Is There Such a Thing as “Bittersweet”, Really?

I was listening to the radio the other day as I was running errands.  In and out of the car I would go, not paying particular mind to the songs playing.  But then, there was a song that struck me.  I’m not sure who was singing or what the song was.  It was a pleasant song with a lovely voice signing the words and then all of a sudden I hear her sing “bittersweet” among the lot.  I hadn’t heard that word in quite some time and it just struck me somehow differently that afternoon.  Bittersweet.

 Since then, I return to the word, and contemplate its meaning and why it made me pause so that afternoon.  I even took to looking it up in the dictionary, thinking perhaps there was another meaning to which I was unaware that might have some significance to me today.  Turns out the word means just what I thought it did – pleasure and pain at the same time.  But I did learn that there are plants that are also called bittersweets that are poisonous but that have distinct beautiful bright colors, one species Celastrus scandens whose flowers apparently changes colors from green to yellow to scarlet.  This made me think about the expression “looks can be deceiving” and I found a smile stretch across my face.  So much in life can be like this, can’t it?  Something we think is one way turns out to be slightly different.  Things we think are wonderful can sometimes hurt us badly and cause us much pain. 

Celastrus scandens

Celastrus scandens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 The trick, of course, is to remember the good and concentrate on the good when the pain is rearing its’ ugly head.  It is a matter of perspective.  So, instead of considering the bad parts of a situation, turn it around and look at the other side of that same coin.  What is of value, what is good?  There is always something.  Always.

Life in general has good and bad parts to it.  This is a constant, never changes, and you are guaranteed this one notion of life.  How you view the events that happen during your life is your own choice.  Do you focus on the bitter or the sweet?  It is up to you.  And in that sense, all of life is bittersweet.  That is the reality.

My choice is sweet.  My choice is bright colors over the poison.  My choice is to smile even in the middle of the pain.  This helps for the “at the moment” need and then before I know it, the coin has turned and is facing “up” on the sweet side.



4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by patrick beggs on January 11, 2013 at 3:51 am

    you did it again. a great beautiful thought, wrapped up well and conveyed to the heart. thanks.


  2. Posted by Mary Busch on January 11, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      This is one of your best ever, Erica!  So true.  Thank you for all of your wonderful insites . . . They are truly inspirational.



  3. Posted by Kevin on January 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I shared this with family, your perspective is beautiful and inspiring.


  4. Posted by loiswstern on January 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    You are simply beautiful, Erica and so are your inspiring thoughts!


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