“One day honey, one day onions.”
That’s a saying that comes from the Sufi tradition (originally: “yom ’asal, wa yom basal”). The teaching reminds us that, when we’re going through bitter days/moments (onion), it means sweet days/moments (honey) will soon come.
Neuroscience tells us that regularly reminding our brains of helpful truths like “honey and onions” can have transformative effects on our default thought processes. And in a culture that leads us to believe that we’re supposed to experience mostly honey, those defaults are often non-healing — self-doubt, self-reproach, self-pity.
The only way to override such defaults is by regular practice and rehearsal. Repeating maxims like “honey and onions” on a daily basis actually helps rewire neural pathways that have been conditioned to produce negative thoughts.
Now, when I approach my honey states, I’m fully aware that I wouldn’t appreciate them nearly as much if I hadn’t first gotten a taste of (or really, a cry from) onions.
No doubt, that’s a healthy recipe to default to!