A Surprise Lesson from Squeezing an Orange

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I'm a Certified Health Coach, longtime blogger, and host of Elizabeth Eats on YouTube. In addition to writing recipes (I love to eat!), I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life.


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orange lesson Wayne Dyer

I first discovered this story when I was sitting on the beach in St. Kitts on a sales award trip with a product partner.

I was trying my best to relax, but sitting on the beach doing nothing was making me antsy, and my mind was racing 100 mph. After about 45 minutes of staring at the waves, I decided it was time to hop on the free wifi and browse my saved links on Facebook (old habits die hard, don’t judge me!).

Luckily, the first link that came up was a short story by Dr. Wayne Dyer and it really stuck with me. It was the only distraction I needed to set my phone down and get back to relaxing. It came to me at the perfect time for me, and I hope it does for you, too.

It’s such a great reminder to be mindful of what we let into our minds and hearts, because we are, after all, in charge of what we let in and what we don’t.

As told by the late Dr. Wayne W. Dyer:

A Surprise Lesson from Squeezing an Orange

I was preparing to speak at a 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…

Food for Thought This Week:

If someone squeezed you, what would come out?

Stay mindful of what you let in, and consider some internal housekeeping to get the negative out. Life is too short to be a sour orange.

What do you think? Share your thoughts about this in the comments below!

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  1. Aliosn says:

    I absolutely love this story! Would like some insight into how to resolve anger and add more love inside.

  2. Linda England says:

    That was a fantastic story and so appropriate at this moment in time with the Covid-19 crisis. It has been quite alarming to see the venom that has been spat out on social media. We are all struggling at the moment but anger and hate will only make the struggle more uphill than it has to be. I want to protect my immune system so stressing, anger and hate have no place in my life.

  3. Aoibheann says:

    This is brilliant. I don’t know why it suddenly. And up in my feed but I’m so grateful. It’s a Bryan’s simple message. I’d love to share it with someone. How do I do that directly from this page ? Thanks Elizabeth. I like what you do- a lot! And Pass on the link to your book so my readers can get to know your work too 🙂

  4. vlad says:

    If someone squeezes you in a great, tight hug, love start pouring out of you, right? 🙂

    • Kerri Zone says:

      I certainly hope that love would be what got squeezed out of me!❤ I have so much to share but nobody seems to want any…😪

  5. Manuela Oliveros says:

    I love the analogy of the orange ….. I can really use this at work with my coworkers thank you I’m new to the blog

  6. Janet Slivinski says:

    This is great I thank you so much. You are an amazing person and so kind.

  7. Wendy J Hall says:

    This came at the most perfect time! I was having a hard time at work and after reading Dr. Dyer’s story, I am much better at telling myself to approach everything with love! This is such a simple message that apparently needs to be learned again and again by me! I’m thankful for you sharing this story!

  8. Val Crosby says:

    Dear Elizabeth, the orange lesson was very thought provoking and is what is taught in the Bible, the only difference is that we can only live in obedience to the Bible if we let Jesus Christ do it for us. I hope
    that when someone squeezes me it would be the reaction of Jesus that comes out, if it isn’t then it would definatly be me! But Praise God, when I slip up God forgives me and as I forgive the person that squeezed me, I am free! Thank you Jesus!

  9. Joan Ouimet says:

    Thank you Elizabeth for relaying such simple and great wisdom! This will stay with me forever.

  10. peggy wagoner says:

    Loved this and all that you do and share. You are a blessing to us all. Thank you so very much!

  11. Karen says:

    I definately need to smile more.
    Raised as a stoic although thats no reason to be a sourpuss. Perhaps I can put more effort into doing things that make me happy.!
    Thanks for the observation.

  12. Susie Frisby says:

    Good morning, Elizabeth,

    Thank you so much for the “food for thought” this time. I really appreciate it, and will indeed give it more thought, put it into practice in my life.

    I am finally emerging from a really bad Christmas. We had all 5 of our children here, including 5 spouses, and 10 grandchildren. The gathering wasn’t our idea, but we worked for months getting things ready to help everyone feel as comfortable and welcomed as possible.
    Nevertheless, there was a blowup, on Christmas night no less, and I was emotionally kicked in the stomach. I never saw it coming…While I understand that no one can MAKE me feel a certain way (I have to allow it to happen), the fact that I was taken so much by surprise made it all the worse.

    Anyway, it’s taken a few months to work past what happened and get on with things. I’m sure my faith in God (and everything that goes with that) has played a very important part in my “recovery”. Which is all the more reason I really appreciated your message today. Replacing negative feelings with love is a lifetime feat, but I have started.

    Thank you again for sharing something that meant so much to you at one point, because now it means a lot so someone else! Me!

    I hope you have a good day, I know I will.
    Susie Frisby~

    • Susie, so glad this helped you. Keep focusing on the good! You may also want to listen to or read Louise Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Life”—it’s one of my all-time favorites and may help you in this situation, too. Wishing you well! ~E

  13. Caroline says:

    Wow! Great message. Thank you for sharing, Elizabeth 🙂

  14. Arwa says:

    Thanks Liz! Really resonated with me 🙂

  15. Danielle says:

    That was wonderful. Love Wayne Dyer

  16. Angie Gray says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m so glad I opened and what a perfect time it was. My whole focus now is teaching workshops on relationships and I can’t wait to share this.
    Please know that you continue to make a difference in my life. 🙏🏻

  17. sheila says:

    that’s an awesome post, it made me think…

  18. Lady Liz Lotus says:

    Loved this! Thank you

  19. Joan Camara says:

    Enjoyed that MUCH! Thank you…I want to keep that in mind, always!

  20. Christine L. Dillon says:

    Thank you Elizabeth for taking the time to share this. xc

Hi, I'm Elizabeth

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