When the most unexpected things come along in life they tend to take our breath away. We all know the feeling, right? The universe places something in front of us that’s everything we think we’ve ever wanted, and suddenly our hearts leap for joy. We feel so lucky. We feel so fortunate. We think we’ve won the lottery. We look up the meaning of the word serendipity in the dictionary and our own picture is smiling back at us. Positively beaming. So we dive in, heart first, because we’re so certain that something powerful and significant is about to happen to us. And we are exactly right.
Time goes by, and a tiny bit of doubt begins to find its way in, like that first innocent shoot of ivy that latches onto a brick wall. Oh the damage it’s going to do. There’s something about this situation or this person that’s just a little left of center, and it no longer feels quite right. Our early warning system is on full alert. We’re worried. And so are our family and closest friends. If our eyes are open, we get out now, unscathed. If they’re closed, we stay, and we begin an awkward dance with the truth. It wants to lead us, it really does, but we are stepping all over its toes and forcing it to go in the direction we want it to. The first shoe has already dropped, but we’re willing to wager that the second one never will. What we don’t realize is that an entire closetful is about to be dumped on our heads.
We can go on weaving and dodging this bizarre meteor shower of high heels, boots, and converse for quite a while, as the situation we’re in continues to deteriorate into genuine dysfunction. Eventually we get clocked in the head by a big old work shoe or, better yet, one of those knee high boots, and we’re flattened. It’s time now. We’ve had enough. And so we make our exit as gracefully as we can. It’s not easy, and it is certainly not without great sadness and profound loss, but there’s no choice left. As we work to find our balance again, an absolutely wonderful thing begins to happen. Our world begins to expand. We remember the importance of the people who’ve always been in our lives like our life partners, our children, our oldest friends, our families. We celebrate new connections with people who may not have known us for as long, but who’ve come to share in our hopes, dreams, and sorrows. Real joy finds its way into our hearts again. It’s very slow, but that’s how we know it’s right, and suddenly there are possibilities everywhere. Whenever we lose ourselves in something that is neither clear nor consistent, we are forced to expend a massive amount of energy seeking those things. As a result, our world shrinks down to the head of a pin. There’s no room for anything or anyone else, and one wrong move threatens total free fall. When something is truly good it will never, ever feel this way.
The main thing we have to remember as we take those first few steps forward again, is that we’re going to need a tremendous amount of self-compassion to keep from blaming ourselves entirely for getting involved in whatever this thing was. We definitely have to recognize our part, but we also need to realize that the universe keeps us right where we need to be until we learn the lessons it has in store for us. So in that regard, this situation or this person was put in our lives to help us see our path more clearly, to help us take the next step on it, and to help us find the strength within ourselves to make that exit and go it alone when the time was right. It’s so important to honor the goodness in that. We cannot allow ourselves to remain in a place of anger or vindictiveness, and if the other party goes there then we have to dig deep to find empathy and understanding. They are the building blocks of forgiveness. We may not get there right away – after all, we’re only human and we feel hurt deeply – but we will eventually turn that corner for sure. While some anger is expected and appropriate, in the long run it will only keep us tethered to the very thing from which we want to to free ourselves. There is only one way forward and it begins with us looking back and saying, “I acknowledge your presence in my life, and I admit how important you were to me…” I could be wrong, but I know I’m right.
Today’s cocktail begins with a base of Redbreast 12-year-old Irish whiskey for the simple reason that tomorrow is Saint Patty’s Day. My next ingredient is Giffard Crème de Violette because violets are one of the few flowers that signify forgiveness. They also represent humility, and since Crème de Violette usually provides the show stopping color in most cocktails, that was intentionally not going to be the case with this one. If you think about true forgiveness, it happens in your heart first, long before anyone gets to see it. For the sour component of the drink, I went with lemon juice and intensified it with a dash of DRAM Citrus Medica bitters. For sweetness, I infused some fennel seeds in simple syrup, just until it cooled. Fennel represents strength, without which forgiveness and moving forward cannot possibly take place. I placed a dragonfly in the photo because it is a universal symbol for the change in perspective that comes from self-realization and from arriving at a place of emotional maturity. That last one is the most important part by far, and we often need a little bit of help getting there. I had two conversations yesterday with two women who always help me find the perspective I need. Thank you, Heather Scott. Thank you, Julie Goeltz. You are both so important to me. Cheers everyone. Happy Friday!
But I Know I’m Right
2 oz Redbreast 12-year-old Irish whiskey
½ oz Giffard Crème de Violette
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
¼ oz fennel simple syrup (1:1 ratio sugar and water)
1 dash DRAM Apothecary Citrus Medica bitters (look for DRAM bitters on Amazon)
Place all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake vigorously until very cold and double strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with some fennel seeds and a lemon strip. Enjoy!