Life is not easy. Especially when you are in a family of invisible illnesses and disabilities. It can be serious, funny and downright hard! But we make it. Just like everyone else. We just do it in a different style.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lemons, Lemonade or Someting Else?

Lately, I have been listening to many motivational speakers and coaches. As part of my goal to begin public speaking in 2010, it is important to get to know who is in the industry and what people are saying and how they are saying it. Part of my nature is to observe, take notes and draw conclusions based on my own experience. For the most part, I love what I hear!

There are so many great people out there, making it their mission to help others. It is uplifting, encouraging and yes, motivating.

Throughout my audio online visits, I kept hearing a certain phrase over and over,

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

I personally don’t like that phrase. Why?

Because, it is so limiting.

As human beings, we have the potential to create so many things with our lives. Our minds are capable of creating ideas that eventually turn into products, companies, movements; forces beyond what the original thought intended. When I hear that phrase, I envision people squeezing the difficult parts of their lives into a container, adding sweeteners, and then, trying to enjoy the finished product. Somehow, that is not appetizing. Nor do I think it is practical.

I decided to do some research on the lowly lemon. What I found blew my mind away!

That one fruit is part of our lives in so many ways, most of us are not even aware of it.


  • make furniture polish

  • strengthen our immune systems

  • purify our blood

  • stop bleeding from a cut

  • aid our digestion

  • create cosmetics and skin products

  • flavor foods

  • kill bacteria

  • keep other foods from spoiling

  • Lemons are non-toxic to children, pets and the environment

  • The scent of lemons is invigorating and refreshing

So, how did this wonder plant get the negative connotation of being attached to a bad or broken thing? How did such a plant with so much potential become synonymous with adversity, loss and failure? Maybe some scholar would like to chime in with a comment, but the source I read believed it began as a metaphor arising from its bitter taste.

I can see it. Something that tastes this bad CAN’T be any good! It is obviously not a good thing? Or can it be? We see from it uses that lemons are good, even though they taste sour. So what do I take away from this?

Here is my thought for you today.

Take a look at those sour, bitter experiences in your life. Examine those failures, losses and adversities. Perhaps, they can create so much more than just lemonade. Perhaps they can purify your intentions. Perhaps, they can clean away the bacteria of doubt and denial. Perhaps, they can freshen up the recesses of your mind with a clean, non-toxic attitude. Or keep some part of you from spoiling in decay. Maybe there is more that adversity can do than make a sweet drink that you will try to swallow.

So, do you still want to just make lemonade? I don’t.

I don't claim to know how or why we are given the losses in our lives. I don't claim to like the bitter taste of adversity. But, the next time you feel you have been given a lemon in your life, don’t just mix a drink.

Plant the seeds and grow lemon trees. Sell the fruit to companies, the juice to chefs and the skins for furniture oil. Clean your house. Color your hair.

Find out how those lemons in your life can become so much more than what they seem.

Lemons are Not Just for Lemonade: 31 Uses for Lemons and Lemon Juice

Online Etymology Dictionary