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Peeling an orange is almost as easy as peeling a tangerine if you know how to do it.

A tangerine has thin skin and a little space between the inside of the peeling and the juicy flesh. So when you poke a little hole in the empty pocket of air under the skin, it is easy to peel all the skin off the tangerine.

An orange is a bit different. The peel of an orange is stuck fast to the juicy flesh by a white membrane that can be rather thick. There is no air pocket layer between the flesh and the inside of the peel. Most people just cut an orange in half and eat it that way or they slice all the way through the orange to make wedges. There is another way to get to the juicy flesh of the orange that lies just beneath the outer skin.

Just a few minutes ago I took a firm orange out of the bottom drawer of the refrigerator. With a sharp knife I cut through just the thick skin from end to end all the way around the orange almost like I was going to cut wedges, but I didn’t cut all the way through the juicy flesh. After I had made about nine cuts on the orange, I peeled the skin off in the wedge sections I had just cut.

Since I had cut through both the outer skin and the inner white membrane, it was easy to quickly peel them both off the juicy flesh of the orange. I put the orange peels in a bowl next to the kitchen sink to use the next time I have dishes to wash. Then I stood at the sink pulling the wedges of juicy orange flesh apart and ate them.

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As you can tell, it is possible to peel an orange almost as easily as it is to peel a tangerine. However, if you had not ever read about this orange peeling technique, seen anyone peel an orange this way, or discovered it when you were peeling an orange before, you would have no idea that peeling an orange could be this easy. Without knowledge of this simple technique, you would probably believe it wasn’t possible to peel an orange without a lot of juicy mess. All you would really know is:

  • an orange has super fragrant skin oils
  • an orange has a juicy sweet inner flesh
  • an orange has bitter white membranes between the inner flesh and the outer peeling
  • an orange has a few seeds found within the inner juicy flesh

You either see the small picture of just the facts about an orange as you know them or you can have knowledge you obtained one way or another about a method that is more outside the box when it comes to peeling an orange.

Little knowledge, small picture or more knowledge, big picture.

Every day you are faced with information and choices. You have time to research the topic or previous knowledge about what is driving some of the choices you face, but sometimes you must make a blind choice and hope for the best. Some examples of blind choices that you might make during your life may cause you to ask these questions:

  • What is the best way to reach your child so that he/she will not only hear you, but understand and internalize what you are saying?
  • Which highway will get you to your destination faster?
  • Which stock will give you the biggest return in twenty years?
  • Will you enjoy a vacation to this destination or that destination more?
  • Will marrying this woman/man bring you a life full of support and happiness?

Without any other knowledge than what you have right now, you are just gambling with the outcome.

No information. No observation. No experience. No knowledge.

However, if you see the big picture and you are enlightened with some important information, it is easier to make a better choice. For example, if you knew that three miles down one of the highways there was a five car pile up and the police had just blocked all three lanes, you would choose to take the other highway instead. How about if you had a choice to take a ski trip and you knew that two feet of fresh snow would fall each day of your vacation at one of the ski resorts, you would definitely choose that place to visit.

Knowledge and insight helps you make better choices.

Seeing the big picture of a situation also is vital. For instance, we all know that keeping our shoes tied is important because untied laces can cause us to trip. However, if you are standing in the middle of a parking lot and notice that your shoe is untied when the sky starts dumping softball size hail balls all around you, is that the time to lean down and tie your shoe?

No! If you get hit in the head with a hail ball that big, you are going to be knocked unconscious and maybe injured. The small picture is tying your shoe lace and the big picture is tying your shoe lace AFTER you get to safety from the softball size hail balls.

Being wise with the knowledge you have gained will bring you comfort and peace.

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My simple stories may be just that to you today…simple. I made them simple for a reason. If you can understand the simplistic nature of these choices and consequences, then you have a leg up on the harder choices that are unclear.

Using my earlier examples, it is impossible, totally impossible to know which stock will give you the biggest return in twenty years. You can research the companies and look at the history of each company versus their stock, but it is impossible to KNOW for sure which will be the better choice. The same holds true with how to reach your child or which person will add the most happiness to your life if you marry them. You can’t KNOW either of these answers, but you can use the knowledge you have acquired and the history you’ve had with the child and your partner to make the best possible choice.

Looking at the big picture instead of focusing on every tiny detail right now will help you make better choices. It is your life, so listen to your gut instinct when you have done everything else possible to figure out which choice is the best.

When I was tormented by PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) people everywhere told me that it could not be healed. People posted comments on my blog, Facebook, Twitter and in emails telling me how it might get better, but it wouldn’t ever go away. Some books I read by doctors, specials on television, news reports, movies, and a few therapists that I did not go to all told me that it “might” get easier for me to cope with, but I would “never” be healed or recover. Not only wouldn’t I recover, but the rest of my life was going to be miserable to some extent.

That was the little picture.

Those people were focusing on the negative effects of PTSD and the totally misunderstood aspects of the disorder.

People repeat what they hear and are afraid of things they don’t understand.

I believed in my gut instinct. I believed in a big picture that only I believed until I found an excellent therapist who said, “Yes, you can heal from PTSD if you work for recovery.”

The reason I kept switching therapists was because I needed a therapist who believed the same big picture that existed in my head and soul. I knew that I could live a normal life again without being riddled by flashbacks and horrible startle reflexes. My gut instinct was as good as knowledge because I KNEW that I would work hard at it until I was recovered.

There are several takeaways today.

  1. Believe in your gut instinct.
  2. Don’t focus on the small picture.
  3. Make decisions based on the big picture.
  4. Your life requires YOU to make the choices.
  5. All your knowledge does not have to be gained first hand.
  6. Failing is part of learning and is not a negative. Failing is one step closer to success. Actually, you have to fail in order to eventually succeed.
  7. Good choices will bring you peace.
  8. Taking the time to make a decision is better than making a rash decision.
  9. If you don’t have information or experience about something, don’t tell someone you have knowledge about it.
  10. PTSD does NOT have to be permanent. YOU can eradicate it from your life. Yes, it will take more work than you’ve ever had to do before, but getting your life back is well worth the agony.

My life today is not completely the way I want it to be and there are a lot of aspects about my life that I wish would disappear, however, I do have peace. I have peace because each day I refocus on what is really important in life.


Loving and being loved by family, friends and God are the most important things in life.

That’s why I have peace – I am loved.

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This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kenny Sellards April 28, 2015 at 9:46 am

Excelletnt post today Sherry! Enjoyed the read. However… the one big question I took away from it is gonna make you laugh… all the way back to the begining.. when you were talking about the orange, you said you would put the peel by the sink until you did dishes…

Why is that? 🙂

Thank you for posting! Have a great day! *hugs*


2 Sherry Riter April 30, 2015 at 7:14 am

Thank you so much!

Ahhhh, the orange peels! 😛 I think I will go write a post about it right now while it is fresh on my mind! You’ll have to let me know what you think about it tomorrow. 🙂


3 Jim Richards April 28, 2015 at 6:15 pm

… btw – I do peel & eat oranges that way – AND grapefruit (one for breakfast every day) … 🙂 … the big picture IS important to see before making decisions … when we are young and rash, that truth is not so obvious – so there is no substitute for a good parent or mentor … as we grow older, experience gives us a wealth of caution, affording us the time to ponder whether the picture before us is small or large – arguably allowing us to live even longer in peace …. 😉


4 Sherry Riter April 30, 2015 at 7:13 am

Absolutely true Jim! 😀


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