I bet most of you thought I was about to quote ‘Forrest Gump’, didn’t you? “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get!” While that is very much a true statement, it wasn’t exactly where I was headed.
As I sat peeling a small mandarin orange the other night, this somewhat peculiar, yet fitting, analogy began to form in my mind. Life really is more like an orange. Now, hear me out all the way to the end. It really does make sense. Let’s start with the peel, the outside layer. That thick, protective later is the final wrap that holds the orange all together. Isn’t this much like the invisible, yet protective barriers, or walls, that we put up around our lives? We try to keep others out in an attempt to guard our heart, even our soul, where we are truly most vulnerable.
When you first puncture the peel and begin to pull it away, there is always the slightest spritz of juice that escapes. It’s almost like taking the pressure off of a bottle of soda. No, we don’t spritz anyone when they try to breach our outer walls. But we usually do have quite a few words of warning, in an effort to deter people who don’t have our best interests at heart.
When the peel is completely off the orange, we have now exposed a secondary layer. While this one is much thinner, it still serves as a protective. barrier to the heart of the fruit. We tend to let people into our lives, but we still try to keep them at arm’s length. We try to be a bit more protective of our heart.
The core of the orange goes right through the center of the fruit from top to bottom. It serves as an anchor for the ‘strings’ that make up the thin later that still envelopes the orange. At last, we are one step away from exposing the inner most part of the orange…the 9 individual pieces are tightly bound together. Once we pull the orange apart, it is ready to finish cleaning up the loose strings, then we can enjoy the sweetness of the fruit.
While the 9 different pieces could really be different for everyone, I think what I chose certainly tries to cover it all. Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Core Values, Manners, Personality, & Common Sense or Rationality. Once we decide to truly let someone into our lives, to intermingle with each aspect of our life…then we are at the most vulnerable point of all.
One wrong decision & you can instantly experience such devastation. But as long as others proceed with extreme caution and respect, they will receive the very nest of you in exchange.
So, while the analogy may seem somewhat silly…in the end, it just fits.