Cocktails are like life. When mixing a cocktail, you start with a base, the spirit (life). You add sweet (good, happy, exhilarating times) and bitter (disheartening, upsetting, negative times) to the spirit to balance it and make a beautiful amalgamation. If that balance is off, it’s cloying in the sweetness, and masks the rich aromas of the flavors and bitters. If too bitter, it makes the delicate perfume of the sweet and spirit.
When you get a dose of bitter thrown your way, especially when you’re already feeling strain, you become weary in a hurry. Too much bitter makes your entire body reactive negatively. Your face scrunches up, lips purse, shoulders curve inward, and sometimes you double over. Sweet gives you the dopamine rush. Your body relaxes, shoulders round out, and you float around on butts seemingly made of cotton candy. I was poured a healthy dose of bitter earlier today, and unbeknownst to me, it was thrown my way some time ago. Yet, when I’m face to face with the bitter, it’s simple syrup being poured out in a stream. (Thinking about this intense amount of bitter is what caused me to come up with this analogy. Let’s call it a stroke of creative luck.)
Balance in life is an illusive mirage and one millions of dollars have been made off of in the form of self-help tomes. If we’re lucky, we can carry about day to day and stay on track for the most part. Sure, the cocktail isn’t perfect, but we keep it fairly close to the original balanced recipe. But the days the recipe is thrown off by a large pour of bitter or sweet, your head is sent spinning and your thought process thrown into overtime. It’s not a feeling anyone relishes.
Unfortunately, you can’t correct an overly bitter cocktail with the addition of sweet and vice versa.The spirit is already compromised. The only thing you can do is start over. Reboot your mindset and not pour the same bitters, or sweet, in the other persons direction. By not pouring more of the same ingredients into your spirit, you’re starting over with a fresh glass. The other person might still be drinking the overly bitter cocktail, but you’re making the choice to cleanse your palate and find your balance. A life lesson no one can refute.