To Get to The Innermost Core
“Life is like an onion: you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep” ~Carl Sandburg
Peeling an 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."
I often think about this metaphor as I work with yoga students, and my energy healing clients, and my own healing process. Imagine the papery outer skins of the onion, they peel off easily to reveal a denser layer. Each time we get through the next layer, we learn more about ourselves and become stronger. We think, "Ahhhhh, I've done it. I’ve gotten through. It's smooth sailing now!" but since this process is like the onion, when you pull off one layer there is yet another one waiting for you!
Our work is to get to the innermost core, the deepest layer, but we must work our way through the outer ri
ngs first. There is always a juicier one underneath. In my kitchen, I am reminded that occasionally there is a nasty, yucky layer between two perfectly edible parts of onion, and once I wash that messy part off, the rest of the onion is good to use. The healing process requires that we carefully peel back each layer. There are no shortcuts to be had by slicing through several at once. We must process each layer one-by-one and allow the body to adapt and reorganize itself before moving toward the next layer. Working through each layer, we are brought closer to the center, and in that center is the promise of growth, the potential for a new way of moving through 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 ~ Reisha