When Life Hands You Lemons, Lemonade Isn't the Answer

I have a client whom I've known off and on in my private counseling practice for 17 years. She is a wonderful woman who has had various events occur that she's wanted to work through with my assistance. And she always does because she's a very positive, action oriented person. I recently was seeing her again concerning career advancement. She had completed more education and had a dream job in mind, but was scared to apply for it. In a twist of fate, she actually received a call from the organization asking her to apply for her dream position! What an opportunity! I told her to go for it'she did'and was hired on the spot!

Six days before she was to begin her dream job, she went to the doctor due to a swollen jaw. Malignant tumors were found in her head and in bones throughout her body. She is now undergoing intensive chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant may be needed. How life can change from one moment to the next. What does one say to help someone going through such a traumatic event?

The only thing I know to say is a reminder that we cannot be in a state of gratitude and in a negative state at the same time. This reminds us that life is a journey, not a destination, and is constantly changing. Whenever lousy, miserable events happen, also remember to notice what is good in one's life. Otherwise it gets totally skewed to the negative'anger, sadness, confusion and fear. In other words, attempt to balance the negative with thoughts of the positive.

In a nine month period of time in 2004, I lost my beloved father, two dear aunts and four of my closest friends. I remember what helped me the most one day was, while walking in my backyard, I noticed that my iris were blooming and I walked closer. I didn't just notice the many colors and their upright, proud stature. I intensely looked at each one'deep into the petals'and saw things I'd never noticed before inside each flower. What magnificent beauty! For thirty minutes, I was content' I felt at peace' life was good. Note to self: continue practicing gratefulness!

Copyright ' 2009, Sharon Scott. No reproduction without written permission from author.

P.S. Please see my other column, The Counselor's Corner.