This year, life gave me lemons.
Ex boyfriend finds new girlfriend.
Dog throws up on the back seat of the car.
I wasn’t ready to make lemonade. I wanted to shut the door to my world and block out a pain that ached deep in my bones. I longed for a moment of peace when I could finally close my eyes without feeling abandoned. Alone. Broken.
But life had other plans. Doesn’t it always?
It pushed forward as I stood still, overwhelmed and lost. There was a lesson to be had somewhere in all of this, a reason chunks of my heart had been taken without my permission. There had to be. Yet still I resisted, paralysed and in my own way.
Life kept whispering though, hinting that the only way to learn the lesson, to move on, was to make the stupid lemonade. And so I did.
How you ask?
Firstly, you must choose yourself above all others. I know this is scary, uncomfortable even. How easy it is to look for external gratification instead of searching within. But the road ahead is long and you need to make the choice to keep pushing forward, to not stay lost. You’ve got this. To choose is to heal.
Secondly, you must unwind the pretzel like knots of your stomach one by one and dig into the deepest parts of yourself. Those parts you keep locked away because they have the potential to destroy. Pull them out and let the fear wash over you. Watch intently as they try to unsuccessfully bury you only to later drift away as you give them less and less power. To face our fears is to heal.
Thirdly, you must love yourself madly. Take 2 hour-long hot bubble baths with a glass of wine and rest your head when the world gets too loud. Play games and laugh. Allow extra time for you my darling, because your heart is now healing and with that comes epic responsibility, patience and a mad understanding of one’s self. To love yourself is to heal.
Fourthly you must forgive. Forgive yourself and forgive others. Forgive the words spoken and the lost words never to be heard. To do anything else is to invite a poison that rots from the inside out, consuming all that stands in its way. To forgive is to heal.
Fifthly, you must rebuild. Be patient in your pursuit, building slowly, piece by piece with a little help from those around you. Take their hand when you feel unsteady and be proud on the days you stand alone tall. To rebuild is to heal.
And lastly, you must let go. You must accept that these are your lemons and to fight it would mean to stay stuck and in pain. Motionless. Carry your heart forward and leave the past where it belongs. To let go is to heal.
To make lemonade is to heal.