When Life Gives You Lemons

I consider myself a truly charmed girl.  For most of my life, I have been blessed with amazing parents who have always been supportive and encouraging, wonderful friends who have stood the test of time, a good education, a job I enjoy, and my fair share of love and romance.  It has been easy to coast thru whatever obstacles came my way with such a strong foundation.  However, life does not always turn out the way we plan it to no matter how hard we try to maneuver it to, and there are some things that can change unexpectedly—like the loss of a parent, a bitter falling out with a friend, realizing you need to let go of a job or a relationship you are comfortable in, or finding yourself in the middle of a health, financial, or personal crisis. It can be difficult to accept this when you are used to controlling things.  The fact that you need to move forward blindly without knowing what will happen the next day, and the day after that, can grip people with fear.  I’ve been thru something similar recently, and I would like to share some tips that might help those of you who may be struggling at this point of your life.  After all, being Kikay and seeing things thru rose-colored glasses cannot always guarantee a totally smooth ride.  Here are ways to deal with turbulence with grace:

  1. Pray. Without ceasing.  In the beginning, it is easy to be upset, to blame God for your problems, to resent not being given something that you want.  But then you will start to realize that you really have no recourse but to trust the Master Planner, who created the Universe and designed your life with the same hands.  Accept that everything that is happening to you today is meant to make you become a better and stronger person, and trust that one day you will wake up living your dream and realize so many more blessings because of this struggle.  I am fond of offering novena prayers because most of the time they really work.  Look up the novena of St. Rita of Cascia and St. Jude, who are both patrons of ‘impossible’ cases.  Also, make time to visit the Blessed Sacrament.  It is always such a serene place and you feel so protected afterwards.  Pray for your friends’ intentions too.  Pray
  2. Get productive. Make a list of all the things you wanted to do but never got around to, and get started on it asap.  It can be things like getting a piece of furniture made, following up on important documents, applying for a scholarship for further studies, or a number of bucket list items, places to go and things to do and see.  Whether big or small, pat yourself on the back as you tick off each item.   No one and nothing can bring a good girl down—so go out there and prove it.

    Chop chop!

    Chop chop!

  3. Talk it out. Women usually cope with hardships by talking them out with people, specifically trusted friends and family members who have your best interests at heart.  It’s just the way we are wired.  By hearing different people’s perspectives, validating our decisions and choices with them, we feel more supported and safe.  As for men, usually they deal with problems by stuffing it into a box and hiding it under a mountain of work and activity.  Which is fine too, as these serve as good distractions.  Just be sure you get to talk to someone you trust if you really need to get things off your chest.  It is never healthy to keep pain bottled up for too long.
  4. Read. I find that reading also helps broaden your perspective a lot.  There are books like The Secret, that (if you cut through all the new-agey stuff and get to its core) remind you to remain positive no matter what, because having a good attitude will always attract back good things into your life.  Other books that enlighten you on your journey—The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, or The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery.  If you’ve read them before, try reading them again—the meaning and significance changes each time.  Alchemist
  5. Socialize. You may not feel like it at the time, but this can be a very healthy way of setting aside your troubles and burdens for the time being.  Go out, make new acquaintances, explore your interests, laugh at mundane things, enjoy your glass of wine.  Remember that line from Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata:  “With all its  sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.  Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy.”  In fact read the whole poem, it is truly uplifting.

    Touche'

    Touche’

  6. Do something new. It can also be refreshing to try something that never even crossed your mind before.  Art classes perhaps?  Saxophone lessons?  Calligraphy?  Yoga?  You never know when you might stumble into a new passion, and discover how creative and talented you might actually be.

    Just believe :)

    Just believe 🙂

  7. Be grateful. I can’t stress enough how important this is for well-being.  Be grateful for each new morning.  The fact that you get to wake up each day, full of promise and possibility, spending time with people you love or doing something you like is such a huge blessing it itself.  Smile at the kindly old man going about his work.  Greet guards and service people.  Look people in the eyes when you talk to them.  Savor you favorite sandwich.  Appreciate the little favors people do for you.  Stop worrying.  Sooner or later you will be walking with a spring in your step and a smile in your heart.  Smile
  8. Make an effort. Try your best to look good, even if you feel like there’s a lump of coal at the pit of your stomach.  When you look good, you are a bit more confident, you feel less sorry for yourself, and it gets easier to get through the day.  This is the time to love yourself (with an extra helping of sweetness).

    A little retail therapy never hurt anyone. ;)

    A little retail therapy never hurt anyone. 😉

  9. Be hopeful. Never lose hope and never give up on something you truly want.  So keep yourself optimistic and know that whatever is meant for you will find its way on your lap one of these days.  Negative events don’t need to turn you into a monster, snapping at everyone and everything in sight.  Continue to love, share, give, and be a good person despite it all.  Live life without regret.  Life
  10. Be you. Realize that sometimes, crappy things happen to the best of us.  You could have been completely misunderstood, completely hurt, or completely fooled, whatever—guess what, you are not the first one to have experienced this.  Others have been through even worse.  So give yourself some time to cope, and at some point accept that none of these things happened because of you or anything you did.  Or maybe it did, but hey you learned from the experience and know better now.  At the end of the day, it’s just life, and when life throws you lemons, then learn to make the best lemonade.

    Lemonade anyone?

    Lemonade anyone?

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One thought on “When Life Gives You Lemons

  1. Pingback: Lemony Challenges | highheelstoFIFO

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