When the world hands us lemons, what is a girl to do?
The answer to this question will provoke many opinions on the subject. Believe it or not, much of it will depend on one’s childhood and the role models she has had throughout life. That’s not to say, if it is an unfavorable reply, that you cannot then decide to expand your perspectives and become more creative and confident whenever you choose, regardless of the past. I write this blog about confidence and girls as a veteran teacher with many years of observing girls and ways of behaving in the classroom. And as a girl and adult with very little confidence until my 40’s.
Now, you might ask, “What does being confident have to do with how I answer this question about being handed lemons?” Thank you for asking. It has everything to do with it.
There are across the board associations people have with lemons. The first is often the color yellow. A common second meaning, one that I feel determines a low level of confidence and self-esteem, is the fact that lemons are very sour and are likely associated with not tasting very good or being duds, flops, or mistakes.
A person with low self-esteem often considers the disapproving aspects of an issue. If she does not have positive feelings of self-worth and judges herself regularly, her view of the outside world will reflect that. Someone with low self-esteem, I predict, would first respond to the world giving her lemons with an unenthusiastic and downbeat reply such as, “Oh great! Of course. More duds for me. It figures I am always being given something that doesn’t work. That’s what I attract, duds and failures.”
Now, a girl with healthy self-esteem and confidence in herself, a girl who recognizes her own worthiness, radiates happiness and a bright outlook of the world. Ask this girl, “What do you do when the world hands you lemons?” She most likely would reply, “I can make lemonade, add it to my water to make it more refreshing, and squeeze it on apples so they last longer. Lemons smell citrusy and leave a clean scent in the air.”
Pretty different, right? The same word, lemon, eliciting very opposite reactions depending on someone’s level of self-esteem. Having been a teacher for so 23 years, it was my observation that girls with low self-esteem, timidity, and little confidence in themselves lead to an attitude of being wounded or a sufferer. Whereas the girls with confidence and certainty were enthusiastic, passionate, and noticeably comfortable in social situations.
I go back to my childhood and reveal to you that I was the girl who did not look favorably at the idea of being given lemons. I would have seen only the negative connotations and would have gotten stuck there, as a sufferer, wounded, helpless, doomed. Yup, the lowest of self-esteem on the block.
My mom coddled and protected me. I hid behind her comfort, ran to her when it got too rough. Stayed frightened and wounded. Allowed suffering to stir and boil. I love my mom dearly. She did what she thought was best and wanted to be protective of her children, not ever wanting us to feel pain or defeat. Secluded in that protective bubble didn’t give me the answers I needed as an adolescent or adult. That bubble kept me safe from the outside world but not my inner critic. I saw no value in myself. I had no skills to cope with disappointment, or lemons. I was a frightened middle schooler and teenager. I was a terrified adult making impulsive decisions without considering my self-respect. Choices and outcomes were simply because it was what I deserved. Abusive relationships, panic attacks, and frustration. Settling for what I was handed. Jealous of what others seemingly had and I didn’t.
Something shifted. I can’t say exactly when. I can’t pinpoint the exact age other than it was definitely in my late 30’s. I do know what instigated it. Reiki. I committed to healing. I decided it was time to look at why I experienced life through the eyes of a sufferer. I no longer wanted to be wounded. I let Reiki, this gentle, life force energy, flow through me and show me what to do. This healing healed the physical me, migraines and chronic digestive issues . Reiki softened and balanced the emotional aches and pains I carried as a child of divorce and insecurity and confusion. Reiki helped give me mental clarity. Reiki introduced me to my guides, the angels, the most amazing people in the world, faith, trust, and most important, my inner power and courage. Reiki put all the pieces together as it healed on all levels. I am now whole, balanced, confident, and sure. Reiki, even though I am infinitely grateful for now, would have been so powerful to have as a girl enduring low self-esteem and fears of a big insensitive world .
If there was something I could give and wish for all girls to have, it would be Reiki. With Reiki, a girl could experience feeling whole, hopeful, spiritually protected and safe, and always having a tool to help somehow, in some way, the world which she is a part of. Reiki is a gift one has forever, a gift one has to share every day of her life. That sure is a confidence booster. Consider this for any young girls in your life. It just may be the gift she cherishes more than any she ever receives. A gift that reflects stability, assurance, self-love, and the enthusiasm and creativity to turn lemons into lemonade!
Please visit my website for more info about Reiki and the infinite benefits. If you are in Portland, Oregon, I am offering a free talk on how Reiki can assist you with self-esteem, confidence, and self-love. I highly recommend we include girls in the power of Reiki. http://www.insyncenergy.com/Special_Events.html. Join us on Sunday, May 19th at 11:00AM-12:00PM.
If you would like to hear more how we can work together, for you and your daughter, contact me for a free 15 minute consultation. I have extensive training in education and hold a Master’s of Science in Family Support and Parenting Education from Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts. I would love to be of service.
Have a beautiful May!