We focus so much on creating our lives that we forget the value of deconstruction. After all, why would we take something apart when it already fits together? We can’t exactly make lemons when we already have lemonade.
Or can we?
The reality is that we need the lemons to make lemonade in the first place.
Too many of our lives are constructed haphazardly from the values and ideas we absorbed from those around us. The value in taking apart our lives and looking at the pieces that make them up is in making sure that we’re living authentic lives, lives that suit us at a soul level. If we can’t look at how we got here, because we’re afraid to look or worry about what we’ll find, how can we possibly begin to grow in healthy ways?
Looking closely at why we are the way we are helps us to make intentional, conscious choices.
I’ve spent the last few years of my life taking apart my past choices. I needed to know how I ended up in the marriage I had so that I could process my divorce. I needed to understand what went into my relationship decisions so that I could figure out how to have healthy ones. I needed to track my career trajectory so I could understand what I wanted and didn’t want in terms of work and finances. I needed to know what kind of person I am because the life I had built was breaking down.
My life was falling apart, and I needed to know how to rebuild without making the exact same mistakes I’d made before. I’d have to deconstruct it in order to construct something stronger in its place, and I prepared myself for the demolition of everything I had created from my own choices.
I had gone so far down one road that it had been difficult to turn back. I can see that now, how I had committed to a path and then refused to deviate from it when I knew better. My absolute loyalty became the crutch I leaned on as I hobbled down a broken path to a destination I had chosen when I didn’t quite know myself. I would make lemonade from the lemons life had given me, and it didn’t occur to me to stop and assess if the direction I was going was what I really needed.
I stayed stuck in a pattern, and it had been created long before my marriage, long before my first relationship. I had learned about self-love and self-worth from not having any and then building it from scratch out of little more than grit and a desire to make my life brighter and braver than anything I could have imagined before.
I had to look at the pattern and understand it before I could start declining the life that wasn’t meant for me in order to let in the life that was.
I had to make hard choices and to explore different possibilities for my life.
It required putting away the need for approval and investigating what suited me at the deepest level. I had to look at how my thought and emotions had influenced every choice, and I began to rewire that thinking and developing greater emotional intelligence and coping skills to navigate the pathways of my ever-changing moods.
It meant accepting flaws and accepting that the only standards I needed to follow were the kind I set for myself. Out went the rulebook and life’s handy recipes with its carefully written instructions. I would have to see what worked for me and what didn’t and make decisions with only that in mind.
But personal growth isn’t possible when we refuse to look at the lemons that make up our particular lemonade.
We need to understand who we are and why we made the choices that we did so that we can learn to make new choices from a healthier place. If we’re afraid to look, that’s normal. We should look anyway. Deconstruct. Take it all apart. See if what we once chose resonates with who we are now.
If it does, we can keep drinking that particular lemonade forever. If it doesn’t, maybe we need to make orange juice. Or raspberry lemonade. Or… well, you get it, right? It’s not about sticking with our decisions for all time because we once chose that direction. It’s about figuring out who we are and choosing a life that suits us, not making the best of the path we’re on already.
That’s making lemons from lemonade.
Or maybe that’s just living our lives with intention, crafting them every day in a way that resonates with us at a soul-level.