So, life throws us all a cactus at times doesn’t it? Something difficult and prickly to deal with that we don’t much like. It could be in the form of a difficult person (and let’s face it, cacti do have a few pricks), a difficult day or perhaps a difficult change.
Now it’s not quite the same as the quote ‘when life throws you lemons.. make lemonade’ (thank you Elbert Hubbard), since that would imply taking positive action and making something sweet out of a sour situation. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for that, with a bit of gin thrown in, but my post today is to discuss Joyce Mayer’s quote which I feel says ‘don’t make a bad situation any worse for yourself’. Don’t allow yourself to be dragged down further into the dark depths of negativity.
It could be interpreted as ‘stop where you are’. You have a choice to make, so park up and take in your surroundings, breathe a while before taking your next step. We all need to tread water from time to time whilst working out our next move but it’s pointless to try and fight the tides, you can’t stop them; embrace the waves and don’t get dragged under. I think we are often taken by surprise in life, having expected the water to remain perfectly calm and still for the duration of our lifetime, which is unrealistic; only setting us up for disappointment.
I had a ‘Eureka’ moment in hospital during a situation where change had been forced upon me the year before last. I had to endure 5 weeks of flat bed rest, unable to move or do anything for myself due to a broken back. It felt like a prison sentence at times, with the daily humiliation of daily bowel care and other challenges. Whilst engrossed in working towards my physical recovery, I wasn’t coping well. I was sitting on my cactus and my husband got the full prickliness of my attitude with complaints on an almost daily basis. But then I received a personal video from my hero and life guru. His message showed me that I had a different lesson to learn, (aside from learning to walk again)… acceptance. To not only find small positives but to become the best person I could be despite the daily struggles. I made the decision to find a way to not only embrace my situation but to do it without the prickly attitude. I didn’t have control of my mobility and current dilemma, but I could still control what was coming out of my mouth and I could be kind! If I was going to be in a wheelchair, I was going to be the happiest person you ever did meet in a wheelchair. You see – if you can be happy when it’s tough, it’s only going to make the rest of life that much easier isn’t it?
So, when faced with adversity, my personal belief is to face it head-on. It’s worth remembering that planes take off facing into the wind… the same could be true for you and me! I never really understood the ‘gift’ that could be found in adversity but in my world today, I experience gratitude for the smallest of things from standing in a shower and sitting on the toilet to hugs with my dogs and the comfort of my bed. (Not to mention being free from hospital food)!
My story may seem a little extreme here, but I firmly believe that no matter what the situation, we can become aware of our reaction to it and learn to see the positives. If you can’t see them right now, then that’s fine too. Tread water or stand still for a while. Water your cactus and wait for it to grow. But whatever you do…DON’T SIT ON IT. 🌵