We Are Not Onions – Part 2 of 3

The phrase, We are like onions and we’re peeling away the layers has been used so often and for such a long time that it’s accepted as a basic truth. It’s not. Though they have a stem that unites them and holds them together, each layer of an onion is a separate entity, easily disposed of and not dependent on or intertwined with any other layer. Thinking of ourselves like onions diminishes the complexity of our mind, our emotions and our healing process.
None of our layers exist on their own. Every experience (layer) that we have, whether past, present or future, is intertwined. Our emotions stem from our experiences and every emotion (another type of layer) past, present or future is intertwined.
I often hear statements and questions like these:
Something in my life came up again that I thought I’d dealt with. I was so angry about it. It really messed me up and changed how I reacted with some new friends. I really had to backpedal to get things on track again. 
I did the work! I meditated and realized where my problems came from but I’m still not happy. Why?
I changed jobs and let go of the toxic people in my life. Why do other toxic people keep coming to me?
These people are all working on their issues and although it may not feel like it at the time, they are moving forward.
When a beginning student studies music, they’ll often be given a simplified arrangement of a composition by Mozart, Bach or Beethoven. As they progress their teacher will provide them with more complicated arrangements of the same piece. And when they’ve studied and practiced and are ready, they’ll progress to the composer’s intended version. The reason seems obvious: as their knowledge and experience grows so does their ability to understand and handle each successively more difficult piece.
Healing works the same way. We have an issue. We face the issue and determine what we see as the best way to deal with it. Our efforts work and we feel better. Then the issue resurfaces and we may feel like we’re back to square one. But we’re not! Because you faced these issues before and worked on them, you have more tools to use going forward. You faced it before. Now that you’ve grown, you have more life experience and knowledge and the ability to recognize the problem more quickly and from new angles. You have the ability to go deeper, see more clearly and take appropriate action. You’ll also find that the emotional pain that you dealt with the first, second or third time around will start to ease. Every time that you’re confronted with this issue, you’ll recognize it more quickly and feel less pain. And each time that you deal with it, you’ll be able to see more deeply into yourself. Our problems, issues and difficulties can’t be torn off and thrown away like a piece of an onion. They are a part of us and they stay with us.
Why do these issues stay with us? 
1. They stay with us because we have more to learn.
2. The emotions that come with our struggles are warning signals. When you have a person or problem in your life that generates an unpleasant or difficult emotion and that emotion resurfaces, your inner self is alerting you to a potential problem. It may be a different person or different situation but if the emotion is the same, it’s telling you to open your eyes and be aware.
3. The more honest that you are with yourself about your issues, the more layers that you explore and the deeper that you go into your own healing, the easier it will be for you to connect with yourself and with other people on a deeper, more authentic level.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Meditation For Emotional Healing
I open every cell in my being to
feel forgiveness for myself.
I open every cell in my being to
feel compassion for myself.
I open every cell in my being to
feel love for myself.

We Are Not Onions – Part 1:We Are Not Onions – Part 1
Part 3 will be posted: Wednesday, 4/19/23


  1. So very true.. we are a sum total of everything – our many layers formed over time and experiences and more.. loved the post

  2. Thank you for posting this. I have been dealing with a negative person at work for a while. It isn’t the first time this has happened to me, and I feel like I am handling it a lot better than the last time. I also recognized the toxicity in this person much quicker than before. I’m tackling the problem head-on by being honest and transparent while protecting myself along the way. I’m still hoping for a positive outcome. Your words are very healing. Thank you my friend.

    • I wish that it wasn’t so but it is; sometimes the most important teachers come in the most unpleasant packages. I’m so happy for you that you were able to identify the toxic person quickly.

  3. This is a really beautiful, Victoria. An important reminder in those moments where we feel like we’re back to square one for sure. I have had those same thoughts but when I really look at it, a situation that would have stayed with me for days or weeks, I’m able to work through in a matter of hours. So sure, some of the same things keep coming up but I’m moving through them more quickly. The mediation left me feeling peaceful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *