24TH SEPTEMBER 2016
When life gives you lemons, consider margaritas. Or marmalade, or if making art is a delight for you then how about creating a giant lemon sculpture for the next Sculpture by the Sea? Perhaps lemons invoke yellow and you might delve deeply into its hues and paint a feature wall your favourite. Or you decide to go to Assam, a region in northeast India and one of the possible origins of the lemon tree, once the whole damned thing is over.
The above suggestions are rooted in creativity and play, my go-to strengths in times of good and bad and your go-to strengths will be different.
However, the bigger point to be made is that adversity, whether it is little ‘a’ or big ‘A’ is an opportunity in disguise. It is an opportunity for changes, big and small that lead you closer to your best self, your ideal self and the life you want. Maybe missing out on a job leads to getting another offer down the track that is much more fulfilling, or it might be something entirely unthought of, like Rosie Batty establishing the Luke Batty Foundation after her son was murdered by his father and significantly influencing the national debate on domestic violence in Australia.
Thomas Edison famously said that ‘opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work’ and I think the work of dealing with adversity is as much about working out what it means to us in the narrative our lives as it is getting successfully through it.
Difficult times pass, but when we do the deeper work they transform us.