Peeling Your Layers-One Layer At The Time
I remember when I used to watch my mom cut onions; she would put aside the layers she did not want to use and start cutting. And then, the magic happened as she would start shedding tears. As a child, I was mesmerized by what I saw and would tell my mother, “mom, don’t cry.” She would always smile and say “I’m not crying because I am sad Martine, the onions are so strong, they make my eyes watery which is why you see some tears falling down.”
I see ourselves as onions, with many layers surrounding us. Just like my mother used to put aside the layers she did not want to use, we, too often, put aside the emotions we BELIEVE are of no use to us yet without realizing our EMOTIONS are important and contribute to WHO we are and WHO we want to be.
Let’s think for a minute
When was the last time you allow yourself to genuinely cry because you were sad of what had transpired that day?
When was the last time you laughed so hard you allowed yourself to shed tears?
When was the last time you were so angry that you allowed your tears to run down your cheeks?
Chances are, not that often. We often don’t allow ourselves to feel our emotions and I mean to REALLY feel our emotions. And that is even more true when we found ourselves around other people. Because we’re so afraid of what others may think or say of our “emotional showing”, we choose to bundle them up and attempt to remove these emotions from our consciousness.
The question is, how has that been working for you?
Your 4 layers: let’s start peeling
The more vulnerable, fragile, honest, and genuine you start to be with yourself, the better you start feeling. It is not to say this peeling ride is without any emotional bumps and obstacles, but those emotional layers are removable when you allow yourself time to remove them.
Layer’s #1: Vulnerability
There is something interesting with this first layer. This layer is the BARRIER for your three other layers and the ONE that is the hardest to go through.
This layers guards all the other layers and takes its role very seriously. It does not want to give an inch. This layer believes any crack within it will make the other layers fall apart. This is where when you start cutting onions, your eyes and nose start itching as the smell is slowly coming in. You start rubbing them both while still not realizing what’s about to happen.
Vulnerability works like that. It does not want to be exposed to the “onion’s smell” and gets uncomfortable when it does. When vulnerability shows up, you see yourself act differently; you’re less composed and appear to no longer have control over which emotion and action you want to display. You’re disoriented and you don’t like it.
In this layer, you’re fighting hard — you don’t want to let go.
Layer’s #2: Fragility
Your vulnerability barrier has been pierced and your fragility can now be felt and seen. This is where you start to shed tears as you’re cutting your onions.
In this layer, you know you’ve exposed yourself. You’re conscious that your emotions are out in the open and can, at anytime, be utilized by others or by yourself. This is when you often attempt to hide your face if you’ve been crying or attempt to make what’s happening “not as bad as it looks” or say things that can “lessen” whatever you’re involved in.
Because your emotions are out in the open, you’re still very uncomfortable and not necessarily used to or want to explain what’s happening with you. You’re in this high emotionally charge place and attempting to comprehend your own self.
In this layer, you’re feeling — “naked” without your protective robe, your vulnerability barrier.
Layer’s #3: Honesty
This is where things start to change, an important shift is occurring, you’re ready to tell the truth about your emotions. Your hiding days are over. You’re admitting the onions’ smell is making you cry.
You begin to be honest with others, but more importantly, you start to be honest with yourself. You realize whatever has been happening may or may not be changeable, but it is best for you to start finding ways to either solve the matter or move on from that matter.
You start breathing more easily. The world’s weight is gradually leaving your shoulders and your life, as you know it, starts to be a little bit brighter, more colorful, and enjoyable. As if you’re liberating yourself from this invisible pressure that suffocated you for awhile.
In this layer, your “emotional nakedness” — is becoming less and less problematic to you.
Layer’s #4: Genuineness
This is where all of your POWER resides. The more genuine you are with yourself, the more connected you’re going to be with your emotions and the less afraid or ashamed you’ll feel with experiencing them.
In this last layer, you not only understand the power behind being honest with your emotions, but you start embracing the opportunity to feel your emotions whether they are positive or negative. Here, what matters is that you feel the emotional energy and absorb it so you can learn from what’s happening or what has happened.
You are at the CORE of your onion. You know each layer and each part has a specific role and your new role is to analyze it all and make the best from what you’re experiencing.
In this layer, you’re aware — of your strengths and self-learning opportunities.
I want to end this piece by letting you know, I too, like my mother, cry when cutting onions. I’ve learned and continue to learn the importance of each of my layers. In truth, we may not always reach our fourth layer as each situation or circumstance are different. What you can do however is to attempt, while in that moment, to peel as much layers as you can. The earliest you start peeling these layers, the sooner you’ll start feeling better about yourself as you’re getting closer to reaching the CORE of your onion.