For years I have been familiar with the concept of emotional healing/ personal growth being likened to onion skins. Once we feel we have made progress in one area of life, then lo and behold there is another layer to face. I understood the concept, but I used to find it quite disheartening. The process as never ending… There would always be more work to do… More layers to uncover…
I know there is an element of truth in that… Maybe life is a continual journey of uncovering, dealing with issues and then facing the next ones… But it never felt hugely life giving to me. It made me feel that ‘healing’ (whatever that means) was always unattainable.
However at the end of January this year, while in silent retreat with a wonderful group of nuns- my spiritual director there introduced me to the idea of ‘growth rings’. And I have found the reframing really helpful. The onion skins always put me in a place of being stripped… Depleted… The analogy itself of peeling away the onions layers assumed pain… Whereas, growth rings- now that’s a different thing. Growth can still be painful… Anyone remember growing pains as a youngster? Yes, possible still painful… But the whole feel is positive. I’m growing. Expanding. Changing. Evolving. Now that sounds far more hopeful to me.
I don’t like onion skins… But I love the thought of developing my growth rings. Interesting, what language can conjure up! I am going to embrace my growth rings!
Thanks for listening.