Unresolved issues, anger and resentments are just like lemon juice on a little cut – the smallest affront can make us over-react and say things we later regret.
The world is full of teachers, if you take the time and have the inclination to be taught. I’m not talking about teachers in a classroom, I mean the people who cross our paths everyday with nuggets of wisdom to offer – if we choose to hear what they have to say.
I recently stumbled across such a teacher who described a valuable lesson she had learned about life. And like many great teachers, she used a metaphor to explain it.
“You know how when you have a little cut on your hand, if you get lemon juice on it, it burns like crazy?” she asked.
I thought about the lemon that I’d squeezed that day into my iced tea and the paper cut on my index finger. Yes. I could relate.
“You could rub lemon all over your hands and never feel or experience anything more than the scent of the fresh fruit,” she said. “But if you have even the tiniest unhealed wound, when the juice hits it, it hurts like crazy.”
She went on to explain how at one point in her life, her hands (her emotional well-being) were covered with “cuts.” When those cuts came into contact with lemon juice (life) her unhealed wounds were as painful as the day they happened. But it wasn’t the lemon juice that caused the pain – it was the cut coming into contact with the juice that caused the pain.
Being someone who digs into life with both hands, no gloves, I could so relate to this brilliant metaphor. It’s hard not to get a little cut or abrasion when you take off your protective gloves and are busy grasping life. So even though the little nicks and cuts will happen from time to time, it’s so important to make sure the sliver is out, the cut is washed and we make sure the wound is healed. Otherwise, we risk forever wincing in pain every time the “lemon juice” touches that unhealed cut.
This teacher’s lemon juice story was one of those “ah ha” moments for me because it required a reversal of perspective. It’s not living life that causes the pain, it’s our reaction to life when it washes over those unresolved hurts: No unhealed wounds, no painful reaction.
When we over-react to what others do or say, when we take deep offense to an off-hand remark that came with no bad intentions – when we back-off, withdraw, and shut down over some minor issue, it’s likely an old wound is what’s really causing the problem.
A singular life can be so sweet — even when it’s sometimes a bit tart or sour – let’s heal those old wounds so we can enjoy every drop.
Copyright 2013 © Kim Calvert/Singular Communications, LLC.