how a bowl of lemons showed me what was in my heart

when the world gave me lemons, i put them in a bowl and dared anyone to touch them!

together with the very good in life exists some misuses of the good. before i continue my posts on love, i want to talk about abuse. i want you to remember that there are times when in the name of love, abuses occur. everyone needs to be safe and secure. if you find that you are in a situation that is unsafe…please seek help. i am not advising anyone to leave or stay in any situation…that is not my place to advise. this is a very difficult topic that i feel is important to touch on when we are discussing love.

i have found myself in abusive situations in my life. the details are not important. what is important is that in those times i felt helpless, worthless and hopeless. however, there is help waiting and if and when it is needed, you should reach for it. When i was suffering with cancer…i went to a doctor and a hospital for help. too often, when in abusive situations, the fear is so great that we do not reach for the necessary help. if someone is threatening your safety, believe them and get help.

as a result of the differing abuses i had lived through, i went into survival mode. it is kind of like the scenes in a movie of someone who is drowning. the life guard, friend or a passer by jumps in to help the drowning soul and in the struggle for survival, the drowning person puts the life saver in danger. when we have been abused, survival mode can cause us to mirror some of the behaviours or over compensate protection we feel we did not receive.

although i was “out of the water” so to speak, i was still drowning in the pain and i was dragging my loved ones down with me. i was distant, harsh and controlling because i had determined that i would never let anyone hurt me ever again. therefore, i had very strict, harsh rules (not healthy boundaries) and walls that i felt would keep me safe. they didn’t though. they only caused me to cause pain to others around me. as i look back, those actions were an abuse of my family’s love and trust toward me. it made life difficult and it was as unfair as what i had endured in the past. the problem was, i didn’t see it that way at the time.

let me get back to the lemon bowl.

i love lemons. One of my favourite candies is lemon drops. i use lemons to make lemonade, lemon meringue pie, and on fish. i clean stainless steel with them, lighten my hair and teeth with them and use them as air fresheners. i even love to eat them by themselves with a little salt sprinkled on them. i have consumed lots of lemons in my lifetime and would love to have a lemon tree in my yard. i don’t know how this fascination came to be but as long as i can remember i have been delighted by these little yellow balls of sunshine. 😉

one of the things i found difficult in the abusive relationships i found myself in was the lack of control i felt over my own life. my little bowl of lemons became one thing that i could control and have complete say over. after all these years, i chuckle because it sounds so strange to me. i would buy lemons at the grocery store. bring them home with the thought that i would use them to make all of the things i enjoyed. they were my lemons and mine alone. i would make it very clear that they were not to be touched without permission. i counted them, watched over them and i knew immediately if any were missing. can you imagine living in the house with me and my lemons. no… fun did not describe it. i was so busy guarding them, making sure no one touched them -that i never used them. there would be a day that I had to throw them in the garbage because they had rotted. i would discard them and begin the process all over again.

i don’t even remember what caused me to see the reality of what was happening. i just remember thinking about my beautiful little bowl of yellow lemons and it dawned on me…i have never made anything..not one thing…with all of the lemons that i had so carefully guarded.

and I asked myself the question, “why do i do that?”

i began to pay attention to my motives and actions where this bowl of lemons was concerned. that bowl of lemons was highlighting that there was residual pain in my heart that was affecting my behaviour. i was possessive, controlling, harsh, paranoid, obsessive and sometimes down right mean. do you know the interesting thing? no one but me cared anything about the lemons. no one wanted them and most of the time no one even noticed them exceptme!

for those of my readers who have been or are in abusive situations, i want you to bare in mind
as you read my posts this week about love, that getting help with the pain in your heart is paramount. abuse changes your perception and responses to love. my motivation in anything i share is a desire to be helpful and not cause more stress and pain. I guess, this is my disclaimer to let you know that i understand the pain, the difficulties and despair that the heart feels when it is searching for more than what it has known as painful love.

i want you to know that there is hope, healing and wholeness available. your dream and search for a fulfilled life is not futile.

my hope is to continue to encourage you on your journey,

thank you once again for taking the time to stop by,


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