Sunday, February 24, 2013

Layered Like an Onion

Something about turning a certain decade this year has me very reflective.  Actually, truth be told, I am naturally very reflective, retrospective.  I like to think on the past.  Take it back to the old school.  Learn the lessons from whence I came. And all that jazz.

I believe that we are much like onions (I wish there was another food to use here because onions are awful, detestable creatures in my opinion).  The point is, we have layers of life that shape us and make us who we are.  Who I was yesterday shapes who I am today, and who am today shapes who I will be tomorrow.  Layers of life experiences, moments, seasons, and people all building and overlapping.  And here I am.  Here you are.  Who are you?  What have those layers done to you, for you?

I am still very much in process.  New layers are are forming daily.  I know that I will be continually changing and influencing change until the day I breath that last blast of oxygen.  The old, vintage layers will always be there.  They are the foundation for the newest additions and all the future ones.  God willing.

Honestly speaking, I do not care for some of those vintage layers of childhood.  They are ill-fitting to me.  As my mind wanders to some of those memories, it wants to run away, pull the covers over and hide.  Taunting voices are there in those archives.  The heckles of adolescent tongues.  Punches to the pride.  Harpoons to the heart.

"did your mom dress you today?"

"lice head"


"don't pick her"

"just wait until after school"

"oops, did you trip?"

I find myself desperate to peel those layers away.  Then I stop, reflect and realize that those are the moments, words, and people that played a part in shaping my life to present.  The bullying that broke me also made me humble, compassionate, and sensitive.  Would I have become who I am today and will I be who I am tomorrow if I had not lived those moments of life?  Maybe, maybe not.  I will just leave those layers.  They may come in handy.

What was the catalyst for this post?

Two things.

First, my daughter was bullied yesterday on a playground. At first it made my blood boil, then I found a sudden peace settle over me.  Those "mean girls" who bullied her are someone's babies.  They have layers already at tender ages and stages.  What do those layers look like?  Is there a problem or a world of hurt that is causing a backlash of words and actions?  I could only speculate.  My job was to look my girl in the eye and tell her heart that she did nothing to deserve that kind of treatment and that she is safe and loved.  I hope that added a special layer to her life and helped with that sting.

Second, this amazing video...

The To This Day Project by Shane Koyczan got me thinking.  I hope it gets you thinking too.



P.S.  Children's book author,  Kathryn Otoshi,  has written a wonderful book about bullying titled, One.  It is a favorite of our younger monkeys.

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