I’m in the middle of what has become my annual Canada tour and it’s such a pleasure to feel all the love from my spiritual kinspeople here. I think of myself as “almost Canadian” since my parents were both born in Ontario, my father in Chatham in 1914 and my mother in Hamilton in 1916. I grew up in Detroit and Canada is part of my world. Last month I spoke at the Hay House I Can Do It Conference in Vancouver—wonderful and beautiful as always. And on June 29, I’ll be speaking at the Hay House I Can Do It Conference in Toronto. It’s the weekend before Canada Day on July 1 so maybe we’ll have some early fireworks to enjoy.
I have some great Canada stories, like the time I got lost in Vancouver’s Stanley Park and instead of my usual six miles ended up running a marathon before I found my way out! Lately, I’ve been sharing one of my favorite Toronto experiences with my audiences. It happened several years ago when an unsuspecting young man helped me illustrate an eternal truth we all need to be reminded of:
I was preparing to speak at an I Can Do It conference and I decided to bring an orange on stage with me as a prop for my lecture. I opened a conversation with a bright young fellow of about twelve who was sitting in the front row.
“If I were to squeeze this orange as hard as I could, what would come out?” I asked him.
He looked at me like I was a little crazy and said, “Juice, of course.”
“Do you think apple juice could come out of it?”
“No!” he laughed.
“What about grapefruit juice?”
“What would come out of it?”
“Orange juice, of course.”
“Why? Why when you squeeze an orange does orange juice come out?”
He may have been getting a little exasperated with me at this point. “Well, it’s an orange and that’s what’s inside.”
I nodded. “Let’s assume that this orange isn’t an orange, but it’s you. And someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you, says something you don’t like, offends you. And out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, fear. Why? The answer, as our young friend has told us, is because that’s what’s inside.”
It’s one of the great lessons of life. What comes out when life squeezes you? When someone hurts or offends you? If anger, pain and fear come out of you, it’s because that’s what’s inside. It doesn’t matter who does the squeezing—your mother, your brother, your children, your boss, the government. If someone says something about you that you don’t like, what comes out of you is what’s inside. And what’s inside is up to you, it’s your choice.
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. Once you take away all those negative things you don’t want in your life and replace them with love, you’ll find yourself living a highly functioning life.
Thanks, my young friend, and here’s an orange for you!