Last month our world lost a great man, a great soul, Dr. Wayne Dyer. I first came across Dr. Dyer’s teachings about 15 years ago when I read one of his books, The Power of Intention. His art was that of poetry and writing and for over 40 years, he shared motivational words and inspiration on how to live fully and peacefully without fear and worry; how to tap into the great sources of love and creativity that dwell inside each of us.
Through his masterful storytelling, what he offered most was a new way to look at things, a fresh perspective. As he said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
He changed how I look at an orange...and how I think of myself. Many years ago at a lecture, Dr. Dyer carried an orange on stage and engaged in conversation with a young boy in the audience. “If I were to squeeze this orange as hard as I could, what would come out?” he asked. The boy answered, “juice.” He went on to ask him if apple juice would come out? Or grapefruit juice? The boy correctly answered that no, only orange juice could come out of an orange. But why is that? To which the little boy replied, “it’s an orange and that’s what’s inside!”
So what if this is about you instead of an orange? What would come out if I squeezed you? If I pushed you a little, annoyed you, offended you? If out of your mouth came bitterness, hatred, anger, jealousy, negativity...it’s because that’s what’s inside you. If those qualities aren’t in you then they can’t come out. Sounds simple enough! Many people walk around blaming the squeezer saying, “if only you didn’t do that to me, then I’d be fine!” There are examples for us of people who have been pushed and squeezed nearly beyond all comprehension (think Nelson Mandela, POW’s, Victor Frankl) and who have come out of those circumstances still filled with grace and love. They epitomize this concept allowing only goodness to reside inside them and to come out when squeezed.
If you’re like me, you like to think that you have only the “good” qualities in you and that if pushed a little, only loving-kindness would come out of you. But if you’re like me, that’s not always as true as I’d like it to be. I can be bitter, angry, and negative when squeezed. Not as much as I used to perhaps, but not as little as I hope for in the future. When squeezed I want only patience, love, acceptance, and kindness to come out. It’s up to me to make that happen. It doesn’t just magically appear! It’s a finely tuned recipe of practicing loving-kindness and choosing to consciously fill yourself up with your values and positive intentions so that when you’re squeezed, only the good stuff comes out.
I know people like that – people who always seem, no matter what’s happening around them, to radiate goodness and compassion. These people don’t get mad or worried or stressed, they are pleasant and loving and full. In our culture we even tend to crack jokes that these are the people we love to hate! In fact, these are the people we emulate; people who, when squeezed and pushed to their limits, don’t blame others or bring more negativity to the situation but who shine their light. Darkness cannot be expelled by darkness. Only light can break up the darkness.
When I’m being squeezed, I want only light and love to be what comes out and I continue to work on manifesting that reality every day. What would come out of you if we squeezed you?
As the seasons changes again and things fall away, it’s a good time to look at what grievances (grudges, jealousies, anger, blame) you are holding tight to that you’d like to shed so that you can enter the next doorway, the next season and the next chapter of your life filled only with love.