The Lemonade Stand focused on the business of life where the product is effort, customers are people, and the investment is in emotional currency.

Emotional Currency sounds fancy – I define it as how much am I putting into the world and people in my life and getting back.  I like helping others, I like finding ways to open their eyes to possibilities.  So why am I not calling the post “Emotional Currency”?

If you’re not familiar with “Through the Looking Glass,” the story takes place 6 months after Alice first went to Wonderland.  She wonders what the world is like in the mirror and when touching it, discovers she can pass through it.

I help people.  I speak with confidence in ways they can work on overcoming their own obstacles, stop getting trapped by their own alibis, and hopefully see something better about themselves and the world.

What happens when I look at my own reflection?

At an early part of my life, I had a teacher ask us what is the one thing we will never be able to do?  See ourselves from the outside.  I’m unsure why that always stuck with me and it has fascinated me from both a physiological and metaphoric sense.  I cannot take my eyes out and view me, I can only see myself in a mirror.  The Looking Glass – what am I like in the world on the other side?

These months I’ve been absent from writing have been because my Emotional Currency bank is broken.  I put a lot of energy in others and just ignore what I need or want.  In hindsight, I can see how people are right, sometimes I should put the red cape in a closet and just be Clark Kent; allow myself to feel, to hurt, and somewhere in there…to grieve.

I can’t.  When others have heard of the things in my life, the adversity I’ve experienced, they believe I should be broken already.  They tell me I have every right to be screwed up.  But they don’t see the practice that has gone into using my emotions for good.  They don’t see that I was able to shut down the emotional machine when I needed to and turn it back on when it suited me.  And now the machine has taken over and developed its own software to automate everything.

Last week I had a sudden flash of my Step-father, no reason and nothing specific.  My next thought was, “oh, I can never say hi, he’s dead.”  And then the bricks smashed through my mirror and the rest of the hardships came through.  One would think the Band-Aid was ripped off with excruciating pain, however I just shrugged and moved on.

So why am I writing this today, after seven months of being in an extreme situation with life decisions around my Mother’s cares, still trying to work on finances, a job that while incredible is a lot of energy, an amazing family who all keep me on my toes, and this capacity to help others?

Because I’m looking in the mirror, trying to reach out to the other side of me.  I see someone of confidence and integrity in there somewhere.  I see the better side of what I’m trying to do in my own life.  I see the possibilities, because DAMN IT – THIS SIDE OF THE MIRROR HURTS RIGHT NOW.

I’m trying.  And that’s all I ask of others, to just try something.  Open your mind.  Religion, politics, lions, smear campaigns, intolerance…these things rage in the world around us.  But none of that can be changed, if we don’t spend some time in the looking glass – simply trying to see the better version of ourselves.