We’ve all heard the saying, “If life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” The saying brings a smile to our lips and we understand the metaphor—when something bad happens make it into something good. But seldom do we stop to think about what the metaphor is teaching us about how to make bad into good.
The first thing you do to a lemon to make it into lemonade is to squeeze the juice out of it. This can be compared to examining the situation and identifying what parts of it are worth remembering or keeping and which need to be tossed into the garbage or forgotten. In any situation there is a lesson to be learned and so we examine it to learn the lesson and then let go of everything else—the Unnecessary Pain. If we hang on to the lemon rind and refuse to toss it out, it will rot and fester with mold and if we ingest it at that point, it will harm us. Likewise every bad or adverse experience in life has a downside that if we cling to can destroy us.
Once we’ve identified the good and thrown out the bad, we enhance the juice with a little sugar. In life, we do this by bringing to the experience what we’ve identified in the past from our scripture reading or teachings of the modern prophets or any life experiences that elaborate and expound upon the good.
Lastly we chill the lemonade and drink it. It does no good to make lemonade if we just put it in the refrigerator to chill. Instead when it is cool enough, we internalize the lessons and make them part of us. That is when the tart sweetness enters our system and changes us. We grow. We learn. We are better people for having a lemon given to us.
So if life hands you a lemon, start squeezing.