When you squeeze an orange you don’t get lemon juice. Even under stress, the orange stays true to its essential self. It is during trying times that who we truly are is revealed. I find the mantras “Be the orange” or “Stay the orange” to be useful when I am tired, under pressure, and tempted to take out my frustration on others.
Acting congruent with my true beliefs, staying steadfast to my best self: these are core values. The metaphor that lemon juices does not flow from an orange is a powerful and vivid emotional reminder in times of tension to relax and come from that place deep within me, which is always cool, calm and centered.
“Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.” — James Lane Allen; 1949–1925, American novelist and short story writer, “As a Man Thinketh (in his heart so is he)”
“Give your stress wings and let it fly away.” — Terri Guillemets; 1973–
“In times of stress, our impatience surfaces. We may say things we don’t really mean or intend to say—all out of proportion to reality. Or we may become sullen, communicating through emotion and attitude rather than words, eloquent messages of criticism, judgment, and rejection. We then harvest hurt feelings and strained relationships. Patience is the practical expression of faith, hope, wisdom, and love. It is a very active emotion. It is not indifference, sullen endurance, or resignation. Patience is emotional diligence. It accepts the reality of step-by-step processes and natural growth cycles. Life provides abundant chances to practice patience—to stretch the emotional fiber—from waiting for a late person or plane to listening quietly to your child’s feelings and experiences when other things are pressing.” — Stephen R. Covey; 1932–2012, “30 Methods of Influence”