I needed to do to take control of my situation. It took a long time, years in fact, however, I am getting there. Out of the "squeezing lemons into life's eye " mode came the lemonade mode which is Little Flower. I managed to take some really sour tart lemons and make lemonade which I could share with others. I think it made the Universe happy. I hope so.
Last month life threw another curve ball at our family. When "The Event" first happened, I was in disbelief, then anger, then despair, then acceptance, then Rambo/Scarlett mode (not even sure if I was following the stages of grief, however, I'm pretty sure Rambo/Scarlett mode is not one of them). When it first happened I wanted to just curl up and go into a ball and forget the world. Sometimes its hard being the adult/parent/responsible party. What was the movie from the 1960s? "Stop the World, I Want To Get Off!" Yup! My sentiments exactly! I wanted to shut down everything...including Little Flower as it was ALL just TOO much. I hit the wall...it was the straw that broke the camel's back....and all the other euphemisms for: "that's all I can stans, I can't stans no more!" Thankfully, it only took a few hours for me to accept what was happening was happening, so I switched to Scarlett Mode. We are still dealing with The Event, however, because I chose to change the lense on how I looked at the situation, The Event is no longer overwhelming. It is a challenge to be managed with love and grace.
Changing our own outlook on any given adversity is the gamechanger. Going from angry/victim to determined/warrior/hero makes all the difference. The good news is, we can choose the lense through which we view our current circumstances at any time. It's part of our Free Will. There is no shame in seeing things through the angry lense or the victim lense...just don't leave that lense on your camera indefinitely. So, how do you change the lense on your personal camera? I wish I had some complex list of instructions, however, I don't...you just choose to change your outlook. There are a few really great books on this type of inside out thinking. Here are two of my favorites: The Inside Out Revolution by Michael Neill and for those challenged with anxiety, A Little Peace of Mind by Nicola Bird. Check them out if this type of thinking interests you. I know they are two books that are in my personal tool box.
As I read recently...life is not happening TO you, its happening FOR you...