Inside Out

I used to bottle up my frustrations.

It festered into a boiling internal rage.

Then little things would irritate me, and I would Blow Up.

Charles R. Swindoll says:

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

And what’s inside of you will determine how you react.  So when I was internalizing my frustrations, thinking I was just being polite, any little upset would then cause a big blow up.  Because anger was bottled up inside.  To relate to the equation – life gave 10% of a little upset, and I gave 90% of a Big Blow-up.

Wayne Dyer says:

When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out, because that’s what’s inside.What comes out when life squeezes you? 

If anger, rage, and fear come out of you when you get hurt or offended, it’s because that’s what is inside.

Those are some of the rough qualities that were inside of me from suppressing all of my frustrations.  I would shove them deep inside of me, making my insides a cauldron of rage and hostility.  Fueling it all, was fear.  I had a fear of these strong emotions, and a fear of the results from expressing them.  So of course I didn’t project those feelings on the outside of me.   On the outside, I projected a demeanor that was calm and polite.  I colored it all with a personality of positivity; with a bright smile, and an attitude of YES!

And yet if I got cut off in traffic, stubbed my toe, or even simply dropped my keys… then BOOM… the rage I had bottled up inside would burst out.  Sometimes I would surprise myself with how upset I could become in getting the slightest “squeeze” from life.

It’s like that orange. You can put all kinds of spiritual, self-help, rah-rah bumper stickers all over it, so that it looks like some kind of happy little sticker ball; but if you squeeze that thing, orange juice is still going to come out!

To really make change, you need to change what is inside.  You can’t bottle up and repress all of your anger, thinking that’s the way to avoid being angry.  You only end up making that anger be what’s inside of you, ready to color how you react to life.

So how do you not let yourself bottle up and repress frustrations?  You’ve got to just drop those emotions completely.  You’ve got to let them go.

Robert Eliot says:

Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff!

Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.

When I read that cheeky quote years ago, it pissed me off.  That’s where I was.  Now it brings a smile to my face, and a feeling of lightheartedness. That is what’s inside of me now.

Have you ever snapped and went off on someone, and then immediately felt shocked, apologizing; saying “I didn’t mean it, that’s not me.”  Well, you may have been sincere, not wanting it to be who you are, but it did come from what was inside of you.  It was you.  Is that a life sentence?  No.  You’re not an orange. You’re a person!  Part of the beauty of being a living, breathing person on planet Earth, is that you get to grow and change, and you get to choose what you fill yourself up with.

What do you want to be filled up with?  Anger, fear, and rage? Or Joy, Peace, and Love?  You get to choose.  Do you want to fill yourself up with Peace and Joy?  Focus on those emotions, and fill yourself up with them!  It sounds so simple, right?  It is simple.  But it does require consciously choosing what values to hold onto.  It requires consciously choosing what to let go of.  And it requires consciously choosing what to internalize.

All of this talk about squeezing oranges, making orange juice come out, reminds me of a classic joke I remember hearing from Ellen Degeneres:

If olive oil is made from olives,

and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, 

what is baby oil made from?

That Ellen is hilarious!  She does such a good job of bringing joy to others and lightening the mood.  And on her daytime talk show, she does this wonderful thing at the end of of each broadcast, by reminding people to be kind.

Please be kind to others.  Please be kind to yourself!  Fill yourself up with happy, kind thoughts, so that when you do get squeezed by life – happy, kind thoughts are ready to spill out, and make it better.

There is much love here for you.


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