I recently read a Top 10 comical bucket list. Of that list, the one that stuck with me was “While wearing a t-shirt that says ‘Life,’ stand on the street corner and hand out lemons to strangers.” We all know that saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well, when you’re provided a cancer diagnosis it’s difficult to squeeze that lemon. It’s hard to look at the positives in life at that time. Usually, your life feels like it is crashing around you. There’s nowhere to go as the walls are closing in. What do you do? How do you take that lemon and turn it into lemonade?
Finding the positivity in life is difficult, especially when we seem to live in a pessimistic world. Turning on the news often comes with news of war, crimes, and who dislikes who. I have a difficult time watching the devastation and sadness, so I often choose to watch news I know is more upbeat – one of our local stations that enjoy their time on air having fun, reporting on not just the sad, but also the happy stories that warm your heart.
I try to look at what could be called the Silver Lining. Sure my daughter comes home from school crying, but she came home and talked to me. She hugged me. She wanted my love. How often does that happen? Not very, especially since all I get from “tell me about your day” is “I forgot” or “good.” When I look at the Silver Lining, I’m changing my mental thinking from the negative to the much needed positive.
If you know me personally, you would know that I am someone who likes to talk. Keep in mind though it takes a while for me to get there. I’m often shy and reserved at first, watching the dynamics of the social group, determining who each person is and what their values are. Once I feel comfortable, my lips start to flap. Much of the time, it can be sarcastic in nature, other times it can be insightful, informative, or tender and caring. Once you get me talking about the things I’m passionate about (i.e. my family or fundraising) or the things I have lived through (adventures and cancer) then you can’t get me to stop. The benefit of talking is having the ability to release my feelings and emotions. It’s sharing stories that could help others in the future. Strangely enough, it’s calming. Talking to my support system, or at times anyone who will give me the time to listen, often provides an emotional outlet for me that in return gives me enough strength to crush the walls around me and escape.
Life is an up and down roller coaster of sorts. You have good days and bad. You have the happiest of happies and that saddest of sads. It’s what you do with the negatives that will help you through life. Look at the Silver Lining through those negative days. Look at what life still has to offer. Maybe you don’t want that sour lemonade, either way you look at it, work on looking at the positives. Many times it will bring you the peace you’re looking for.
“Keep your thoughts positive
because your thoughts become your words
Keep your words positive
because your words become your behavior
Keep your behavior positive
because your behavior becomes your habits
Keep your habits positive
because your habits become your values
Keep your values positive
because your values become your destiny.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
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