I was in the presence of the most perfect little lemon tree recently. I was admiring the potency of the colors, especially the yellow of the lemons looking like the world had used an over eager Instagram filter in the moments of its creation. I was having a moment with this lemon tree. After I moved past the visual, the all too often heard phrase “when life hands you lemon, make lemonade” came into my mind. And in that moment I thought to myself, “that’s such bullshit”.
When life hands you lemons in the form of pain, anger, resentment, betrayal, hurt, loneliness, frustration (insert you own unique brand of ugh and ick here), I think you need to suck on the lemon for a minute and dwell in the bitter and unpleasant experiences that accompany the moments that we don’t like- the moments that we didn’t want to happen. You have to honor the bitter before you can honestly say to yourself, “this lemon might be bitter, but with some locally sourced refined sugar-free lavender syrup and alkalinized water it might taste ok, I might event like it and see it as a gift”. What if you allowed yourself to unapologetically sit in your feelings when they show up and then move into the opportunity for growth or expanded awareness that generally accompanies our pain? Your painful moments, and the stories that they author might read differently if they flowed into a place of authentic gratitude instead of staying stunted in the negative. If you flowed into a place of love and gratitude instead of staying in the story sponsored by the pain.
As I was having my lemon tree moment and thinking about all of this the image of a wave came into my mind. Waves individuate themselves from the collective by cresting and crashing into the shore, before receding back into the ocean. Ever since reading the great Rumi’s words- “you are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop” I’ve tried to conceptualize consciousness using the analogy of the ocean to represent our collective soul, our shared experiences and ultimately the love and divinity of the Universe that we can surrender into. Like the wave, our feelings individuate themselves from our collective experience and like the wave there is a natural ebb and flow- crashing and receding. The idea of chasing the wave back into the ocean to try and recreate the wave over and over so that it can crash into us over and over sounds ludicrous. Yet somehow, we relieve the story of our pain over and over long past the experience of the feeling, long past the wave has crashed. What if we let the wave come and go over and over without any attachment to it? And what if every time the wave went back in we chose to also recede back into the love that fills up the ocean of energy that exists within us?
What if, instead of allowing that one experience to dictate the entire repertoire of our life, we just wrote one song about it? Or maybe one album, (especially if you’re Beyonce- because, Lemonade).
What if you allowed into your mind the idea that you are not your feelings but the awareness witnessing the feeling? Have a glass of that lemonade and let me know how it tastes.