Life is like an onion.
As we go through life, we have experiences that add layers. These layers seem normal and maybe comfortable. Sometimes the layers are helpful, like when we add experience in building confidence in our abilities.
Other times, the layers get in our way, like when we learn to be defensive or self-centered.
We add each of our layers slowly, but not necessarily intentionally. Each layer serves a purpose at the time, and we deem it essential when we add it. We begin building layers as soon as we start having life experiences.
Each layer builds on what was there before. For example, a belief that the world is dangerous is built on top of believing home is not a safe place. Similarly, the belief you can succeed in business is built on success in sports and school.
Over the past few years, Beth and I have taken a lot of time to look at those layers. Some are easier to see than others. Some we like, and others we don’t. We’ve noticed that as we discover a layer and work through it, a new layer appears. We’ve realized that as we peel back the layers, our lives change and it has now become a virtuous cycle. The more we peel, the brighter our life is – which encourages us to continue the work. What was once hidden becomes obvious.
At times, it feels never-ending. We’ve found more layers appear around difficult subjects. Working through them takes effort, patience, and courage.
It’s in those moments of frustration when we stop ourselves and marvel at the incredible progress we’ve made over these few years. I’ve moved from living with depression as a constant companion to banishing it to the hinterlands; while at the same time each of us has worked through more layers of anger and resentment than we ever fathomed possessing.
We have begun to realize the effort of working through these various layers is an ongoing process because we are always evolving and learning. There is no ‘done’ place, it is just experiencing life and learning.