We build them, and then we uncover them. I don’t think I ever fully thought about the complexity of layers, those that we create, and those that we try to shed. However, I have come to realize that they are a contradiction of terms at times, because they can mean the direct opposite to different people, heck, to the same person, even.
The first thought I have is the layers that we create: as we grow, change or evolve, we try to build layers of foundation, one on another, to have something to rely upon later on. It is what the strongest houses are built upon, a strong foundation, which can be layers of rock, sand, concrete. No structure can stand for an extended period of time without something to ground it.
Roman roads were built in layers, and as a result, lasted thousands of years. They had various layers of materials that helped them to be travelled upon without wearing out easily, and some still exist to this day. Within the sand, and the rock, and the bricks, was strength. Strength that was built into the layers that were created.
To survive a cold winter is the most efficient way possible, we are advised to dress in layers; thinner, cooler layers underneath, and then heavier ones on the outside, to help keep wetness out and warmth in. Building strength from within by the layers that we create, to help us to sustain and last longer in the elements.
So, that is BUILDING layers. What about uncovering, or taking down layers?
One of the most common uncovering layers analogy is the onion. Peeling an onion, and then discovering it, is discovering various layers that are within; one after another. Often, when persons talk about delving into self, and pulling away layers, the onion is what is referred to, those layers are familiar to so many. Many of us seek to intentionally peel back the layers of life one at a time, to see what else lies beneath. Even though we have been present for the life we lead as we lead it, we may have a lack of presence for the moments, circumstances and situations that have influenced and affected us in so many ways.
Our layers that we create may come about to protect ourselves; because what we are facing, or have faced in the past, is just too painful to realize fully, and we need to be more self-protective. Other times, our layers come about just out of habit; another layer in what we are learning about in our world, and not knowing if we will need it at some point. So, we add it onto the persona, and save it for another time.
So, as we shed, as we are ready to let go of our layers, not really being sure what we will discover underneath, fear may set in. Even if we know that the layers no longer serve a purpose for us, they are familiar, warm, and worn. We know them, and they know us, and what lies beneath may not be as familiar. And, just like new skin, will be pink and sensitive and vulnerable. Layers may be ready to be shed, but we need to be gentle with ourselves as we shed them, and get our newly exposed layer ready for the world.
I don’t know that at least for me, the process of adding or taking away layers is ever consistently in one direction. It seems that whatever we happen to be going through in our lives, sometimes it serves us more effectively to add a layer or two, and other times, to shed is the best remedy to feeling more whole and alive. The density that exists in the layers that we create and shed is amazing, for every time we peel back a layer, there seems to be yet another one underneath. Some layers so sheer they could easily be missed, yet serving some important purpose to our life process.
The meaning of layers in your life is for you to decide. Whether they look like an outfit for a winter expedition, a seven layer taco dip, or a roman road, just remember, that whether you add, or take away, they serve a vital purpose for your true, deep self.
So, get discovering………………………….