It was the funeral for my kind and caring Uncle Wayne this weekend. So many people turned up that they were lined up outside of the chapel for the entire service. There was a wide range of ages and genders, and he had touched all of their lives in a positive and lasting way. During the ceremony, people recalled stories of him and how he had brought laughter and light to their lives. He found humour in each day and showed thoughtfulness by his actions.
What became apparent through the service was how when he was handed a lemon in life he indeed did stick to the motto and made lemonade. Items that were trash to others he made into treasures. I talked to a few people after the funeral and shared stories with each other. Many said they felt humbled by knowing my uncle and also by what they had heard during the funeral. They thought that they didn’t offer life and others the same openness and care as Wayne had done. Even in his passing, he made a positive impact on others to try and be a little more like him in life.
On my own journey, I have worked to change challenging situations into something more wonderful. A little like the stone soup story in a way by taking something that seems hopeless and making something expansive. Facing diversity, grief or trauma can make this feel like it is impossible and at times perhaps this is true. In the end, though we do have a choice. The choice to find the good among the sadness. The choice to rejoice in simple things or just see what is wrong. The choice to choose love over hate and the choice to find the lemons of life sour or make it into lemonade.
Remembering that you are a fabulous being for all that you are in darkness and light is a significant first step. Choosing to stand in love and not fear can allow bitterness and sadness to flow through your body rather than stick to your soul. Finding the treasure within the so-called trash of your life is a fantastic gift.
So what are you going to choose? A glass half empty and sour lemons or a glass half full of sweet lemonade? I know what my Uncle Wayne would have chosen.
Andrea Lines-Botell is a mental health advocate and life coach with a passion for dynamically supporting change.
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