You know you’re a good person right? Rational, empathetic, strong. But sometimes you do the wrong thing, or find people impossible, or get stuck in some kind of recurring problem. Why?
Imagine yourself as an onion. You are the very core and all the good things that happen to you, the people you meet, the things you learn; these all grow you as a person. But the negative things, the trauma, the pressure, the unaddressed health issues, the disappointments; these build up as layers around you. They create a barrier between you and the world and skew your vision of it.
Anything negative can also be a learning experience; helping us grow, or hindering us with more layers of baggage.
How do you escape the onion?
- Seek healing from some of the painful things that have happened in your life. This doesn’t necessitate expensive therapy; sometimes just talking to someone you trust, about something that you’ve kept hidden, is enough.
- Be open to well meaning criticism, or even ask for it. The more comfortable we are with our own flaws and perks the less we are clouded by insecurity and ego.
- Be willing to be proved wrong. We often cling far too tightly to the ideas we have about the world, blocking out other helpful or positive possibilities.
Because people are amazing, in general, but all these layers hinder us.
As we learn more about neuroscience we are finding the brain has far more ability to change than we first thought. For example one study on adults who took up juggling for 3 months showed increases in the grey matter in their visual cortex, which shrunk again if they stopped juggling. This demonstrates how our brains change in response to habit, which means there is vast scope for us to let go of habitual ways of being that are unhelpful, and create new ways of thinking and acting.
Learning to deal gracefully with something you find difficult, is no different than learning to gracefully chuck three balls about.
Get out them layers mate.