That old saying relates to someone having misfortune, or being taken advantage of by someone else. Throughout history many people have been handed ‘lemons’ by life.
Winston Churchill was once told that he would never amount to anything, now we all know what he did with his lemons.
Michael Jordan was kicked out of his high school basketball team; he did not accept his lemons, later becoming one of the world’s greatest basketball players.
Audrey Hepburn, who lost everything, suffered with malnutrition and depression while living under Nazi occupation. She became a famous film star, and used her lemons to help others.
‘When given a lemon, make lemonade’ is a saying used to encourage an optimistic and positive attitude to a difficult situation.
Lemons are sour but lemonade is sweet.
One of the first steps to turning lemons into lemonade is to be aware of our negativity towards the situation. Look for the lesson, as there is always one to be learnt. We can also think of it as a challenge and focus on the solution.
We have within us the ability to overcome unforeseen circumstances that happen if we are willing to face them, by looking at both sides of the situation. If we consider the worst and then at the best outcome, we can then make a plan to deal with both, and act upon it.
Be mindful of what we say, as it has a positive or negative reaction on our attitude in life.
“I am not very good when things go wrong.” this reinforces the negative.
We can change what we say to the positive.
“When things go wrong I focus on a solution, I look forward to the challenge.”
Being realistic is important, everyone has faults and everyone has bad days. We need to strike a balance in life as no one’s life is all good or all bad.
Life is full of lemons, some lives have more than others. If we look at the lemon as a means to a new beginning it can open our minds to many possibilities.
Shifting our thinking by visualising a positive result sometimes opens our mind to possibilities that we would not otherwise have thought about.
We can accept the lemon as a bitter fruit, or we can think about the alternatives, and how the lemon can change things into something exciting, like a lemon meringue pie.
I have found that when I have had lemons handed to me, that the lessons that I learnt from those situations had a much deeper and more lasting effect on me and it taught me how to deal with similar situations in my life. I think it is because they happened in some of the most painful and difficult times in my life.
I also think that when we have had lemons in our life, we become more sensitive to not only our needs but also the needs of other people as well.
We cannot always control things that happen to us in our life, and we should not blame others, as sometimes the lemon just falls from the tree.
I think the thing to remember is that when life hands you a lemon, look at them for what they are. They not only make good lemonade, they are a handy reminder that we learn more from the bitter lemons than we do from the sweet times in life.
Here’s a poem I found that nicely sums up the message:
Life handed him a lemon
As life sometimes will do
His friends looked on in pity,
Assuming he was through
They came upon him later
Reclining in the shade
In calm contentment,
Drinking a glass of lemonade.
Enjoy your lemonade.