When Life Gives You Lemons...
Kitty Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT
Career Transition and Job Search Coach
At the risk of sounding a little whiny, last week was a rough week for me. My dog got sick--and not just your regular, run of the mill sick. He was the passing-blood-like-he-might-be-hemorrhaging-internally, sick. Needless to say, it scared me! He is okay now, but his emergency trip to the vet and the after-care took some precious time out of my otherwise pre-planned and organized week's schedule.
On top of that, I got entangled with a person with whom I had an unusual difficulty communicating. Communication is usually my strong suit, but not this time. I got frustrated. The other person got frustrated. It wasn't pretty. Can you relate?
Additionally, I was reminded this week of a particularly painful period in my life...one that I made it through relatively unscathed, all things concerned. In fact, I was reminded of just how lucky I am to have gotten this far and to have extracted myself from an extremely toxic and potentially dangerous situation.
All of that added up to making it feel like an especially challenging week. It also reminded me of the adage, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."
You have heard that saying, I am sure. Similar admonishments include, "Make the best of a bad situation." Or, "Look for the silver lining in every bad situation." (That was one of my mom's favorites, and she was good at practicing it, too.)
The point? Regardless of the adversity you may be facing in your life at any moment, and no matter serious it may be, (and I know some people are dealing with some serious issues)...they are all just temporary. You know the other adage about "This too shall pass." Well, it does, eventually.
While my mom was great at looking for and often finding silver linings, she was also a worrier. I hate that she spent so much of her life worrying about things that never happened. She fretted over the most trivial things. When she passed away, did any of it matter? Not one bit.
I believe that a key to a happy life is to learn the lesson that you are to learn from every situation, both good and bad, and move on. If you make a mistake, instead of beating yourself up over or it continuing to dwell on it, how about vowing to yourself that you won't make the same mistake again?
If something truly tragic strikes you in your life, then look for how you may help others once you have healed and gotten yourself through it. We all need guides on occasion, don't we? Don't we look for someone who has traveled a particular path ahead of us so they can assure us that it's going to be okay? Perhaps if you have had the worse thing ever to happen to you and you survived it, you can show someone else how they will survive, too.
Last week, I wrote about life being about the journey rather than the destiny. This week my message is that sometimes we have to look for the blessings in unpleasant situations, but they are there for the looking. What lemons do you have on your hands today? What are you going to do with them?
Until next time.