I had a friend who was always telling me, "it's a matter of perspective." At the time I thought it was pure wisdom, but now, for the life of me, I can't even remember what he was talking about!
In a recent blog, Terri St. Cloud wrote about making lemonade from lemons. In regards to a slight screw up with an order she'd made, Terri wrote:
what struck me was they weren't lemons at all.
but you only knew that if you looked at them from the right angle.
it's all in the angle, isn't it????
I'm reminded of a really dark time in my life. I coped as best I could, but eventually downed a couple bottles of OTC sleep aids. My thought was not so much to kill myself as to have the freedom to lie down and go to sleep til my pain was over. I know, it doesn't make much sense and it didn't make sense then either, but I was hurting and was oh so tired.
A peaceful sleep is not exactly what happened. I did not get to take a 20 year nap and wake up like Rip Van Winkle. Instead I ended up in a hospital throwing up in a bucket, scared and embarrassed. Then I had to face my husband and try to explain. I don't think we said anything to my kids. I learned well from my family of origin how to side-step, forget to mention, and/or ignore the elephant in the living room.
A day or so after this incident I was still feeling pretty wounded, but there was an official-must-attend function my husband and I got dressed up and went to. Yup, I bucked up. I presented a happy face. I played my part. In the course of a conversation with a guy with lots of gold stars on his shoulder, the subject of my husband's next tour of duty - I think it was a ship on the other side of the country that was readying for a long deployment - came up. I might have complained but I doubt it. Regardless, the Admiral, looked me in the eye and told me "sometimes, Mary, you have to make lemonade out of lemons."
Depression is often defined as anger turned inward. For weeks after that tete-a-tete I saw red at the very mention of lemons. (I did, however, make a lemon merange pie for said Admiral. I've often wondered if he ever got the dig.)I quit contemplating suicide and enjoyed plotting murder. It took years for me to get over it.
I'm glad to say that I've made friends with most of my demons, and lemons. (I just noticed there is only one letter difference between demon and lemon! Ha!) Today I was even able to agree with and really "get" what Terri was saying. Plus, with lots of hindsight, even what the Admiral was saying, even though I still think he said it with little tact or compassion.
Aren't most things easier to swallow with a little bit of sugar? Or put another way, perspective?
Sorrow commented on a recent post, "I love the quote "perspective, USE it or lose it"! I agree, I like it pretty well too. But mostly I like being in a place where there is perspective, rather than a big black cloud hanging overhead making everything look bleak.
Here's one more quote for those who can handle it. I don't know if it was before or after she went to prison, but I actually heard Martha Stewart say on her TV show, "When life gives you lemons, make Lemon Mint Risotto." I guess she's done that and more with her share of life's lemons.
My prayer for you today: if you should find yourself surrounded with lemons, enjoy their sunny yellow color, their fresh smell and tangy taste and while you're at it, try teaching yourself to juggle.