BY SUSAN SCHABACKER
Instead of labeling your life lessons as mistakes or failures, reflect on what went wrong, then improve your outlook and move forward. Sometimes it’s the setbacks that are setups for opportunities that can be blessings in disguise.
If you’ve been given some lemons or thrown some curveballs, no need to carry them with you. Make peace with what’s been; it’s in the past. You are fully capable of being the best version of you and living life to the fullest. Negative memories don’t have to hurt or haunt you. You can be free from them. Focus on living in the now and moving forward to embrace your full future – full of hope, opportunities, and blessings (including those in disguise).
Bad break-up getting you down? Financial constraints constraining you? Tired of being tired and burned out from bad burn out? Whatever your situation, start with your perspective and have patience piecing the puzzle together.
Use those lemons for anything lemony you like (like lemonade or lemon meringue). And, it’s not just the zest you can put to good use, but also the sour juice. You may feel like a rookie in the minor league with another off season, sidelined on the bench, but the more you practice batting, the less intimidating those curveballs will be. You just may hit a home run next time, but take it one bat at a time and one base at a time.
Affirm your power to overcome, moving forward from whatever or whomever held you back. Write positive affirmations and then say them aloud until you believe them. Speak from your heart. Affirm what will help your life improve and release what hinders it. Here is a guideline below, but tailor the words to your own life.
I know I’m not perfect and that’s perfectly okay. I am who I am and here I am now for a reason, accepting and appreciating myself as a whole. I choose to reclaim my life and let go of any source of negativity. I am empowered. I have the freedom to choose how I want to live my life and who I want to spend my time with. I make peace with what went wrong and choose to learn valuable life lessons from the experiences I’ve had. I choose a positive perspective and look for blessings in disguise. I will stay full of love and acceptance of myself and others. I have faith things will improve and have hope now and for the future.
Write your affirmations down, which helps anchor them to your life, and then sign your name. Writing and speaking can be therapeutic.
Learn to express your feelings and emotions by letting them out instead of bottling them up to avoid internal combustion. Like a pot of boiling water, contain the liquid with a lid and it keeps heating up. Eventually, it may boil over as the temperature and pressure increase. Inevitably, vapor or steam rise from the water, just as our feelings and emotions rise. Boiling water can scald and be hazardous to your health and safety. But, while boiling water could potentially burn, it can also make nutritiously delicious meals and soothing hot beverages.
As you reflect on a bad experience, remember that it is in the past and envision what you wanted instead. Then ask yourself three basic questions:
- What would be your ideal outcome for what happened?
- If you were able to go back and relive this, what might you have done differently?
- If a situation like this were to occur again, what steps might you take to have a more favorable outcome?
You can opt for a better outcome. While we aren’t in control of every aspect of our lives, we do have ultimate control over what we think and believe, which leads to how and what we communicate (what we say) and our actions (what we do).
Reassess, repurpose, and reclaim your life experience. This is your life, your time, and both are precious. It’s time to hit some home runs, so take all those lemons and get zesting!