Make lemonade

A friend online recently lost his job. He posted a picture of the letter letting him go. Contrary to how many of us would choose to react, this guy was ecstatic. He realized that by letting go of the job he thought he depended on, his life was now open to new and exciting opportunities that give him the chance to express and experience life his way.

So often, we look at life’s obstacles as disruptions in our lives, or worse, as mini-tragedies. We get so wrapped up in our misery and sorrow that we fail to realize that a new door has just opened up, providing exciting opportunities, and more importantly, giving us room in our life to accommodate something new.

I am reading an inspiring book called Window in the Wall, by June Peacock, a 94-year-old neighbor who decided at the age of 89 to write a memoir for her family. Mrs. Peacock (yes, that’s really her name) recounts her life from early childhood in New York, to the family farm in Pennsylvania, into adulthood – raising a family, losing a husband not once, but three times in her life, and several careers that she stumbled into along the way.

The ongoing theme of the book is “beauty from chaos.” June’s father taught her at an early age to cross out the letter “t” in “can’t.” There is always room to persevere, no matter how challenging a situation: You can!

She finds herself at various points on her journey asking herself, “How did I get here?” Each stage of chaos in her life has brought beauty through new and exciting opportunities that she never would have pursued voluntarily, but enriched her life beyond expectation when they came her way. She finds peace and comfort in a place she calls “The Cove,” a picturesque haven in the mountains of western North Carolina, which becomes a focal point and inspiration for the beauty in her life, even when times are challenging. (I have been there and it’s all that!)

Sometimes the wisdom of experience can be the greatest teacher. Listen carefully to the stories told by those who have been down the path. Learn from the lessons they willingly teach. More importantly, listen to that still, soft voice of the ages that steers you exactly where you need to go, even when you don’t want to.

When life’s obstacles get in your way, take the time climb over or walk around them instead of fretting over how you got there. For each roadblock and speedbump, there is always something around the bend waiting for you to partake and appreciate, even if you can’t see what it is from where you are standing.

There is a popular expression told in various ways, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” Sometimes the universe has to pry us out of our comfort zone – losing a job, a failed relationship, having to relocate – to force us to see the bigger and greater opportunities that exist for us in life. If your situation has been handing you lemons, you have a choice. You can be burdened by the sour fruit that will surely go bad, or you can mix it with the sweet blessings that await you and create a cool, refreshing glass of lemonade.

Many blessings…