Sometimes wisdom about how to live a more peaceful and meaningful life comes from dense books, impassioned speeches, acclaimed documentaries or powerful Pinterest quotes.
Today, it’s going to come from a metaphor about an orange.
I was listening to a Podcast from the spiritual guru, Dr. Wayne Dyer the other day and his use of this metaphor really struck me. Luckily, this time, I was not riding my bike while listening, so there was no need jump off my bike to take notes immediately.
The metaphor is a handy one to use when you find yourself blaming other people.
Do you ever find yourself cracking under pressure and fussing/raising your voice/yelling at the people you love most? And if you’re anything like me, it’s never your fault. It’s always theirs.
When you’re running a busy life, it becomes almost instinctual to point fingers at other people for making you angry, upset or annoyed. Your mother makes you mad, your husband irritates you, and your son makes you so incredibly frustrated.
It’s natural. But it’s not rational.
It’s not, technically, the way the world works…as I discussed in this post about how nobody can make you feel anything (at all) without your permission. However, Dr. Dyer’s metaphor on this topic takes things a step forward.
His metaphor begins with a simple question.
When you squeeze an orange, what comes out? Orange juice, of course. No matter how hard you squeeze you will never, ever get grapefruit juice or apple juice out of an orange. Right?!
The reason that orange juice comes out is because orange juice is what’s inside. This might seem obvious in the world of juice, but it’s probably less obvious in your own life.
So, let’s go there.
When anger is inside of you, anger is what comes out. When anxiety, stress, frustration or fear is inside of you, that’s exactly what comes out when you’re poked. Just like it’s impossible for apple juice to come out of an orange, it’s impossible for peace and joy to come out of you when you’re filled with anger and frustration.
This metaphor might help you answer a question I hear from mothers all the time, “Why did I lose my mind and scream at my daughter last night?” The very likely answer is that you were filled with frustration and anger from something else that happened in your day — a botched project at work, bad news about a good friend, having no clue what to make for dinner, etc. You name it; the list is endless.
You were filled with those negative emotions and your child/husband/dog “squeezed you” by doing something out of line, and anger/frustration/stress or anxiety came spewing out like someone took the lid off the commercial-size juicer at Sunday brunch.