Healing an onion

I spent more time in tears this last weekend than I have in quite some time. I’m realizing that there are layers to some wounds that require coming back to them time and again to continue the healing process on ever deeper layers. Each visit peels away another layer of the wound leaving a smaller and smaller wound underneath with every pass. With each successive layer, the healing process shifts and changes in what is needed and what resources I have to effect that healing.

The particular wound I’ve been re-encountering this weekend began as what seemed to be an enormous onion. An onion that brought tears to my eyes, as onions do, with every cut to that outer layer and every tug as I pulled it loose. The enormity of that initial wound seemed to block out all light from the sun making my world look very dark indeed. I felt as if my heart stayed in a state of nonstop weeping that left me raw and battered. My entire life seemed focused down to nothing more than the actual loss that seemed to define this wound. It felt like a death as I pushed forward with the process of stripping that layer off, but I reached a point as that initial layer fell away where the pain eased, the weeping slowed, the sun began to peak around the edges of the newly smaller onion-wound.

I re-gained a bit of strength, rested a bit, and then immediately found myself back at work stripping away another layer of the wound. This next layer forced me to realize that the hurt was deeper than I imagined and that one encounter with the wound was not going to be enough to heal it. It was a continuation of the previous death, but this time it didn’t seem quite as overwhelming. The smaller onion meant that the sun was not entirely blocked out. The weeping was not quite as constant as before. This next layer was peeled away a little faster due to its smaller size. This time I saw both the loss that triggered the wound and began to recognize the patterns that lay beneath it that made it possible for the situation to have occurred in the first place. As this layer fell away, yet more light appeared and more space was opened.

I’ve been resting and recuperating—regaining my strength and my hold on life these last few weeks. It’s been a resurrection of sorts. I’ve been re-learning the beauty of life, restoring my self-value and finding things to love about myself again. I’m remembering that life is good.

In the last week, I’ve come face to face with the next layer of the onion-wound. The tears have flowed again. The pain has re-asserted itself. The loss again looms ever-present in my consciousness. But this time, the sun is barely dimmed. I can work on peeling away this layer without forgetting for a moment that life is good. I am recognizing even more strongly that I have patterns that are unhelpful and that need to change, and I am doing this without any of the usual self-hatred. I can see my own contributions to the situation that has wounded me so deeply and can view them with compassion and gentleness. This time around, the actual situation has become secondary to my desire to bring healing to the patterns that need to shift.

I suspect that this layer is going to peel away even faster than the last one, with fewer tears and less pain involved. I also suspect that I will find deeper layers still remaining underneath this one but that each one will be easier to bear and easier to heal as the onion-wound continues to shrink and the deeper patterns continue to shift and heal. With each layer that is removed, I find that I have greater resources of strength, of understanding, of self-acceptance, and of courage to bring to bear on the next layer. With each layer, the overall onion-wound size shrinks to more manageable proportions. One day, I’ll pull away that final tiny layer, and this onion-wound will disappear to be just a memory—leaving in its place strong layers of healing and healthy patterns to prevent a wound of this magnitude ever forming again. I look forward to that day!

In the meantime, I will continue ever deeper into my yoga practice to give me the resources I need to peel away this latest layer. This time, though, even as I weep the tears that onions cause, I will hold fast with much gratitude to the knowledge that life is good, that I have value, and that this too shall pass.

A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a very fragile place, and it takes a good deal of vulnerability to share this personal journey of transformation so openly. Therefore, I need this to be a safe place for exploration and sharing for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight—or the expression of that experience or insight—are NOT welcome here and will be deleted.