It’s Not Your Mother’s Lemonade – or is it?
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. My mom used to say this to me all the time. I might guess you had a family member who did the same. It’s a catchy phrase but like much folk wisdom that has stuck around for generations, it has an element of truth to it. How many of us have experienced a really difficult circumstance only to have it lead to something even better in our life? Maybe it was a heart-breaking end of a relationship that ultimately freed you to be with someone else who is the light of your life. Maybe it was a lost job opportunity that led you to something better.
For me, it was being the target of workplace bullying. Now, it gave me pause to metaphorically equate bullying with “lemons”. I’m not trying to be glib or minimize the impact of bullying or to infer an easy and quick solution. Just stay with me. The wisdom behind this old adage is that you have a choice on how you view and subsequently deal with the many challenges of life. Making lemonade is the process of healing, growing, and giving back.
Many of you may know that I left my business career in 2003 in order to find fulfilling work that enabled me to more directly help others. As I headed back to grad school, I wasn’t really clear on what it would all look like but I trusted that I would know when I found it. Now, I have that clarity. I’ve found it. It took facing that bullying experience and learning how to heal from it, that my eyes and heart have been opened to support others who have also known this pain and to work to prevent it from happening to others by working directly with companies to promote empowerment and cultures of respect. Plus, I’m also taking more of an advocacy role. Workplace bullying is not a small problem.
If you’ve been affected by workplace bullying, you’re not alone! Almost half of the US workforce has experienced bullying either directly or witnessed it happening (2014 Workplace Bullying Institute Survey). That’s about 65 million Americans. 60% of those targeted are women. In addition, non-white groups are targeted more often. There are no state laws against bullying and it is not adequately covered under sexual harassment or anti-discrimination laws. This needs to change.
If you would like to learn more about how I can support you in your healing journey, my work with organizations or how you can also become an advocate of prevention, contact me! (please make this a link to the contact page or should I just use my email here?)
Maybe making lemonade is the process of looking back and seeing the bigger picture being created by your experiences and being oh so grateful for where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going.