Sweeten Up Your Life

By Sulana Stone

Sometimes life experiences can be like a lemon-flavored Tootsie Roll Pop. Hard and sour on the outside. Soft and sweet on the inside. Take getting dumped in a relationship for instance. Facing life alone can be tough for many people. Yet, there are behind-the-scenes benefits to every predicament! There’s even a sweet treat hidden within the experience of losing a lover.

Yep, situations aren’t as bad as you initially think they are. The hidden advantages may not be obvious to you for days—or even years. But rewards do exist. You’ll find the sweetness by looking behind the surface appearance of your situation. By looking deeper from this new perspective, you can discover how the loss of a relationship can restore your trust in life. Or how losing your job or health can propel you closer to your dreams!

Find the Best View for You

Find the “pop”—the sweetness—inside your tart tootsie roll by asking yourself some probing questions: “What’s been the beneficial effect of my predicament?” “What’s been the payoff?” and “How’s this experience been rewarding for me on some level?”

To reap even more rewards, shift your frame of reference from short- to long-term: “What did I learn that helped me become a better person? What qualities—such as compassion, flexibility or clarity—did I gain? What good eventually came out of the situation?”

By focusing on how the experience served you, you can reclaim your joy and health. By exploring your situation from a fresh point of view, you can find the sweetness in life again.

Let’s check out some real-life lemons. Here are some examples of the unseen rewards of losing your relationship, job and health. And how the sour aftertaste can become sweet!

Benefits of Being Dumped

I was secure in my second marriage. Then, after 15 years, my husband suddenly abandoned me to marry an older woman. You heard right—an older woman! Go figure!

For years following the divorce, my feelings of hurt and anger were compounded by a sense of failure and humiliation. A decade later, I still feel the sting of betrayal. But now I’m armed with the outlook that every experience serves me. “So,” I ponder, “what could possibly be the hidden value of getting dumped? In what way did I personally profit from being abandoned by my husband?”

While searching for the benefits, I unearth my involvement in the betrayal. The deeper I dig, the more honest I am, the more I uncover the truth: I’m the cause of my husband leaving me!

I Knew at the Altar!

I realize now that the betrayal began at the church altar. As my fiancée slipped the ring on my finger, I knew that we weren’t meant to be married to each other. My husband didn’t betray me. I deceived myself. I betrayed my own intuition by agreeing to be his wife. The undeniable fact is that I’m the one who abandoned me, not my spouse.

Why didn’t I listen to my inner knowing? I realize now that I was afraid to be alone. To avoid loneliness, I jumped into matrimony.

These startling realizations release emotions that have haunted me for years. As more liberating insights pour in, the sour feelings begin to lift. I actually start to appreciate my ex-husband! He had the courage to tell himself and me the straight dope—that our relationship was dead. I see now that he did me an enormous favor by leaving me.

Long-term Rewards

Having these fresh insights gives me renewed strength and curiosity to keep asking questions. What could possibly be the long-term benefits of being forced to live on my own? How has it served me to have to take care of myself? How have I changed for the better? What good has come from this experience?

Slowly I begin to spot my good fortune of being left in the lurch:

  • I’ve learned to trust my intuition—and life itself—again
  • I’ve stopped betraying myself
  • I’ve faced my fear of being alone and find that I enjoy being with myself
  • I’ve learned how to make my own way in the world
  • I’m back in touch with my personal power and what’s important to me
  • My focus has shifted from material to spiritual pursuits

When you live alone, you stop being controlled by another person’s actions and reclaim the freedom to pursue your personal passions. You create a more personally meaningful lifestyle. And being alone, you’re much more available to people and activities that support you in creating your unique dreams.

Benefits of Losing Your Job

“We won’t be needing your services any longer.” When I heard these words come out of my employer’s mouth, I was floored. But I shouldn’t have been.”

Out of desperation, I’d taken employment to pay my bills. Then every day for months, I silently complained to myself about the work I was doing. I constantly struggled to make myself fit into an occupation that didn’t suit me.

The value of losing the job was actually very obvious.

  • I get out of work that zaps my energy and health
  • I stop enslaving myself in a vocation that isn’t right for me
  • I discover that I can create a better position
  • I move on to a livelihood that has more passion for me

When you look under the surface appearance of being let go, you may find, in actuality, that you gave yourself “the boot.” On a deeper level of awareness, you wanted out of the job. With the aid of hindsight, you see that you unconsciously managed to get yourself fired because it was time for you to move on to the next stage of your self-expression.

Benefits of Losing Your Health

I couldn’t move my body. The excruciating sciatica pain running through my leg and back was forcing me to lie motionless in bed for days. Suspecting that being laid up is serving me in some way, I look for the value in being sick. I discover that the affliction is a “wake up!” call. The pain is alerting me to the fact that I’m not supporting and nurturing myself by the way I’m living my life.

I realize that:

  • I’ve been wasting my time on unimportant activities like watching too much TV
  • I’ve avoided developing my talent as a writer
  • I’d actually be happier if I spent more time perfecting my craft and getting my articles out into the world
  • I’m now strong enough to face my fear of having my articles criticized or rejected
  • I know how to write intriguing articles that editors will publish

The value of the sciatica was that it gave me the opportunity to check in with my spirit to see where I was off track in my life. When I got my life back on course, I re-established my health and vitality.

Losing your health forces you to take a long, deep look at your life. Being ill immobilizes you to some degree, which gives you time to review the people and activities you’re involved with. The message of sickness is almost always that you’re engaged with people and activities that aren’t intuitively right for you. Life pursuits that are out of harmony with your true interests and values pull your body out of balance. Eventually, the imbalance makes you ill. You’ll find that when you take action to bring yourself back into alignment with your spirit, your health improves.

Where’s Your “Pop”?

Wouldn’t you like to transform hurt into gain? You can! A sweet core lies under the surface appearance of any sour experience. By realizing the benefits of any situation, you can find the “pop” inside your lemon tootsie roll.