we’re more of an apple family.
It shocked me when Wayne Dyer passed away.
In that inimitable way of people who seem larger (and wiser) than life–he appeared to defy something as basely human as death.
Dyer was an individual so often quoted and cited and who achieved such mythological status even while alive it seemed we all let out a collective gasp when learning he passed away.
Everyone has her favorite Wayne Dyer quote and I’m no different.
My faves have shifted depending on the season of my life, but for the past few years it’s been this:
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
The quote reminds me to shift my perspective.
The sentence reminds me how, at times, the story I’m telling myself may not really be what’s happening.
The fifteen words have prompted me on may occasions to literally change my vantage point in order to forcibly shift my world view.
One of the last “lessons” he shared (many say on the eve of his death. I read the musings on his blog.) addressed how we react when life puts us under pressure.
In his inimitable Wayne Dyer way, he taught via a powerful metaphor and his message is one I’ve thought about consistently since I read the story.
I’ve thought about it when I’ve been under stress.
I’ve thought about it as I’ve watched how others react when life throws them a curve.
I’ve thought about he nailed it as always and how what comes out is, indeed, what fills our insides.
(The below is paraphrasing. Full version here)
While on stage presenting, Dyer asks an audience member what would come out if he squeezed an orange.
The individual responds: juice.
Dyer presses on asking apple juice? grapefruit juice? and the audience participant clarifies orange.
Dyer continues, asking why?? why when you squeeze an orange does orange juice come out!?
Finally the person responds:
Well, it’s an orange and that’s what’s inside.
That’s what’s inside.
We can pretend (Fakebook if you’re a fan of social media).
We can choose to believe others can’t see what’s happening inside us.
But when life squeezes, when we’re angered or hurt, what flows from within is what’s inside.
(I know, right? simple metaphor. powerful stuff.)
And, if you’re anything like I am, the squeezing can come from so many places.
From the great outside our front door nameless faceless life (work deadlines, traffic, grocery lines etc) to the close to home version pressures, too (child, partner, friend, sister, parents).
With hindsight when I’ve been squeezed some not so pretty stuff has oozed out.
We may have found humor in bowling of fruit–but, as Dyer would say, it’s orange juice just the same.
Dyer ended his discourse with this thought:
When someone puts the pressure on you and out of you comes anything other than love, it’s because that’s what you’ve allowed to be inside.
You’ve allowed to be inside.
I’ve vacillated which whether I entirely agree with his final assertion (I think it’s OK to not be filled with love all the time), yet his larger message is both powerful (for me about what I contain) and revealing (about what flows from others when squeezed).
- Right now. In this very moment. If you were squeezed–what would flow from inside?