Peeling the onion, lifting the layers

We live under layers. The circumstances of our lives lead to the gradual accumulation of them. Some layers can be beneficial, and some are a weight upon us. Layers of beliefs and experiences. Layers of history, misunderstanding, deception, broadly-directed anger, subcultures, real or perceived hurts, diseases and desires. We’re barely aware it’s happening, the accumulation of layers around our solid core. It’s like we are the frog in the water who doesn’t realize the temperature is rising.

What’s a sign that the layers are a weight rather than an attribute? Well, it can vary. Crying over everything – both good and bad – can be a sign. Lashing out at people and provoking arguments with strangers can be a sign. On twitter, I’ve seen people continually instigate arguments with strangers just so they could block them, like a virtual sociopath. When you step back and see that your energy is not being focused in a healthy direction – gossip, jealousy, general negativity – that is a sign. When you misconstrue the efforts of friends and loved ones to be an attack, that is a sign. What else? Look into a child’s eyes and if there is any uncertainty, that is a strong sign. Children see things that adults dismiss. The most profound sign of all is when you realize within yourself that you have somehow become lost, and it’s time to be found.

When we start to deal with the layers, it’s like loosening and slowly peeling the layers of an onion. Your core is under there, somewhere. I once said that it’s not our shell that keeps us strong, it’s our core. Perhaps it’s more than that. I think our shell can actually make us weak, by obscuring our core from self and others. Like a touchstone unable to be touched.

Peeling the layers is good, honest work. Like with a real onion, the process often involves tears. It doesn’t come easily, but in the end there is hope for a lighter you, without the layers of onion. The baggage once carried is boxed up and put aside. You can visit it from time to time, but you are allowed to move out from under it and set it down.

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9 thoughts on “Peeling the onion, lifting the layers

  1. Discard any people who are or are like sociopaths like layers you work to discard. They’re far too toxic to let seep into your life.

    Perhaps loosening the layers is also a little bit like a flower blooming. The less tight and closed the layers are…the more beautiful things become.

    I think I’ve told you a trillion times how much I love this post..but just in case you didn’t catch it? I really really love this post. xo

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  2. I loved your analogy and it is really true! Over time we have added so many layers to shield ourselves that one loses touch with oneself too. Lovely post.

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  3. Sometimes, you will wish you could just get to it. Why does this process of un-layering, one by one by one, little by little, bit by bit – have to be so tiring, grueling, and sometimes even excruciatingly painful?

    But you know, deep down, that you can’t just suddenly go from this bundle of layers in one moment to the core in another. You wouldn’t want to. That shift in reality would be too sudden, too burdensome to make any sense of it all. It would be confusing and baffling, to say the least.

    And that is why you know, it is ok to go layer by layer, bit by bit, little by little. It has to be such a careful, delicate process that it’s almost like you don’t know it, even if you do. Every time a layer is removed, you have to accept this new shape, new form that you have now become. Before you can begin to start peeling off another layer.

    And as frustrating as it sometimes may seem, you know deep down that somewhere, this process is even enjoyable. You can’t be certain what this core is that you’re aiming for. But you do know that you become more beautiful with every single layer taken off. If that is so, can you even begin to imagine how beautiful the core would turn out to be?

    And it is then that you know you will feel truly light. It will be like throwing off all your heavy woolen clothing when the winter ends, and throwing your arms up in the air to enjoy the cool spring breeze – with a “Weeeeeeee!”

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  4. Sometimes, you will wish you could just get to it. Why does this process of un-layering, one by one by one, little by little, bit by bit – have to be so tiring, grueling, and sometimes even excruciatingly painful?

    But you know, deep down, that you can’t just suddenly go from this bundle of layers in one moment to the core in another. You wouldn’t want to. That shift in reality would be too sudden, too burdensome to make any sense of it all. It would be confusing and baffling, to say the least.

    And that is why you know, it is ok to go layer by layer, bit by bit, little by little. It has to be such a careful, delicate process that it’s almost like you don’t know it, even if you do. Every time a layer is removed, you have to accept this new shape, new form that you have now become. Before you can begin to start peeling off another layer.

    And as frustrating as it sometimes may seem, you know deep down that somewhere, this process is even enjoyable. You can’t be certain what this core is that you’re aiming for. But you do know that you become more beautiful with every single layer taken off. If that is so, can you even begin to imagine how beautiful the core would turn out to be?

    And it is then that you know you will feel truly light. It will be like throwing off all your heavy woolen clothing when the winter ends, and throwing your arms up in the air to enjoy the cool spring breeze – with a “Weeeeeeee!”

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    1. This is expressed so well, Arushi, and you make a good point. There is something meaningful and worthwhile about the process of unlayering. It is like different shapes and incarnations of oneself explored along the way. Sometimes the next layer isn’t evident until the layer above has been removed. Like peeling an exotic fruit!

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  5. And that is why you know, it is ok to go layer by layer, bit by bit, little by little. It has to be such a careful, delicate process that it’s almost like you don’t know it, even if you do. Every time a layer is removed, you have to accept this new shape, new form that you have now become. Before you can begin to start peeling off another layer.

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    1. …and some layers are removed more easily than others. I like the idea of adopting to the ever-evolving shape of ourselves in a step-wise manner. Thanks for commenting!

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