Category Archives: Relationship Reflections

Bitter Lemonade

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade

I am certain that many of us have heard this quite often. It is a statement that causes confusion for many people and gives hope to others.

Those that are confused are thinking about the extension of that idea. If life is what hands us the lemons, where do the sugar and water come from? How are we supposed to make lemonade without all of the ingredients? It life only provides the bitter, where does the sweet come from? How do we get past this?

Ponder this: A defective vehicle is referred to as a lemon. Pool game hustles are called lemon games. In addition to that, people who were viewed as having “tart” personalities are called lemons. It is very interesting that the word lemon is used to describe so many negative things.

So again, where does the sweetness come from? People assume that everything needed to make this alleged lemonade is provided. The fact is that WE have to make the bitter into the sweet. If life gives us lemons, we have to recognize what we have what we need within to can change those lemons into lemonade. (This is when hope comes in.)

People generally become hopeful about things when they feel as if they have control. People attempt to make moves towards success despite the struggles and obstacles that are presented when they feel like they are in control. Typically the only time that people remain positive about negative situations is when they are properly equipped to move forward.

When things get hard, or life gives us lemons, we have to recognize what is happening. We also have to be realistic about the possible outcomes. We have to be ready to try a few different recipes to perfect our “lemonade”. We cannot give up. We have to know that life will continue to move as it moves, the only thing that we can change is our minds and actions.

How we see the situation can influence how we respond to it. The more we are willing to live in truth, accept the truth, and move in truth, the more sweetness we will have for the bitter lemonade that life dishes out.

Practice What You Teach

Time and time again I find myself lost. Not lost like I don’t know where I am going, but lost as to how to get there. I know what my purpose is and I know what I am called to do. I am here to make a difference and to change the world. The world that I change may not be the natural world but if I can change how a person treats others I have accomplished my goal. If I can change the idea of a person from negative to positive then I have made a difference. I want to leave more than a memory when I am done serving my purpose here. I want to leave a legacy.

I think about the people that I allow into my life. The people that I allow in my space. The people that I allow in my mind. I think about the people that I allow to come in and disrupt. I also think about the people that come in and make a major impact. I think about the love that I have given and the pain that I have caused. I think about the relationship between truth and desire. I remember the feelings that were felt and how those feelings have shaped my current life. I am not heavily concerned with the opinion of others, except when those opinions are coming from those that have my best interest in mind.

Then I think about all of the people that said, “if you need anything, just let me know”. I think about how good it felt to have someone say that and feel as though they are genuine. I recall what it feels like to go to those people when I was in need, just to have them talk about me or tell me everything that I could have or should have done differently. People are so quick to judge a person’s situation until tragedy strikes. Then people are quick to say that they are always there to help. The quick mouth often comes with a slow hand. What is understood need not be explained.

When I get lost, I am not confused about where I am going, but I have to often adjust my plan and my actions of how to get there. I have to allow the right people in and protect myself from others. I have to be more responsible with who I invite into my journey. Everyone is not around so that they can help me rise. I understand that there will be some that come around just to impede my progress. Decisions that were made before cannot be made again, unless the same result is sought after. I plan to live a life of sanity. I do not intend on doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. I plan to make a difference. I plant o be the change. I plan to continue regardless of the obstacles.

I am planning to make this lesson one that I do not have to learn again, but one that I can teach.

Encouragement is Key

How hard is it to encourage someone when you feel like you are the one that needs encouragement? Do you close yourself off from people in an attempt to avoid pain? Do you invite others to dwell in the sorrow with you? Do you climb out of the dark place and press forward? Do you stand still and allow the heat of the sun to melt you away?

It is hard being strong. It is one of the hardest things to do. Especially when you see no end in sight. It feels like there is so much pressure that is pushing you deeper into discomfort.

Most people in the struggle want to get out of it. They don’t want to stay in a negative or difficult place. The ultimate goal is to escape the pain and achieve substantial success. I, personally, do not know anyone that wants to get out of the struggle and go back into it again. It is not a fun place to be. It feels amazing to have someone there with you on this journey that will lift you up. It is much more difficult to struggle alone than it is to have people to share the struggle with. It is not about struggling together but encouraging one another through the struggle.

More times than not, we need people more when we are in the struggle to keep us sane. It is hard enough to constantly think about how you will survive, let alone how you will overcome obstacles and thrive in a society that is against your come up. The struggle is hard but it increases the grind. When people are in the midst of the struggle they are more willing to try things that they would not otherwise try. They are willing to accept things that they would not typically accept. Silence often becomes a tool of avoidance and not one of growth.

Having encouraging people in your corner changes the narrative. It makes a difference to have someone who wants to see you do well. Not only do they want to see it, but they support it and encourage it. They assist in every way to ensure your mental stability stays in tact. A lot of people are quick to think that support is only financial. The most beneficial support is genuine support. Depending on the situation, finances may not fix the issue. There are some cases when only emotional support can help. There are situations that money cannot buy people out of. There are people that no amount of money can replace. It makes more sense to appreciate the good that life supplies rather than dwell on the problems.

Open Lines of Communication

Every time something happens in our life we want to talk to someone about it. We may not all want to talk to the same people but we all want someone to talk to. Some people talk to a parent, some have a number of friends. There are times when things happen that we do not want to bother those people with what we are going through. When we are in a relationship and those issues arise, we have to be willing to allow our mate to be our supporter. Just as we don’t want to bother our parents, family, or friends with what may be bothering us, we do not want to bother our mate. That’s the thing. When people really love you, they don’t feel bothered by your release of emotions. It is an amazing feeling to know that you have people in your corner. It feels astonishing to have the support of family and friends. It feels even better when that support is delivered by your mate.

I know what type of person I am in a relationship. With that being known, I know what I need in a relationship. I am very emotional in all aspects of the word. I am connected to my feelings. This does not mean that I am emotionally unstable (although that’s exactly what most men think when they hear the word “emotional”). It actually means that I am not afraid of acknowledging what I feel. In my opinion, one of the most important things in a relationship is having a man who understands me.

The only road to understanding is communication. If I do not disclose the things that trouble me or the things that bring me joy; how can I expect others to know? In a relationship, we want to be so private and so strong when things are not working in our favor. We try so hard to keep things to ourselves and handle them without others knowing. We do this mostly because we do not want anyone to be able to talk down about us. More times than not, we feel ashamed by being in the situation that we are in. So many of us get lost in the shuffle of trying to keep things in, being strong, having fun, maintaining, and struggling when it would be easier to just let it out.

There are times when a family member may not be as understanding as a friend. Maybe a friend is more objective than a mate. Nevertheless, the lines of communication should be open. When business is handled there is not hesitation to call and complain about what is not right and what we don’t like. When it comes to a relationship, we want to be silent and accept things just to have a certain status. When there is a breakdown in communication, there is a breakdown in productivity. A relationship, any kind of relationship, cannot thrive without effective communication. In order to communicate effectively, we have to open up and allow others in. We also have to be willing to go in ourselves.

Talking about feelings and emotions can be difficult. That does not mean that it should be avoided. A major problem in society is that people do not take the time to talk to one another. There is no actual clarity about issues. People talk at each other and behave as machines instead of human beings. Resolve cannot come if truth is left out of the equation. Unsolicited advice can ruin a relationship. Hence the reason why most people tend to solve problems alone without anyone being able to “advise” them. Relationships work better when ears are receptive and words are released in love and in due time.