As I sit here sweltering in our extraordinary UK heatwave, the metaphorical dimension of that saying almost fades away. The thought of – iced - lemonade has its attractions...
But let's stick with the metaphorical meaning for a moment: if Life gives you lemons, what do you do? What do you make?
What do you tell yourself?
What's the message you take from those lemons?
See, Life is not just about what happens to you. Mostly, it's about the sense you make of what has happened to you.
That goes for relationships, and pretty much everything else that happens in your life.
It's all about the sense that you make of it, the meaning that you give it.
On Saturday, I spent the day at an event where every speaker had a compelling tale to tell of hardship and struggle that finally led to success and happiness.
All of them had had an almighty quantity of lemons dumped on them. Usually from a great height. So many lemons that they were decidedly bruised and battered by them. Those 'lemons' included pretty much every major trauma you could think of.
So, did those speakers make lemonade?
Actually, they're all making meaning of the experience – positive meaning.
They're not asking themselves:
“How come I was minding my own business, and I ended up having half a ton of lemons dumped on my head?”
Is that a bad question, or what?
Will that help anyone to 'get out from under'?
For every one of them, the moment came when they asked themselves: “What meaning do I want to take from all these lemons? What do I want to do with them?”
What do you want to do with the disappointing stuff in your life?
What sense do you want to make of rhe relationships that haven't quite worked out?
What meaning will you give to them?
Will they be the things that brought bitterness into your life? The things that left scars and bruises?
Or will they be the things that taught you what not to do? And who NOT to be?
Those lemons can be the things that push – or inspire – you to step up to the plate.
Just like everyone else, you get a shedload of lemons. What message will you take from them?