When Lemons Turn to Lemonade

Triggers. Those lovely little emotional downers that send us swirling down the drain to what may feel like a bottomless pit. They are the lemons in our lives that remind us of our own humanity. Triggers are handles on our own personal garbage. And they keep us locked down until we release the baggage that weighs so heavily upon us.

We have all experienced bad things in life – and how much time we waste dealing with that broken record in our minds! He says this. Which really means I am this. Or she does such and such. Which means she thinks this or that. We make meaning where there is none. My belief is there is a very different meaning lurking underneath all that noise, if only we had the ears to listen.

In German we call it Kopfkino – or mind chatter – that buckles us into our seats. We are trapped by these thoughts, an endless cycle of whirling nonsense. And we live as if the film and its accompanying soundtrack playing in our heads were real.

In times like these, it is best to step back and take a broader view. Look at that Big Picture that tells you a different story, a greater one. Connect the dots. Step out of the box into a larger reality.

The truth is we can think whatever we like. But which thoughts truly serve us — and which ones hold us hostage by the relentless thrust of fear?

I am a big fan of turning those lemons into lemonade, a sweeter nectar than the taste left in our mouths by what we think is actually happening.

The next time you get triggered by some unrelated event, remember that what is happening now is not what happened “then”. You get to choose joy at any given moment. Perhaps in the process you will zoom out to that gorgeous mosaic that makes up your life.

It is there, if you wish to find it. Lemonade and all.

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