Last night, my dinner prep involved cutting onions. As I peeled back the outer layers of the onions, I couldn’t help but pause and really take in that action. I’ve been thinking about it all day: the layers that make us. I’m not talking about physical layers, but the metaphorical layers that build over time, the intricate and complex layering of our very own spiritual being.
As a young mother, I sometimes feel that motherhood has taken over my identity, dominating the most recent layers. I am woman, wife, friend and daughter. Yet deep, deep inside, I am still the toddler who lost her favorite bunny in the ocean, the little girl with streaks of white blonde hair who could have won any skipping championship, the youngest child who watched her brothers in awe as they constructed elaborate Lego machines and the pre-teen who hated the long walks her parents insisted on taking every weekend. I am the teenager who wore baggy jeans and learned to box and dance. I am the young woman who braided her hair and hiked her demons away.
I have qualifications and diplomas, experience and scars. I have feelings I can’t always explain and fears that will never leave me. Like an onion, no one can see what is deep inside. The layers are there, but buried so deep that I wonder sometimes if they are, really, still there at all. I suppose one could feel nostalgic about it all, I don’t. I am grateful for all the events and people that have formed me into this perfectly imperfect layered life form. As important as it is to peel away those layers of the past that no longer serve us, we could also save ourselves a few tears but just admiring and loving the skin we are in right now.