When Life Gives You Lemons

“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass… get up, get up, get up!!! Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.”

Steve Maraboli

Life is going to deliver disappointments.


It’s inevitable.


If you’re blessed with the gift of life, there’ll be joyous moments, mundanity and times of painful lessons through which you’ll grow or remain feeling “stuck”.


The real power lies in realising you can choose how to respond.


Back in 1997, I wrote a dissertation on the experiences of Black and Asian Deaf people.  


It was picked up by a programme for Deaf people and used as research.  


The programme’s producer passed my details on to a fellow producer, who was looking for a sign language interpreter to sign some educational programmes about the Caribbean.  I wasn’t qualified, but I was (and still am) Black.


I’d started a new job in January 1998, beginning my career in management and had just registered as a trainee sign language interpreter.  Life was looking up.


The producer travelled up from London with her interpreter to audition me.  I passed the screen test. My signing style was “perfect” for the target audience, who were deaf children at Key Stage 3 level.


An £800 contract with the BBC for five days’ work!  I was excited and scared in equal measures.


Two days before I was due in London for the tv studio training, I found myself in Accident & Emergency.  The doctor diagnosed my excruciating symptoms: the pregnancy test was positive. I was having an ectopic pregnancy.  I was to be admitted to a ward, have an ultrasound scan in the morning and remain in hospital for five days.


I protested.  I couldn’t possibly take time off.  I’d just started a new job. It was 11PM on Wednesday evening and I was supposed to be in London on Friday working.


WIthin an hour of arriving, I was being rushed into theatre as my body began to shut down.  I’d almost died from internal bleeding.


It was a painful lesson.  


Your health comes first.


People will cope without you.  Contingency plans are put in place to deal with unforeseeable situations.  


I spent the next 6 weeks recuperating.


Healing from the trauma – emotionally, mentally and spiritually – took much longer.  I needed people to help me understand that the fear, stress, emotion and energy was still locked in my physical body and needed releasing.


The lessons from that experience continue to yield greater insights with deeper levels of personal development and compassion for myself and others.


You are not a victim of your circumstances.


You are not your circumstances.


You can live with regret or allow wisdom and growth through adversity.


To quote Nelson Mandela:

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”  


If you have events in your life that you feel are holding you back, you might enjoying reading Robert Scaer MD’s book, ‘8 Keys to brain-Body Balance (8 Keys to Mental Health)’