I know Beyonce would have me make lemonade but honey, right now I can’t even find the pitcher. The thought of making lemonade from the lemons life gives you is a lovely one but we often forget that it’s an actual process. The message is always the same; turn struggle into triumph, turn pain into healing, turn bitterness into forgiveness. Now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it’s certainly not that easy.
As someone perpetually hell bent on sending light and love out into the atmosphere, I’ve found myself struggling against all of my instincts not to become bitter. The way I came about my lemons allowed me to understand why the stereotype of the angry, bitter black woman exists; where there’s a stereotype there’s usually a truth that feeds it. That truth being that the taste of these lemons has left a bitterness in my mouth and I ran out of sugar about three pitchers ago.
There’s not many places around allowing me to borrow sugar.
So here’s the question…What do you do when the bitterness of your lemons makes for a crappy pitcher of lemonade?
CaN I BorRow SoME SUGA?!
I woke up angry and bitter a few mornings ago; it was random. I previously had a good day but for some reason woke up with a dark cloud around me. Sometimes emotions catch you even on good days. As I sat and stewed in my resentments I realized; I was indeed becoming bitter. I need to correct the situation ASAP and here’s how I plan to do it.
Don’t Rush the Recipe
At times we can become so eager to taste the lemonade that we try to rush through all the steps that make it worth while. We become enamored with the idea of coming out on top that we forget to take the necessary steps in turning a sour situation into a sweet outcome. It takes more than blasting Lizzo’s Truth Hurts on repeat, working out vigorously for your revenge bawdy or knowing all the words to Lemonade the album. I’m guilty to all.
It takes more than time. Fighting against bitterness takes work on the inner self to correct all mental and emotional damage that occurred to give you those lemons in the first place. I’ve even gone so far as to name my lemons, there’s Anger (that bitch is bitter), Pessimism, and Doubt.
I enrolled into anger management coaching once I realized that I no longer had control over my temper; though my storm is a quiet one, when it rages…it RAGES HOT. My little yoga breathes and safe mental space cower in the face of my temper. I needed help. It had begun to influence my thinking and my overall well-being; turning my gentle spirit into this lady…
My anger is fanned or encouraged by my bitterness so in finding a way to manage my anger I am denying my bitterness the sustenance it needs to continue on.
Subsequently I found that my thinking had become more toxic
“HOW TF COULD HE?!”
“THEY GOT ME F***** UP!”
“I WISH I COULD KICK THE WHOLE WORLD IN THE BALLS!”
An endless cycle of negative thoughts began devouring my mind. If my temper is the flames then my toxic thoughts were the match. Each thought is like a strike against a dry surface, waiting for my temper to ignite. I’m not saying that my emotions and thoughts weren’t warranted but they are not at all healthy and ultimately the only person suffering is me. My anger management coach suggested that I start gratitude journaling as a way to find the good things even the mist of the bad.
The JOUR app is free and easy to use. You can choose options that guide you through anxiety or forgiveness; or you can just use it as a personal journal. I fervently use it whenever I feel angry to understand the source and guide myself to healthier thinking.
The trickle down is continuous as my pessimism and anger mix well into doubt. Doubting that things will eventually turn sweet. Doubting that the wounds I have will heal. Staying grounded in my faith helps to clear out the deception that things won’t get better. I surround myself with those who remind me of times when I’ve triumphed in the face of doubt and I steady myself in that faith. Because If I’m not careful anger, pessimism and doubt make the perfect pitcher of Diet, Sugar Free OLD People Lemonade and no one, NO ONE wants a glass of that!
That truth being that the taste of these lemons has left a bitterness in my mouth and I ran out of sugar about three pitchers ago.
HEAVY ON THE SALT
Using your bitterness in a way that is useful is a lesson you either learn from life or don’t. You can choose to walk around with the sour face from sucking on those lemons or you can transform them into something extraordinary. The things is…it doesn’t have to be lemonade. In truth, I don’t even like lemonade i.e. the formula of healing and forgiveness that works for others will not work for me. I’m short on sugar these days but have an excess of fiery tequila!
My recipe for healing resembles one for a lemon-lime margarita, heavy on the salt and sugar rim. I may heal but I will not be the same, I pack a punch now. Beautifully intoxicating. I own my bitterness by being self aware that it exists and won’t deny those who dare take a sip. When you can’t make lemonade, make MARGARITAS!
My healing recipe has included self reflection, transparency with a dash of dependency with those I trust. I give voice to my anger without dwelling on it and eventually I will transform that bitterness into mere cautiousness; protecting my heart while finding the belief that there are things/people in this world who can match my light.
Those who will compliment my taste.
There are days where it feels as though I have an excess amount of lemons with no room for another jug of lemonade. It’s on those days that I am force to pour it all down the drain, I have to let it go because I can’t hold onto it. Some of you have a refrigerator full of lemonade and every time you look at it you’re reminded of the bitterness. You need to throw it out. You need to reinvent something else from that pain.
Remember your healing recipe will look different. Just ensure you’re not sucking too long on sour lemons only to complain about the bitterness.Take back control. Look at what you have and get creative about how to deal with it all.
Plus, there’s so many drinks you can make with lemons, don’t waste your energy frustrated about not being able to make lemonade.
Millennial Lesson: Make Your Own Healing Recipe
Ok Builders! Share the names of your LEMONS below and Let’s Build the best possible drink from out sour situations.