Why are we always told to, “peel back the layers of yourself like that of an onion”? How the fuck did we get to the place in life where we use the comparison of a household cooking staple with emotional exploration? When was the last time you peeled an onion and thought to yourself, “by golly, I never thought of this before, but this onion’s layers could really serve as a great analogy for me to explain my complex inner psyche? Why do I even need to peel this onion in the first place? Does dismantling one of God’s beautiful creations lead to some vital life experience? I mean, some of the best onion rings I’ve ever had were made from the outer layers of the onion!
You’re telling me all I have to do to get through any kind of psychological barrier is to simply peel myself apart, one layer at a time? I’m sorry, but come to think about it, there really aren’t that many layers to the typical onion, and what am I suppose to do when I’m left when I get to that highly sought after final layer? Is there a glorious prize awaiting me at the final layer? Or, will I be possibly gifted with another onion by chance?
Counselor: “So, tell me more about this onion issue”
Me: “I love onions, but hate sitting hear listening to you reference my emotional struggle these days with a cooking staple. Hold on for a second, I think I’m having a vision right now of that final layer of the onion. It’s highlighting your inability to provide me with any real value, you have been utterly useless to me at $150 an hour. Are we done yet, I’ve got some living to do today ?”
Counselor: “I see that this is troubling you deeply. Tell me more”
Me: “I loathe you! I demand a refund”
The reality is most of us don’t need someone to encourages us with second-rate platitude during struggle, we need a supportive ear and your presence. If someone is deeply yearning for an analogy about emotional growth, you might consider using something that relates to their wholeness and total worthiness, prior to tossing around one you’ve heard 1000 times and never once spent time to qualifying it’s application. People have an easy enough time magnifying bad things about themselves, and for individuals to plant seeds in the minds of others that they need now be on a quest to uncover further short-comings only instructs them to identify more with an inferiority complex that they are far to familiar with already. It isn’t helpful, and it sure as hell doesn’t make you sound like a wise sage. You are probably just as lost in this journey as the next person – and that’s OK.
Presence over platitudes Dr.Phil, Presence over Platitudes!