“Life is like an onion:
you peel it off one layer at a time,
and sometimes you weep”
Peeling the onion is a common metaphor for healing. Edgar Cayce taught that "we are like onions and each of our layers looks very much like the one before. But as we peel the onion, we get closer and closer to the center: to the heart of the matter, the core themes that are pervasive in our lives."
from the New World Encyclopedia: "The expression 'layers of the onion' is used to describe a situation in which it is possible to go deeper and deeper revealing seemingly similar layers until a central core is reached."
Lately, I've been thinking about this metaphor as I work with clients and as I work through my own healing process. Imagine the papery outer layers of the onion.. they peel off easily to reveal more layers. Each time we get through the next layer, we learn more about ourselves and become stronger. And we think, Ahhhhh, I've done it, gotten though, smooth sailing now! But since this process is like an onion, you pull off one layer, and there is yet another layer! Our work is to get to the innermost core, the deepest layer. But we must work our way thorough the outer layers first. We peel back one layer only to find a juicier one underneath. In my kitchen, I am reminded that occasionally there is a nasty yucky layer between two perfectly edible layers of onion and once I wash that messy part off, the rest of the onion is good to use.
We must remember that each layer brings us closer to the center. And in that center, is the promise of growth, the potential for a new life. We must remember that, from the onion's perspective, those layers and layers are simply compost and fertilizer for its next stage of growth. It is the same for our healing process, all of those layers of life experiences and healing work are nourishment for the BE-ing that we are BE-coming.
the onion peels
the tears spill
the pond fills
the lotus unfolds