I reassured her that, in fact, she had come a long way. Healing is a journey, and while it may sometimes feel like you’re taking two steps forward and three steps back, progress is being made. Layers are being uncovered and healed.
When I think of healing an issue, be it body dissatisfaction, codependency, depression, self-loathing, not enoughness, etc., I think of an onion. Most issues have multiple layers – they didn’t just appear overnight. Thus, to fully heal these issues, you must uncover and heal each layer. Like an onion, with each layer you peel, you get to a smaller, but more potent layer. Eventually you get to the center, or core, of the issue. Once you heal that core, then you are free. Each layer is important and each must be addressed, but until the core issue is revealed, the problem will keep coming up. That’s just the Universe’s way of reminding you that you’ve still got more healing to do!
So how do you heal an issue that has multiple layers? It takes time, but as you uncover each layer, I promise, it will get easier.
Let me give you an example. When I was going through my divorce a few years ago, a friend of mine encouraged me to paint my emotions. At that point in my life, it has been 20 years since I picked up a paint brush. Still, the idea intrigued me. So I started painting. At first everything I painted was dark – lots of blacks and deep reds as I processed the hurt and grief. But as the weeks turned into months, my paintings became more colorful. I began to see joy in my life as I healed those layers of grief.
Maybe painting isn’t your thing. Maybe it’s writing. Singing. Dancing. It doesn’t matter. We all have issues that need to be healed. None of us get through life unscathed. It just needs to be some form of expression that allows you to process and heal.
After a two-year hiatus, I recently started painting again. The first time I painted as an adult, it was to heal, an unbecoming of who I had been, if you will. This time it’s to find my center, myself, again. Layer after layer, I lay the paint – purple of course – as I reinvent myself.
Truth be told I'm not certain what will unfold. I have no plan here, no ending point in mind. Sometimes layers and stories are like that – you never know what you'll get – or when you’re done – until you get there. But the destination doesn't matter. Right now it's all about the layers; it's all about the paint; it's all about the story as I watch it unfold…