The old adage says when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. We have all been serenaded with those profound and wisdom-filled words at some point during our lives. The times those words are uttered are probably some of the worst times of our lives.

Every now and then, we all hit rough patches in our lives. From time to time, it seems as if nothing can go right and everything will go wrong. It is easy during these dark and gloomy times to sink into a depressed state and play the role of life’s victim. It’s easy during tough times to throw in the towel and let life beat you down. Quite frankly, when the lightning of life flashes, the thunder roars and the rain of life falls, it is extremely easy to become bitter.

Being bitter about life and situations has detrimental effects on one’s well-being. Bitterness causes health, mental, relational and a host of other issues. The effects of bitterness on one’s mental state are the most severe. A person’s outlook on life has a lot to do with the way one thinks and perceives the world around them.

When a person becomes bitter, they are increasingly negative. Negativity is the No. 1 reason many people give into life’s difficulties. Negativity prevents many of us from seeing the opportunity in many of the situations we face in life. Negativity is an act of ungratefulness. Life will never be a bed of ease. We must learn to appreciate the good and bad of life. Every situation we encounter in life is divinely orchestrated for our growth. It may seem strange that financial hardship, confusion on the job and family disagreements are divinely orchestrated, but each circumstance in life is meant to help mature each of us into the wonderful people we were created to be.

We have all reached low points in life. We have experienced times that made us want to throw in the towel and give up on life altogether. Remember, nothing in life is worth throwing in the towel.

When situations do not turn out the way you expect, do not run away in disgust and let life badger you. Instead of succumbing to life without a fight, make up in your mind that you will have a say in your sanity and that you will not allow life to make you bitter. No one has it easy in life and no one has everything under control. I know at times it may appear as if some people never have a care in the world, but everyone is dealing with something.

The key to surviving life is to learn to take your licks and keep on kicking. Life is like a boxing match.

There will be round after round, with some rounds providing more of a pounding than others. At the end of the day, no matter how wounded you are, the key is to remain standing for the entire fight of life. Do not let bitterness overtake you.

Your best days are yet ahead. Take life by the horns and enjoy the journey.

Contact Jasper Knighten at jasperknighten@yahoo.com.