Every once in a while you hear something that resonates for you in a deep way. That happened for me when I heard Wayne Dyer talk about the orange. It’s a story he loved to tell his audiences. He would hold up an orange and ask, “If I were to squeeze this orange as hard as I could, what would come out?”
Generally people would look around unclear about what to say. Then someone would shout, “Orange juice!” and everyone would laugh. Then he would ask, “Why? Why, when you squeeze an orange, does orange juice come out?” After a pause, he’d say, “Because that’s what’s been inside all along.”
It’s the same when you squeeze a tube of toothpaste; you get toothpaste. Or when you squeeze a bottle of ketchup; it squirts ketchup. When you squeeze a bottle of shampoo, you will not get body lotion because that’s not what’s in it.
When life “squeezes” you, or someone puts pressure on you, what emotions and behaviours will come out? Will it be anger, fear, hate, pain, judgment, resentment, negativity? It does not matter where the pressure comes from: it could be a family member, a boss, a friend, a customer, your work, an illness, a job loss. When life deals you a setback or people say something you don’t like, or if they offend you, the emotions that will erupt out of you is what is building inside of you all along.
I have experienced this more times than I care to admit. I find that when I have a lot on my plate or trying to meet impossible deadlines, I can become impatient with my family and be quite difficult to live with. When someone annoys me, I can get quite cranky and judgemental. It is what is inside that explodes out. A huge part of this is taking accountability for all my emotions and actions. I no longer say, “she makes me so mad” because I can’t justify my actions by blaming someone else. I also proactively think about what sets me off so that I can better manage my emotions.
Since my illness, I have become conscious of what I put inside of me. I accept that life can be challenging and pressures can creep up. At the first glimpse of trouble, I reframe the situation and find a way to restore and rejuvenate so that when I am squeezed, I am at the very least, centred.
I love to spend time with my mom and watch her as she goes about her business. When she is squeezed, what comes out of her is pure love. She does not have the capacity to harbour any negative emotions. Her gift is in her ability to always find compassion and understanding no matter what the situation. She makes me realize that what’s inside of us is our choice. If you choose to have joy and peace within, it will find a way to show up, no matter what comes from the outside world into your life.
So what would come out of you today if you were squeezed? More importantly, what would you like to come out of you when you are squeezed?