A few weeks ago on FB, there was one of those annoying photo memes going around (anyone else hate those things??) about orange juice. The actual quote from some guy named Wayne Dyer: “When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out – because that’s what’s inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside.”
This isn’t so bad, and I agree, despite my inborn distaste for inspirational quotes. (I prefer Depressories to Successories ANY DAY.)
But the meme on FB took it a step further, explaining that, essentially, ONLY orange juice comes out of an orange because that’s all that is in there, and when a person is squeezed, they, too, only have ONE thing coming out – it’s either good or it’s bad, and whatever comes out is what’s inside.
Which is ridiculous.
In fact, when you squeeze an orange, you get orange juice and pulp.
I’ve pasted the nutrition facts for OJ below, but could only get part of it on the screen shot – this image doesn’t include all the vitamins and minerals in OJ. THAT is what comes out of an orange. Not just “orange juice.”
When you squeeze a person, you get… well, you don’t get “person juice,” because that’s disgusting. But you get Human-ness. Humans are full of good AND bad. Expecting only one or the other at any given time is ridiculous and if you have that expectation of yourself – or you let others have that expectation of you – you’re not allowing yourself to be fully human.
Now, you can pretend all you want that when you’re squeezed, all that comes out is joy and love and peace, but the fact is, even Jesus experienced negative emotions. And YOU are not Jesus. And you’re certainly not better than Jesus. YOU are a human and even if you are a believer who trusts God with the care of whatever experience is squeezing you, you are going to experience negative emotions, as well. And the last thing you need is some idiot Facebook meme judging you for it.
Be human. Experience joy. Experience sorrow. Experience grief. Experience thankfulness. Experience love and compassion. Experience hate and jealousy.
Let yourself walk through the halls of the hospital and feel insane jealousy for those OTHER patients – the ones who will be admitted, be treated, go home, and live their lives. Let yourself experience deep, deep grief for every silly little thing you realize that your new life won’t let you experience quite like you planned – even if you KNOW deep down inside that you’re being silly. Let yourself be mad, depressed, afraid, hopeless, helpless, anxious, sad, scared, whatever.
Don’t judge yourself for that, and don’t you dare let others judge you for it. Let yourself experience it…. and then let it go.
Then read this article about how negative emotions are the key to being a healthy person. “In recent years I have noticed an increase in the number of people who also feel guilty or ashamed about what they perceive to be negativity. Such reactions undoubtedly stem from our culture’s overriding bias toward positive thinking. Although positive emotions are worth cultivating, problems arise when people start believing they must be upbeat all the time.”
And SMILE!! Because you’re far more complex than an orange.